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Dog Soldiers - as good as American Werewolf in London (1 Viewer)

Simon Massey

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Well, with all the Star Wars build-up, I actually managed to get chance to see another film, called Dog Soldiers This is a low budget British horror film, but the trailers didn't really do the film justice - the film is just a good laugh from start to finish!
The story concerns a group of soldiers on a training exercise in the Scottish Highlands, whilst England are playing Germany (this will mean more to UK viewers when watching it)Suddenly, they are being attacked by werewolves and taking refuge in an empty farmhouse, whose occupants are mysteriously missing (wonder where they are ?;) ). The werewolves surround the house, and its up to the soldiers to try and keep them out whilst they figure out how the hell they are going to get out of this.
And that's it. What the film lacks in plot, and occasionally hammy acting (and some cheesy dialogue - "they think its all over - it is now"), it more than makes up for with tension, inventive use of effects on a limited budget (most of the shots of the werewolves are in silhouette, or in lots of shadow, which is very effective), and humour. Sean Pertwee, who I have never really liked in most films he is been in, is a highlight of the film, and the way the soldiers keep the wolves at bay as they run out of ammunition adds to the tension (and often the humour). The film is also extremely gory (I am surprised the BBFC didn't cut it), but this is often used for humour as well as horror (witness one of the characters trying to put his intestines back in after being slashed by a wolf - it is funny, honestly ).
This is just a great horror film, and I felt it more than lived up to other great werewolf films. I recently saw An American Werewolf in London for the first time recently, which I really enjoyed, and I would say this is just as good. By the way, there is also a transformation scene in Dog Soldiers, but they don't try and match or better the similar scene in American Werewolf (they probably didn't have the budget for it, and it wasn't necessary to try anyway).
 

Julie K

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witness one of the characters trying to put his intestines back in after being slashed by a wolf - it is funny, honestly
Oh, I trust you on that, believe me. I know very well how things like that can be absolutely hilarious. :)
I hope the movie makes it over here soon. I very much want to see it.
 

Justin_S

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This is one film I have really been looking forward to seeing! Werewolfs are very rare in the horror genre nowadays, and DOG SOLDIERS looks absolutely excellent! I hope it gets proper U.S. distribution, and soon!
 

Matt Pelham

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Yeah, the new issue of Fangoria (with Jason X on the cover) has a very good article on this movie. No digital effects whatsoever it mentions. Definitely worth reading, can't wait for this one.
 

Simon Massey

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obviously because they were on a low budget, the effects are limited, but the editing and darkness actually enhance the effects, making the film much better.
 

Richard WWW

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I've been dying to see this film for a month. Still no release date yet for the U.S., tho. Dammit.
 

Rex Bachmann

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Simon Massey wrote:
Maybe the humor came across better for Brits than for Yanks. (Of course, even the slang that wasn't "bleeped" was a bit unfathomable. "Born"(???), or whatever soldier Joe kept saying, was so obscure they had to explain it to the woman (and, thereby, to the audience). What's it from?) The obvious humor I caught were the Hong Kong kung-fu-film parallels, where "Spoon" first tries to "duke it out" with a werewolf then throws everything but the kitchen sink into the fray, where the werewolf snatches away the soldier's rifle, fires at him with it, and then throws it back into the house,and, finally, the tabloid ending with the "England beats Germany in 'football' " headline towering over the headline (with pictures) announcing the military troops' disastrous werewolf encounter.
As for "other great werewolf films", that is small company, indeed. The werewolf film is one that seems particularly difficult for film-makers to master. Make-up effects most often get in the way of audience credulity. Those presented here are pretty much standard; not better, not worse.
An okay film, but thoroughly standard stuff.
 

Frank Anderson

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I enjoyed it except for one thing.

The accents were so thick I had a very hard time understanding them. I know I missed some of the dialog because of it.
 

SteveGon

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Finally caught this one. :star: :star: :star:
Nothing really new, but tense and exciting.
Maybe the humor came across better for Brits than for Yanks.
I didn't have a problem with the humor - it's quite easy to get the gist of it with just a rudimentary knowledge of English society. However, those accents were a bit thick! :)
 

Dan Hitchman

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As good as American Werewolf in London????
NO FRIGGIN' WAY!, says I.
Dog Soldiers was very C-grade in its execution and re-hashed tired old cliches from many other better horror and army movies.
AWiL had a crack comedy director in John Landis (at the top of his game as this came out around the same time as his other hits The Blues Brothers and Trading Places) behind it and deftly blended the silly and horrific elements together (and was surprisingly touching in some scenes). Besides, it has a great "spoof" porno film thrown in for good measure. :emoji_thumbsup:
The SFX, however, were pretty darn good for a low budget film. I loved the comments of the producer on why they chose not to go with CGI and opted for "the old fashioned way" of practical prosthetics and animatronics. CGI sucks in most instances IMHO.
Dan
 

SteveGon

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Dog Soldiers was very C-grade in its execution and re-hashed tired old cliches from many other better horror and army movies.
I agree with you to some extent, but I don't mind the re-hashing of cliches as long as it's done well. I'm not saying the film couldn't have been improved. For instance, the female character could have been done away with completely by having the soldiers simply stumble upon the farmhouse. Little improvements like that would have made the film a genre classic.
 

Bruce Hedtke

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I would give a slight edge to AWiL for its camp. Dog Soldiers, while it ended up being somewhat funny and campy, didn't really strive for that. Either way, fun film and certainly deserves to be put along side some of the classics of the genre.

Bruce
 

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