Thursday, September 7, 2017

Deadly Dogs vol. 4

By Goat Scrote

Atomic Dog
In this installment, misunderstood mutant dogs...

... trained killer Nazi dogs...
The Boys From Brazil

...and experimental Army dogs off their leash.
Dogs of Hell

The Boys from Brazil (1978)

Mainly a ripoff of:They Saved Hitler's Brain” plus “The Omen”

The Dog(s): Dobermans trained by a paranoid racist are commanded by a child-aged clone of Adolf Hitler to kill mad scientist Josef Mengele. Holy fuck! The dogs are scary and the kid is scarier, but they only become important during the climax in the final twenty minutes.

Summary: A young man searching for escaped Nazi war criminals discovers clues leading him toward a horrifying conspiracy by surviving Nazis to "re-create" Hitler. There are 94 clones which have been adopted out all over the world. They are being brought up under conditions that will help warp them into having a twisted psyche like der Führer, and also put them into positions of influence when they are adults. Somehow the movie avoids being cheesy and maintains a very dark tone. A determined investigator puts the pieces together to figure out what is really happening.

Best Scene: The denouement shows one of the cloned Hitler kids in a darkroom. He is developing photographs of the bloody murder scene. He has kept a trophy of his first murder, a trinket carried by his victim. Mengele may be dead, but this scene assures us that the chilling consequences of his experiment will torment future generations. It's a solid skin-crawler of an ending.

Dishonorable Mention: More of the dogs, please! Oh, and more dead Nazis!

Recommendation: This is a pretty darn good flick from the director of “Patton” (1970), “Papillon” (1973) and “Planet of the Apes” (1968), with a superb cast including Gregory Peck, Laurence Olivier, and James Mason. Steve Gutenberg is also in the movie. The horror at the core of this movie is the threat of a resurgence of fascism in a new generation, which has a special power to terrify at this moment in history. Very highly recommended!

Dogs of Hell (1983) 
(aka Rottweiler)

Mainly a ripoff of: Anyone who paid to watch it. Not to be confused with Brian Yuzna’s unrelated film “Rottweiler” (2004).

The Dog(s): Well, they tell us there is a pack of killer Rottweilers, but the absence of evidence on screen leaves me unconvinced.

Summary:  Southern good ol’ boys vs. escaped, out-of-control, military-trained Rottweilers. That sounds awesome on paper! The movie itself is a steaming pile, unfortunately. The first kill is at 20 minutes, but the dogs are still just sound effects. There’s a mud wrestling scene at 23 minutes and I’m relieved that at least there is some kind of action on-screen, even if it is dubious “comedy” which does absolutely nothing at all to move the story forward. The first actual dog appears on the screen at 26 minutes, just barely. I was 49 minutes deep in my journey into boredom before I noticed another dog appearance. The pack appears to consist of two dogs, who show up, get killed, and are immediately replaced by two identical dogs. “Rottweiler” was released theatrically in 3D. There are a number of really cheesy shots like a dart on a string coming toward the camera. The 3D moments would have been groan-worthy filler even with the gimmick.
Best Scene:  A rottweiler gets his head blown off with a shotgun! Actually it’s not that great, but it’s the closest thing to an exciting moment that this movie has to offer.

Dishonorable Mention: During the mud-wrestling scene, the sheriff sucker-punches a citizen with no provocation, after getting the perp to relax by lying that he won't hit the guy. What a total cocksmith. Oh, he's the hero? I guess I was supposed to think he was awesome because he can punch so hard. Also, it's really, really obvious that the filmmakers had exactly two Rottweilers. That's just fucking insulting. Show a few seconds here and there of five or six dogs running through the woods to make the rest of the illusion work. It's just plain stupid filmmaking, and the whole boring mess is made with the same lack of craft. In fact, I declare this entire movie to be a Dishonorable Mention. Take that, you big dumb movie.

Recommendation: Slow and boring, hardly any animal action, ineptly done, and that sheriff is no Joe Don Baker. This was a rough one to get through, folks. Hard pass. So very hard.

Atomic Dog (1998)

Mainly a ripoff of: "Beast of Yucca Flats" retold as an After-School Special… with dogs!

The Dog(s): Cerberus the "Atomic Dog”, Trixie, Lobo, and Scamp… a very dysfunctional canine family. Industry pro Roger Schumacher was head animal trainer.

Summary: A puppy named Cerberus gets caught in a minor atomic accident and is left behind by his owner when the contaminated power plant is abandoned. He grows up to be a super-intelligent dog with strong family values. Cerberus has been abandoned, abused, and attacked by humans, and eventually kills a teenager who shot at him with a rifle. The lonely Atomic Dog frees a family pet, Trixie, and takes her back to his radioactive love nest. Some time later, she drags herself home to deliver a pair of pups before she dies. From afar, Cerberus watches his pups, Lobo and Scamp, grow up. When Lobo violently turns on his human family and is taken to the veterinarian, Cerberus kills the veterinarian to free his son. Lobo is blamed for the death, and later shot. Cerberus begins a campaign of revenge. Scamp continues to protect his human family from his father. The grieving Atomic Dog kidnaps the youngest daughter of the family as a replacement for his lost son. Her family tries to rescue her and has a confrontation with the Atomic Dog. In the end, Cerberus sacrifices himself to save the little girl, and Scamp comforts his dying father.

Best Scene: The final fight between Cerberus and the humans. He uses his wits to beat them. When they shoot him with darts, he immediately pulls them out with his teeth. He works loose the knots securing big waste containers and drops them on the human father and son. It’s a good climax, relative to the rest of the movie.

Dishonorable Mention: What kind of Homer Simpson level moron would bring a puppy to their job at a nuclear power plant?

Recommendation: Extremely tame made-for-TV fare, this is what would happen if Hallmark Hall of Fame started churning out low-budget horror. The animals are very well trained, but overall mediocrity makes this is a snoozer and you can safely skip it.

1 comment:

  1. If the words "Bow wow wow yippee yo yippee yay" are not spoken in Atomic Dog, it is automatically a total failure.


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