Sunday, 3 March 2013

5 Horror Movies that Have Gone To the Dogs

People like dogs, they're cute and cuddly and if Timmy falls down a well, then you know that they will be right there barking up a storm.  However like people, not all dogs are friendly and willing shake your paw or lick your face.  So the go out and look for acceptance somewhere else and unfortunately, they can fall into the wrong pack. The next thing you know, there pissing on people's lawns, howling at all hours and attacking people for no reason, like the dogs in the films.

Here are 5 Horror Movies that Have Gone To the Dogs:

5. Monster Dog (aka Leviatan) (1984) - Famous rocker Vincent Raven and his friends/video crew are heading back to his family's mansion to shoot a video for his new hit single.  The only person left in the mansion is the butler, Jos and he's making some lovely sandwiches for everybody when he hears a noise outside.  When he goes to investigate, he is met by a pack of angry dogs and becomes supper for them. On the way home, Vince and friends are stopped by the police told about a pack of dogs have just killed 5 people in the town and they need to get indoors right away.  While the deputy is star struck, the sheriff recognizes Vince and alludes to the mysterious death of Vince's father but he waves them through and wishes them a good night.  Further on the travels to the mansion, Vince accidentally runs over a dog on the road, so the gang gets out of the van and using a rock, Vince puts the dog out of his/her misery.  After Vince murders the dog, a crazy old with a bloody shirt tells them that the monster dog is gonna get them for killing that dog and then he wanders into the woods.  Vince and his girlfriend go to look for the crazy old man, cuz we should waste more dialogue on that guy, but end up seeing a glimpse of the Monster dog! Who lets them go back to their van?  Anyway, they finally get to the house and can't find Jos.  While everyone eats the lovely sandwhichs, Vince grabs a shotgun and searches for Jos but can't find him anywhere.   Everyone goes to bed, the 3 girls all in one bed and maybe the 3 guys..., who knows but Angela gets out of bed and finds everyone has been murdered.  The old man is screaming at her that it's Vince and he's gonna kill her too!  Then she wakes up, everyone comforts her and they all go back to sleep.  The next morning, it's time to shoot their rock video!  So during a montage, we get to see everyone get ready and having fun!  Then it's time to shoot the video.  While shooting the video, Angela notices a silhouetted body leaning against the upper window.  Somehow it crashes through and hits the ground.  It's Jos and he's dead!  Angela freaks out and runs away, so Vince grabs a gun and chases after her.  Before he goes, he tells the rest of his friend/crew to lock the door and not to let anyone in.  While Vince is searching for Angela, a group of men wanting to kill Vince for his father's mysterious crimes come to the house and hold the crew/friends hostage.  The men tell them that Vince is the monster dog and he controls other dogs with his mind.  Can Vince find Angela, save the rest of his friends/employees and prove that he's a not the monster dog or will Vince get neutered by this gang of ruffians when he returns with Angela?  Alice Cooper stars in this movie and I really wish it was much better.  Unsurprisingly, director Claudio Fragasso (Troll 2) is all over the place with this movie and dogs don't even really show up until the very end.  It's such a hodge podge of dream sequences, angry villagers, dogs, werewolves that it's really hard to find where he's going with this.  Alice Cooper is pretty good, but I've seen him in better and the songs that he contributes to the film are ok.  I didn't recognize anyone else in this cuz it was made in Spain, hopefully they've done better work on other pictures.  The monster dog kinda sucks and is only shown a few times.  They spend more time on gun battle scenes instead of them fighting off these viscous strays or battling the monster dog.  I wish they could have shown the other 5 victims being attacked because that's what I wanted to see.  Not the worst movie ever, you'll have some chuckles at the absurdness but the pacing is slow and can become tedious.  No trailer, so here's part of the Alice Cooper video from the movie.

4. The Pack (aka The Long Dark Night) (1977) - Marine biologist, Jerry lives on Seal Island with his girlfriend, Millie and their two sons.  Seal Island has just finished their tourist season with only one group of people left on the island and the locals (3 other guys) can't wait for them to leave.  Apparently, tourists get dogs for the summer and the leave them on the island when they go back to the city, so they are a lot of wild dogs on the island.  Anyhooo, Jerry takes a trip to the dump and lets his dog, Riley chase a rabbit out into the woods.  After being gone for just few minutes, Riley limps back with his leg injured, so Jerry goes and has a look and finds a feral dog growling at him.  He walks back slowly to the car and then drives quickly into town to warn the residents, all 3 of them, about the wild dog.  He lets them know that he'll hunt it down in the morning.  Unfortunately, tomorrow is not soon enough because when blind old Mr. McMinnimee, returns home after hearing the news, he is ripped to shreds by a pack of dogs.  Oh Jerry! The next morning will Jerry is out hunting for that dog, Millie hears some rassling by da chicken coop.  She goes to see what's going on and a pack of dogs chase her into her car.   About 15 dogs are trying to get at her, when Jerry runs back because he heard the commotion and fires his rifle into the air.  Frightened the dogs take off and Millie is safe for now, so Jerry gets her in the house and heads out to find their kids.  Elsewhere on the island, Tommy, one of the tourists, is tired of his dad forcing the hot secretary, Lois on him.  So he takes a walk in the woods with Lois in tow.  While in the woods, they are accosted by a pack of dogs and Tommy bravely runs away as fast as his plump little legs can go, leaving Lois behind.  The dogs like a meaty treat and chase after Tommy to the edge of a cliff.  Tommy slips on the edge and plummets to his death on the rocks below.  The dogs then go after Lois and make a meal out of her.  Meanwhile, Jerry finds his kids and gets them back to the house, then heads back to town to warn everyone else.  Once he collects the other islanders, Cobb and Hardiman, they all head over to help the tourists, Mr. & Mrs. Dodge and their accountant, Walter but they're already out looking for Tommy.  And Lois, kind of.  Jerry lets them know what's going on and they head back to the house.  After a while, Mr. Dodge gets tired of waiting, steals Jerry's truck and goes looking for his son but all he finds is a lot of trouble!  He is attacked by the dogs but luckily Jerry shows up in time.  They get Mr. Dodge back to the house but he dies once he's there.  The dogs are now surrounding the house and they have no way out, what's a marine biologist to do?  This was alright and pretty enjoyable for what it is.  Joe Don Baker (Mitchell, The Children) explodes into character in this K9 horror, as the marine biologist Jerry! He swaggers around with his rifle, looking for dogs to kill and has a really heartfelt moment at the end of the picture.  Fans of older films might recognize some of the other faces, like Richard B. Shull (Sssssss), R.G. Armstrong (EvilSpeak, Children of the Corn) and Paul Wilson (Cheers) but don't feel bad if you don't.  The story is mediocre but like most these films the dog attacking scenes are really good.  Plenty of blood and it's fun to watch these people get mauled by dogs.  Trust me, you won't be barking up the wrong tree with this one.

3. Dog Soldiers - A young couple on a camping trip are settled for the night, when something tears them out of their tent and they are never seen again.  At the same time, Private Cooper is being chased through the same woods and attacked by a special forces unit.  It's soon revealed that this is a tryout exercise for the special forces unit and to complete the test, he just needs to shoot a dog in the face.  Cooper refuses to kill an innocent animal and Captain Richard Ryan stamps failure on Cooper's forehead and shoots the dog.  A month later, more soldiers, including Private Cooper are on yet another training mission.  They head out to battle against another unit but find their camp bloody and in shambles.  The only surviving member of that unit is Captain "Dogfaceshooter" Ryan.  They ask what happened but Ryan has been badly injured and can't explain what happened.  Cooper's unit is then attacked by a group of animals and they start to losing men.  Sergeant Wells is injured and Cooper helps him, literally, stuff his guts back in and they get the surviving members down to the road.  Luckily, a woman, Megan, is in a jeep driving past them and stops to help them.  She drives them to an abandon cabin, where the soldiers barricade themselves in and try to keep Ryan and Wells alive.  Unfortunately, the beasts are giant dog/werewolves creatures and they are hungry for human flesh. They follow the soldiers back to the cottage and try to bust down the doors.  Can Cooper finally shoot a dog in the head and prove to Ryan that he's not a puff or are they going to be nothing but kibbles and bits, and bits, and bits for the monsters?  Director Neil Marshall (The Descent, Doomsday) tells a good story here but I feel that there was something missing.  Maybe it was the look of the film because it looks like it was a made for TV film and not a motion picture.  The acting was ok with Sean Pewtree (Botched) and Kevin McKidd (Trainspotting) in the lead roles but their characters weren't very complex and you could kind of see things coming.   I don't want to sound negative because there were some really good elements in this, like the dog/werewolves were really good and very scary.  Also, I did enjoy all the blood shed and the body parts thrown around, it's definitely good and gory.  Overall, for his first full length Marshall did a tremendous job and you should check it out if you get a chance. 

2. The Breed (2006)- A young couple are sailing and they notice a mysterious island, so they go over to check it out.  The girl runs head of the guy, up the hill and into the forest, where she discovers a base of some kind that is surrounded by a fence.  She starts to head back to the boat and she is attacked by, you guessed it, dogs!  Her boyfriend runs into the forest to find her and there is a shot of the island and you can hear him screaming.  Later on, a seaplane lands in a bay and group of friends pop out.  Brothers John and Matt have inherited a house on this island from their strange uncle and the gang thought they could use a break for the books for the weekend.  Along with John and Matt is Matt's girlfriend and John's ex-girlfriend, Nicki, party girl, Sara and their other friend, Noah.  Most of the talk is about how Matt is an uptight nerd and John is the bad boy, who is going nowhere.  They walk up to the cabin and Sara finds a puppy, so they take it in and feed it.  They get the power running for the cabin and then it's time to party!  The group drinks a lot and montages around about them having fun.  At the end of the day, the puppy growls at them and then takes off.  Sara runs after it and is ambushed by a bigger dog and is bitten.  The gang gets her back in the house and future vet and general buzz kill, Matt suggests that they need to get her off the island and get Sara to a hospital.  Rabies, Shmabies, we're here to party!  Sara decides to stay and then they all go to bed.  The next morning, Sara is acting strange and seems to have become more aggressive at times, especially over bacon but then again who isn't aggressive over bacon.  Matt, John and Noah decide to go into the forest to do man things and girls stay home to talk about cooking, relationships and girl stuff.  While in the woods, they run into the guy from the boat, who is covered in blood and he warns them about the dogs.  Coincidentally, after he tells them about the dogs, he is attacked and killed by the dogs, which really drives that message home.  The boys run back to the cabin and scream to the ladies on the dock to get back to the house.  A dog grabs Nicki's leg just as she reaches the stairs, luckily John has a bow and arrow and fires at the vicious pooch but the dog is too smart and dodges, allowing the arrow to plunge into Nicki's leg.  Ouch!  They pull Nicki into the house and Matt pulls the arrow out of the leg of his one true love.  They decide now is a good time to get the fuck off the island but the dogs have the seaplane surrounded.  After a few hours, they notice that the dogs are gone but the seaplane is floating away!  They make a break for the plane and John jumps into the water to catch the plane before it floats out to sea.  Sara and Nicki notice that the ties to the dock have been chewed through and just as John is about to reach the plane, he sees the dogs are waiting for him on the wing.  You were tricked by dogs!  The gang runs back to the house just in time and now the must figure out a way to escape the island before they become dog treats! Long time Assistant and Unit Director Nicholas Mastandrea (Scream, Identity) finally takes the director's chair and puts together a terrific horror film.  There's nothing too ground breaking here but he tells a good story and when the dogs attack, it's pretty scary.  Lots of younger faces, at the time, like Michelle Rodriguez (Machete), Oliver Hudson (Black Christmas) and Taryn Manning (Zombie Apocalypse), are in this and do a decent job.  The dog scenes are pretty killer and there are some good special effects at times.  I really enjoyed the ending too, it's kind of hokey but it made me smile.  Fun little film that will have you barking for more.

1. Cujo (1983) - A lovable St. Bernard is chasing a rabbit through the woods and ends up getting his head stuck in a hole.  The dog starts barking and wakes up a number of bats inside.  They're pissed and start attacking the dog and end up biting his nose.  On the other side of town, a little boy, Tad is scared of the monster in his closet, his mom, Donna and dad, Vic assure him that their is nothing in the closet but in the morning all of Tad's bedroom furniture is pushed up against the closet door.  Everyone's having breakfast and local douchebag, Steve brings over a wooden horse and tells them that he'll have their dining room table done by the end of the week.  Vic invites Steve to a tennis game and after losing horribly to Vic, Steve leaves and Donna invites him to bed. oh Donna, gotta love the middle aged bad boy!  On top of that, Vic's Porsche isn't working so he brings it in to the shop but the mechanic tells him that he can't get to it until later.  Luckily, a nosy mailman tells Vic about a guy who can fix the car up and for cheaper, just outside of town.  So, Vic packs up the family and heads out to the rural area to get his Porsche fixed.  Like any good mechanic, Joe Camber has car carcasses strewn all over his yard and when Vic arrives, he's surly as hell.  Donna finds Mrs. Camber and Tad plays with their son, Brett.  When all of a sudden, a St. Bernard strolls down the path towards Tad.  Tad is excited because he's never seen a dog before but Donna grabs Tad and keeps him away from the dog.  Brett tells her that old Cujo loves kids and for her not to worry but she keeps her distance.  Back at home, Vic says something to Donna and that's when she finally realizes that she really does love Vic and she needs to break it off with Steve. The next morning, Vic learns that his advertising company, somehow is at fault because the cereal company put dye in their cereal and now kids are pooping and peeing red!  To the office! Tad goes to camp and Donna heads out to Steve's shitty apartment to breakup with him.  Back on the farm, Mrs. Camber's won 5 thousand dollars in the lottery and wants to take Brett, so they can have a "vacation" at her sisters and leave Joe there.  Joe doesn't care and heads to his friends to have some beers.  Back in drama town, Steve doesn't want to break up and chases Donna down to her Pinto to argue his love for her, unfortunately this is when Vic is coming home from an incredibly shitty meeting with his partner and sees them.  He turns his car around but they're gone, so he makes a mad rush to Tad's summer camp and whisks him home, just in time to confront Donna and help with the groceries.  She confirms his suspicions of adultery and Vic's heart is crushed.  The next day, Mrs. Camber and Brett take off to her sister's house.  Joe is left alone at home and gets attacked by Cujo! Finally! Cujo has rabies because of the bat biting him and now he's gonna fuck shit up, starting with Joe Camber!  Back at Vic's house, he has to leave for a  meeting out of town and tells Donna that they'll talk when he gets back.  Donna is upset about her marriage going down the drain and that her Pinto isn't working quite right, so maybe a ride to the country would be perfect for her and Tad.  The head to the Chamber farm and notice that it looks deserted and then they are greeted by Cujo.  Cujo chases them back to the car with rabid foam flying from his lips and blood dripping from his paws.  Donna and Tad are trapped in their car with Cujo circling them, will they ever escape?  This movie scared the shit out of me when I was a kid and I will never forget those scenes in the car with Cujo's huge head barking at them, while he stands on the windshield.  Director Lewis Teague (Cat's Eye) takes another Stephen King novel and creates a really slow building movie that pays off huge at the end. The scenes with Cujo are pretty intense and the way the dog is shot, it just looks monstrous and evil.  Dee Wallace (Critters, The Hills Have Eyes) plays Donna and is fantastic, especially in the final battle with Cujo.  Like any kid in a horror movie, Tad played by Danny Pintauro (Who's The Boss) is annoying as hell but so vital to the script and Pintauro does a great job for someone so young.  Frightening is the best way to describe this film and it's a great ride once Cujo goes ballistic! 

So, keep your dog or dogs close by and let them know that you love any way you can because the only time you want them snarling and snapping their jaws is when they're trying to protect you.

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