The Plague Dogs

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jon Martin, Oct 4, 2004.

  1. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    I know it was talked about not too long ago, but it looks like the animated film THE PLAGUE DOGS (the follow up to WATERSHIP DOWN) is available on DVD, in region 1.

    I was in a Media Play and saw it among the $8.99 and under DVDs. It is copyright 2004 from a company called Trinity (anyone ever heard of them?).

    Surprisingly, it is a great transfer. Full frame, but bright and clean. Not a VHS to DVD transfer.

    Don't know the legality of it as I can't find it online on any stores, but if Media Play carries it, other stores may.
     
  2. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    It is a fantastic film - it made a huge impression on me when I first saw it at the age of 17. I've heard some internet rumours that the film has been edited, but I'd have to pick it up and trust my old memories to be sure.

    In my opinion, it is a much better film than Watership Down, which remains to this one of the greatest books I've ever read. The movie simply cannot measure up.
     
  3. DaveRU

    DaveRU Stunt Coordinator

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    What's the running time?

    Is it the uncut 99 minute version?

    Thanks
    Dave
     
  4. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
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    Odd. I know that Anchor Bay released the film in Europe, but couldn't get the rights in the US. It seems odd that a small, unknown company could get the rights and release it at such a low price. Hmmmmmmm.
     
  5. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    Like I said, I can't find it on Amazon so I don't know what type of release it is. There wasn't even an address for Trinity on the box.
     
  6. Joshua Lane

    Joshua Lane Second Unit

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  7. Charlie O.

    Charlie O. Supporting Actor

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    Any reviews on this?
     
  8. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    Up here in Canada, Wal-Mart carries Trinity's releases of A FORCE OF ONE, THE OCTAGON and CHARLIE CHAN AND THE CURSE OF THE DRAGON QUEEN for around $13 each. Each one has some extra called "How The Movies Changed Hollywood" or some such ridiculous title, plus trailers, I think. Now that I look at their website, I believe I've seen THE GREAT SMOKEY ROADBLOCK somewhere too. I'm somewhat suspicious that this company actually owns the rights to these films. Not that any of them would command premium licencing fees, but maybe this isn't that far removed from what PFE was doing with MONSTER SQUAD and CONVOY. Who knows?

    I would, however, like to get my hands on Trinity's release of the Orson Welles-narrated LATE GREAT PLANET EARTH largely because I've read so much wonderfully vicious criticism of it and I've gotten many laughs out of the work of the crackpot right-wing author on whose book it was based, the fear-mongering religious screwball Hal LIndsay. I suspect the (coincidentally named?) Trinity edition will hardly be a great treatment, but for a film so reputedly dunderheaded, I can make an exception.

    I'd get THE PLAGUE DOGS, too, once I can find more reviews as to the quality.
     
  9. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
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    I finally found a copy of PLAGUE DOGS at my local Media Play and snapped it up. As Jon Martin originally said, the transfer is surprisingly good. It's full frame, but I'm not sure if it was originally animated that way or not. The framing doesn't seem to be compromised that I can tell. The film is much darker in tone than WATERSHIP DOWN, but still very well done. It's more than worth the $8.99 I paid for it.
     
  10. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    What was the running time? Was it 103 minutes as indicated on the Trinity website or was it shorter? I have been reading that all DVD versions of the movie are cut versions with a running time of approx. 82 minutes. The original running time was said to be approx. 100 minutes.
     
  11. DaveRU

    DaveRU Stunt Coordinator

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    I want to know the running time too, the UK Anchor Bay R2 and the Dutch R2 are all the cut version as well [​IMG]
     
  12. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    I think they are probably legit.

    I watched CHARLIE CHAN and it the transfer was fairly good (although full frame). All the films were released by American Studios and the documentary on the DVDs (I guess all of them) is VERY good.

    It is a thirty minute documentary on how American Studios in the late 70's and early 80's financed films through tax shelter (they had a plane fly around between Christmas and New Years collecting checks from businesses that needed write offs), made the films, four walled them (renting theatres for $500 a week, spending millions on advertising, collecting all of the box office) and how this caused Hollywood to change their distribution pattern. Fascinating stuff. Better than the film.

    So, since everyone pretty much from the studio is interviewed, I'd guess that Trinity did get the rights to their catalogue.
     
  13. JeffMc

    JeffMc Supporting Actor

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    The Trinity release of PLAGUE DOGS is the same edited print with the toned down ending, etc. that we've seen in the US for years. Still worth it, though, for the low price.
     
  14. Richard N

    Richard N Extra

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    I believe that the region 4 release of the Plague Dogs is the complete, uncut version. Does anyone think theres a possibility that we'll see the uncut version in region 1 land any time soon? I'm really eager to see the film but don't wanna import it before having seen it.
     
  15. Craig99

    Craig99 Extra

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    What I really didn't appreciate about this otherwise impressive film was how it betrayed the original Richard Adams novel by messing with the book's actual ending. The author concluded with a powerful and joyous affirmation that, despite all odds, happy endings occasionally DO happen in this often dark and tragic world. Why the filmmakers decided to trash that message is totally beyond me.
    The film of Watership Down, on the other hand, remained remarkably true to the book's emotional ending.
     
  16. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    WHAT?

    They already changed 'The Girl in a Swing' in an inacceptable way. I sort of liked what they did with 'Watership Down', and I always hesitated to see 'The Plague Dogs', because the book was my favourite among Adams' books, one of my all time favourites even.

    The ending is essential to the book, including the way it is introduced to the reader beforehand. If the film isn't faithful to that, it loses part of the whole message.

    I'm glad I didn't waych it yet. (I will not elaborate, to avoid spoiling the book and/or the film, but I won't buy this film of one of my favourite novels and stories.)


    Cees
     
  17. Jay Pennington

    Jay Pennington Screenwriter

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    That was depressing enough as it was. If that was toned down...
     
  18. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    To the Isle of Dog, perhaps?

    No, that's not the ending in the novel.
    I would advise anyone to read it.

    Not just for the ending, but it will also make you better understand (I'm sure) the nature of what they did to those dogs.


    Cees
     
  19. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    I found the ending of the movie to be more consistent with the rest of the story than Adam's original ending. The dogs were in a hopeless situation from beginning to end. Adam's original ending to the story just didn't ring true to me. It was almost like he needed to have a happy ending to somehow make up for all of the depressing events that he subjected Rowf and Snitter to.

    For me, this was one of the rare occasions where I liked the movie more than the book. THE PLAGUE DOGS had to be one of the most boring books I have ever read other than SHARDIK, another Richard Adams book. As I read TPD, I found it hard to believe that it was done by the same author who had written the wonderful story of WATERSHIP DOWN. I thought he must of had an off period when he wrote TPD. Then I tried to read SHARDIK and that experience confirmed to me that Adams had fluked out when he wrote WATERSHIP DOWN.

    One of these days, if I'm ever suffering from insomnia, I might re-read THE PLAGUE DOGS and see if my opinion of it changes with age. In the mean time, I would like to see the film again. Unfortunately, it seems an uncut version of the film is unavailable in region 1, so I guess I'm out of luck when it comes to this film.
     
  20. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    As I said before, I happen to like The Plague Dogs (the novel), but I totally agree with your opinion of Shardik.
    The Girl on a Swing was slightly better than Shardik, IMO, but never reached the level of the first (two, as far as I'm concerned [​IMG] ).


    Cees
     

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