Format: Amazon Watch Party
Director: John Lafia
I saw this movie in the theater and was mostly curious about it because I had absolutely no memory of what happened in the film. I was 18 and it was during my college winter break so I was home, so I'm pretty sure I was sober, but... man. Aside from one very iffy CGI shot, I had nothing.
The basic gist of the film is that the world's most negligent reporter decides to break and enter at a science-place where it turns out Lance Henriksen is doing gene-splicing to create "the ultimate guard dog". Why? No idea. We're never told. But Ally Sheedy accidentally earns some life-debt from "Max" the ultra-dog whom she spirits away (hint: never take an animal from a lab) and brings to her home.
She lies to her live-in boyfriend about where she got the dog, and - as a reporter - if she airs any of what she's got on tape, she is absolutely going to jail. That's B&E and larceny.
Well, this is ostensibly a horror movie, so it turns out the dog isn't just murderous, he can climb walls or trees, swallow cats like a python and piss acid? I remembered none of this. But I did remember there's one shot where they do the Predator CGI shtick where he's kind of clear and then you can see him.
I'm not a *huge* fan of complaining about movies having tone problems*, but this movie has them. It genuinely feels like a 90's kid's film at times, complete with the neigbor kid who acts like he's 45 and 13 at the same time and wears the neon colors you saw kids wearing in movies and TV in the 90's, but not in real life.
There's kids telling fart stories that are irrelevant to anything, but then bearing witness to cat murder and simply running away lest they be implicated in the cat murder, which is probably the only honest thing in this movie.
What is impossible to determine from the film's various murders and wacky cops is whether this movie is kidding or not, or a comedy or not. It's not funny, but you can tell someone decided this movie should be "fun", so we murder a mailman, etc.. And you have to wonder if Ally Sheedy's insane negligence and obliviousness were supposed to be funny. Oh, also, there's the implication of dog-on-dog non-consensual sex. Which... seems played for laughs? Well, the mid-90's were a weird time.
In an era of "content" and rapidly forgotten films, it's easy to forget that stuff like this was hitting cinemas on a regular basis. We had studios like New Line - who released this movie - who were like "sci-fi killer dog? And no one suspects? So... like one of those trash 450 page horror novels you get at the airport? GREEN LIGHT." I mean, this is a $6 million movie. There are about four sets, and the rest is spent on talent, which is kind of sweet, actually. And they made a profit of some sort if Wikipedia is to be believed.
But, make no mistake - this movie is absolutely terrible.
*it usually tells me more about a viewer's expectations of the way they think a movie is supposed to be versus what the movie is