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|Dog Soldiers, Good DVD, Leslie Simpson, Chris Robson, Darren Morfitt, Thomas Loc|
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Average review score based on 43 user reviews
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There are great classics related to werewolves, The Howling, Wolfen, and the superior American Werewolf in London. After watching "Dog Soldiers" it can easily be part of this pack. I fine this movie to be very exciting and pleasant B movie. This was recommended to me by Caesar M. Warrington, who is also a great reviewer, during the month of Halloween. Werewolves fascinate me more then Vampires so I couldn't wait till next Halloween to watch this. You will not a fine a major city, silly people or unneeded love story involved in this film. Just a couple of cool soldiers who are willing to do anything to survive. In here we have a group of six British Soldiers spend time on the Scottish highlands to do a special training but one Soldier is whining about missing a soccer game between England versus Germany, a little like the tension you get when America versus Canada or something! Apparently Story goes that where the soldiers are standing, they hear about gruesome "true" tales of people go missing but savage and gory murder scenes are simultaneously found as potential evidence. A leader, Captain Ryan happens to be the sole survivor of another team that becomes a 'dog's breakfast'! Is he hiding a secret that the remaining team should know about? Who knows?
That is when Luna-loving furry doggies with rabies come into view, and they look like muscular, mutant gerbils in mink coats, with Freddy Claws. The Team have to drop their blank bullets for real ones as a locally rural girl, Megan, comes in as GI Jane to save them by escaping out of the woods by a Jeep, taking the remaining Soldiers with her, and sheltered into a remote Country Farm House. Trouble starts brewing because the Soldiers are running out of Ammunition, Howlings are drawing nearer, and how long will sunlight come before people die like flies?
"Dog Soldiers" does start slow and is a bit predictable but the humor is wicked. I also give credit to the gory scenes where the Sergeant's guts were exposed and the sheep dog was toying with it; thinking they were sausages. There are flaws with the film, but it is still fun and entertaining. Influences from other movies stand out here, but they still don't take away from 'Dog Soldiers', I feel that they've just used an idea and modified it to produce something new. Much better than the current Hollywood mentality of making a horror - take a half-good idea and drive it into the ground with continuous knock-off after knock-off. The best part is when the Sergeant shares a chilling camp fire story about "Eddie Oswald"; a private he once knew in Kuwait 1991, and then raised a toast for him!! One Private tells a joke about a man and his dog, suddenly on that 'cue' a dead stuffed Cow drops from the sky to join them, literally!
For a low-budget movie this is quite a gem. Fans of the movies I mentioned previously should check it out, it's not strictly horror. I believe the director said that it was a soldier film with werewolves, not the other way round, so it could also be classed as an action film. Either way, that is really of no relevance. If you like Movies with a hardcore script, Dark Humor, and action then give it a try.
This is a soldier movie with werewolves --- not the other way around --- and if you watch the Special Features, the director will tell you that. The movie will appeal more to fans of military films than to horror fans. The soldiers barricade themselves in a house in the woods, only to find they are surrounded by werewolves. They must strategize, because eventually they will run out of ammo or the wolves will break in, or both. Although the werewolf make-up is very effective (the directors stated they wanted the werewolves to look like a combination of wolf and human, and they definitely achieved this goal), the script could have been almost the same if the soldiers were facing zombies, real wolves, or enemy forces as opposed to werewolves. The emphasis is not on the supernatural, but on what soldiers are willing to do in battle. Lots of gore, including a dog chewing on a man's intestines while the man is still alive. One soldier, at the beginning, is turned down for a Special Ops assignment because he won't shoot a dog; this character trait is retained throughout the film when he punches, stabs, & incinerates werewolves...but doesn't shoot one. The title, DOG SOLDIERS, is brilliant, and so are the script's references to GOLDILOCKS & THE THREE BEARS. The action is somewhat derivative of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, even to specific details like the truck blowing up. The only weak part, for me, was the so-called "surprise" ending. Not a surprise, because surely everyone knows what happens to a person who is bitten by a werewolf. This is one situation where you SHOULD leave your wounded comrades behind!
First, let me preface this with one thing. I am a screenwriter. Looking at it from that perspective, I would have to say that "Dog Soldiers" is an extremely fun movie. I could not give it an excellent rating for the simple fact that it is somewhat lacking in overall production value, compared to the big studios' finest, it is, for what it is, an incredible example of independent film making, and a fine study of what true quality can be achieved with a limited budget.
Overall, the plot is tight, logical, and well supported by dialogue. The acting is genuine and, for the most part, believable. Character development is a bit vague, which works well, as this movie is intended to be story/plot driven, rather than character driven. While character driven stories are more common these days, the overall premise of this movie lends itself well to a plot driven format, showing that simple storytelling can still succeed in the face of the more jaded audiences movies now have to face.
Another refreshing change is that the movie makes use of extremely simple special effects. The story simply does not require elaborate special effects to tell the story well. Lighting and camera angles are used to good effect and help to pace the moving, making elaborate CGI effects redundant.
In a word, this movie is fun. Whether you are a fan of werewolf movies, horror movies, or are just looking for a nice diversion from the effects heavy behemoths that crowd our movie theaters, this movie will make a nice addition to your collection.
As a "rabid" fan of classic and contemporary werewolf films,I greatly enjoyed this low-budget but high throttled 'wolf flick.Not only do you get subjected to an all-out assult of new British swear words,you are treated to a new and edgy,almost Anime inspired pack of vicious werewolves!The make-up and gore effects in this are top-notch and the action pace is unrelenting.This is a very underrated film,and it will not dissappoint my fellow fans of Lycanthropic Cinema.This DVD was bought on Ebay for a devilishly low price of 6.66(seriously),and it is indeed worth every penny!What are you waitin' for,lazy bollocks.....get out there and get your copy of this new age werewolf action thriller!!
in the other reviews you can get the over all story. most werewolf/ wolf-man movies are poor. this one stands far above the rest. the story was nice. the filming was great. the actors and their abilities were very good. the director did a great job. i felt there were no problems with pace. i do not remember the musical score. characterization was very good. lots of action and tension. the location was nice for the film. there was a lot of blood but not over the top like in: 'freddy vs. jason'. i can see an argument against the werewolf f/x, but i can, also, see some people loving the look. personally i like the look from: 'werewolf of london'(1935?) [NOT: to be confused with 'an american werewolf in london'.]
so, this is more of a quality review. my final finishing note is: i'm cheap. i will rarely spend more then $5 on a dvd. i got this with shipping for about $3.oo. i would have paid $10.oo for a brand new dvd. this is better then the vast majority of horror movies; and if not the best werewolf movie then one of the best.