Review: Monster Dog

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Title: Monster Dog
Director: Claudio Fragasso
Writer: Claudio Fragasso
Stars: Alice Cooper, Victoria Vera, Carlos Santurio
Rated: R
Tagline: The fear… the terror… the nightmare… they will never forget it!

My Rating:

Photobucket Not a good movie.

You can find the ratings and lists of other reviews here. Like a pack of wild dogs there are spoilers below.

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Who you’ll see:

Vincent Raven: Alice Cooper! Rock Star leery of returning to his hometown. Bitten by werewolf.
Sandra: Vince’s girlfriend. Likes nude sunbathing, making love and to cry & laugh at the same time. Has to kill Vince before he turns.
Angela: Group member, and part time psychic. Shot by an idiot.
Jos: Caretaker, eating by dogs.
Marilou: Part of Vince’s film crew, eaten by werewolf.
Frank: Part of film crew.
Jordan: Part of the film crew
Old Man: Likes to wear bloody clothes, werewolf, killed by Vince

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What we learned:

Hitting an evil dog in front of you with a candle will set your back on fire.
Werewolves tend to stand still.
It is always best to hug the man you think/just accused of being a werewolf
There’s no need to turn around when there are is a pack of wild dogs ripping people to shreds where you’re heading.
When you’re psychic dead bodies will find their way onto you.
You should always let creepy, laughing guys with guns into the house with you.
The best decoy is a giant clown doll.
Werewolves sure like to tell you things.

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What to listen for:

“Sometimes I feel like Sherlock Holmes, sometimes I feel like Jack the Ripper.”
“When I was a kid I could find my way home just by the smell.”
“The year 2000 is just around the corner.”
“You look like a couple of queers to me. Queers make…..MY STOMACH TURN!”

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Things you need to see:

Montage 36 minutes.
He doubles as a clown. 52 minutes.
She sure knows how to die. 55 minutes
Lost his head. 60 minutes.
Fourth wall? What fourth wall? 109 minutes

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What happens:

I suppose it’s best to start by saying this is an Italian horror film from the same guy who brought you Troll 2. That fact will either scare you off or pull you in. I’m a firm believer that everyone should see Troll 2 at least once. Monster Dog is also known as Los Perros de la Muerte, Leviatan, and The Bite. What makes this movie stand out? Well, it is to my knowledge the only horror movie that has Alice Cooper in the starring role. The role is of course a HUGE stretch for Cooper, he plays Vincent Raven a rock star.

The movie begins with a musical video by Vincent Raven. If you’ve always wanted to see Alice Cooper dressed like Sherlock Holmes, Jack the Ripper or James Bond than this is the music video for you. From there we join our loveable crew as they make a trip back to Mr. Raven’s hometown. He hasn’t returned home in over twenty years but apparently they need inspiration for his newest video. Making the trip with him is his video crew and girlfriend. The group’s trip just happens to coincide with a pack of wild dogs tearing people to shreds. Despite being told this by the Sherriff, who set up a roadblock, the group decides to continue.

The first tragedy soon strikes as Raven runs over a dog in the middle of the road. The crew looks on in horror as he must club it with a rock to put it of its misery. Here we meet the “crazy old guy who warns the teens” character, except they aren’t teens and well he turns out to be the bad guy. Raven isn’t all that thrilled to be returning home and we wonder why he even would.

As they continue their drive we return to the Sherriff and his man at the roadblock. There are growls in the distance and the jovial Sherriff goes off to investigate. It isn’t long before he is killed by the pack of wild dogs. We of course don’t see this, a trend used for most of the movie. The Deputy finds pieces of the Sherriff just in time to be chomped on by the dogs too.

Finally they make it to his boyhood home to find it deserted. His boyhood butler was mauled by a group of dogs. Vincent is troubled and distant. Angela has what appears to be a psychic dream about the monster dogs and Vincent. The crew tries to calm her as Vincent goes off to think. Here the film begins to break into two. We have the wild dogs mentioned earlier, but there are hints that a much bigger monster is controlling them all. Raven fearfully recalls what happened to his father and fears that the horrible disease may run in the family. He tells his girlfriend (about the same time she brings up making love, and sitting on a beach) that his father had a rare heart disease that caused him to go into a primal rage and develop symptoms of lycanthropy. This actually has some basis in reality and is suspected to being one of the contributing factors to the werewolf mythos throughout the ages. Of course the townspeople take matters into their own hands and murder Vincent’s father in front of him.

And I have to wonder again why would he return?

That is somewhat explained (and nicely) by the atmosphere of the movie. There appears to be a force pulling Raven back home, the character and the actor portray it nicely. They decide to push on with the filming of his new video. Everything appears to be going great when the body of his former servant turns up. By “turns up” I mean falls through a window on top of poor Angela. This is too much for the already stressed Angela. She beats on Vincent calling him the Monster Dog and the werewolf in different sentences. Then she cries and hugs him. As the group investigates the body the crazy old guy returns. He scares Angela and off she runs into the wild.

Vincent goes after gun in hand and tells the group to leave if they don’t return soon. He finds her and convinces her to return, meanwhile a band of townspeople show up at the estate. One of them the man who killed Raven’s pop pop. They take the group hostage and wait for Raven to return. They plan to kill him to rid the town of the evil that has returned.

After a lengthy gun battle the house is once again attacked by dogs. The dogs get the remaining townspeople and two of Vincents crew. The dogs just stop and let Vincent, Angela and Sandra exit. They bundle into the townspeople’s car before realizing they don’t have the keys. Vincent and Sandra leave Angela alone to get the keys. As they drive off Angela pitches forward her neck chewed open. The werewolf is in the car! Vincent has Sandra leap from the car and he speeds off fighting the werewolf. It crashes and we hear one gunshot. When Sandra investigates the old man appears. He confesses to her that he was the werewolf and that he bit Vincent who will now fulfill his destiny. The old man falls down dead and Sandra runs to Vincent. He begs her to shoot him and she hesitates. He begins to transform into the new werewolf and she shoots him before he completes it. She laughs/cries hysterically and the movie cuts back to the music video.

One of the strange things is the fact that Alice Cooper is dubbed. I know that I should be use to Italian horror movies being dubbed. I am but when you have Alice Cooper in the lead role why dub him? Most of the dubbing is bad as it usually is. Most of the actors (and dubbers?) don’t equal what Cooper gives the film. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying Alice Cooper is Marlon Brando, but he does a good job in the role. He provides a subtle tragic feel to the role. Plus he adds to the overall feel of cheese the movie has. Monster Dog is by no means a great (or even good) movie, but it is a fun watch. Even though it is pretty simple, and is sloppy at points there are a few surprises. It comes across as an easy to follow atmospheric chiller.

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And the video for “Identity Crisis” that starts and ends the movie:

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~ by ClevelandPoet on August 18, 2011.

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