Review: Tim Mattson’s The ShizzlyGrark

In the same vein as Sharktopus and Whalewolf comes The ShizzlyGrark, a horror-comedy mockumentary currently in select film festivals and releasing on home media later this year. This 1-hour independent film has had quite the ride from pre-production to debut, but I’ve held on in anticipation over the years because I’ve seen several short films by its director, Tim Mattson, and knew it would be a wild ride as long as he had his hands on it. Shot by In the Dark Comedy, Dreamclay Pictures and Magical January Productions, The ShizzlyGrark tells the story of a new cryptid, identified as half grizzly bear and half shark beast, who is terrorizing The United States. This mockumentary interviews several key witnesses and attack survivors before local film-makers head into the monster’s prime stomping grounds in hopes of capturing it on video. Unfortunately, their bodies have yet to be discovered…

The ShizzlyGrark starts off like any good horror documentary, where the viewer gets to meet all the interviewees on a somewhat personal level before jumping into their harrowing ordeals with the mythical beast. Some interviewees are scared of the creature, others are scarred in all sense of the word, others remain pleasantly optimistic and unbothered, while some are… aroused? It’s certainly an eclectic mix of personalities! Just about mid-way through their stories, the film-makers head to the snow-covered woods in hopes of getting the monster on camera, adding more suspense to the narrative while the stories manage to get more bizarre. And then there’s a mummy… for reasons unknown. This cast of crazies is comprised of Richard Boyce, Tim Mattson, Mark Williamson, Linda Boyce, Alyssa Lambert, Raquel Fortunato, Sly Augustus, Karen LaPreziosa and many more.

This film was directed by Tim Mattson, who also produced the movie alongside Carmela Cirilli. It features cinematography by David Walters and editing by Mattson. The film also features original music by The Night Hobs. I’m not surprised that The ShizzlyGrark won “Best Independent Movie” at a film festival in Barcelona because, despite the outlandish material, this mockumentary is actually pretty good. It doesn’t feel cheap, and the camera work is top notch. All the actors pulled in decent performances even though none of them are marked as professional improv artists. I loved the cinematography during the monster hunt scenes, especially all the aerial views. And at the end of the day, Tim Mattson tried to do a lot with a simple concept. The ShizzlyGrark even has an animated reenactment, a long chase scene and some use of practical special effects. My only true complaint is I was hoping for a little more grizzly/shark moments ON CAMERA.

All in all, The ShizzlyGrark is a capable mockumentary and a must have for fans of offbeat humor films like Scary Movie or Airplane. Tim Mattson and his cast/crew delivered a quality product that effortlessly danced between professionalism, not taking itself too seriously and not losing momentum by continuously focusing on the bizarre. I’d love to come in contact with The ShizzlyGrark again someday. Best viewed high or drunk with a bunch of rowdy friends who love low budget horror movies! This film has a small demographic, but the people who can appreciate its beauty will absolutely love it! Final Score: 8 out of 10.

Michael DeFellipo

(Senior Editor)

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