Zeegrade Reviews

Zeegrade Reviews
Movies for scumbags.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Monster Dog (1984)

     The one thing about Claudio Fragasso that really pisses me off is that this talentless cocksucker thinks he's actually a competent director.  This guy consistently churns out shit films, one after another, and if you ask him, a la his commentary on the Zombi 3 DVD after he replaced the late Lucio Fulci, this wine-soaked hack actually thinks he improved the film when he took over!  Troll 2 -- widely considered the worst film of all time -- was actually the piss-flavored frosting on his shitcake career.  Monster Dog was filmed during his "prime" and by prime I mean Fragasso was at his maximum suckage level.
     Starring Alice Cooper as rock star Vincent Raven who returns almost twenty years later to his creepy childhood home to record his new music video.  For some inexplicable reason, his lines are dubbed over by another actor.  Why?  I guess Alice acquired a thick accent sometime in the early eighties.  Vincent's house has been left under the care of the elder Joss? (it's hard to hear the exact pronunciation) that he hardly remembers what he looks like yet harassed endlessly for him to make malts.  Joss is preparing a tray of sandwiches and orange Fanta for the arrival of Vincent and his crew when he's greeted ominously by this pack outside the front door:

Which one is the Monster Dog!  DAMN YOU FRAGASSO!

     It isn't long before Vincent is stopped by a police roadblock due to the "mad dogs".  What kind of fucking town is this?  Shouldn't Animal Control be handling it?  Is this Indiana?  Sheriff Morrison lets them through after reminiscing about Vincent's prolific bladder (don't ask) and warns them again about the dogs that have already killed five people.  Somewhere, Michael Vick is watching this movie with clenched teeth and both fists tightened so hard they start to bleed.  As he's leaving the Sheriff reminds him that the town hasn't forgotten what happened to Vincent's father.  Back in the camper, Vincent doesn't want to talk about it when asked by his girlfriend Sandra what the Sheriff was referring to.  I'm just dripping with sweat from the suspense.  Sheriff Morrison -- who's so fat that he could feed every dog withing a twenty mile radius -- and his deputy are mauled to death by this perturbed pooch:

"Tell that motherfucker Cesar Millan he's next!"

     After being warned countless times about mad dogs you would think that any interaction with them would be avoided at all costs, right?  Well, that kinda logic is for normal people.  Vincent hits a dog on the foggy road and proceeds to jump out of the camper to check on its condition.  One of his crew, Frank, tries to console him by saying that it wasn't his fault.  These fuckers are now responsible for seven deaths including the sheriff and deputy!  Where's your sense of revenge?  Before Vincent smashes the dog's skull with a rock, Frank sees what appears to be a bloody person walking behind some bushes.  Turns out it's a bloody old man who tells them that now that the fog has lifted "he" will command the hounds and that they will all die.  The crazy old man wanders back into the woods just in time to be seemingly killed by the dogs.  Vincent goes off to fetch him, ARMED TO THE TEETH:

Luckily, the Monster Dog's weakness was a loose hex nut.

The Monster Dog pops up and they quickly high-tail it the fuck outta there.  Sorry old man.  At least there's sandwiches and orange Fanta waiting for them back at the house! 
     The crew make it to Vincent's childhood home and they all act as if they're not being hunted by  pack of murderous dogs.  Vincent wanders the house looking for Joss who is nowhere to be found.  Vincent sees that it's a full moon (gasp!) and investigates the house again after he grabs a shotgun that is covered in so much cobweb that it must have been left there during the Bronze Age. Vincent explores the large house and I'm suddenly reminded of a certain survival horror game:

In the meantime while the rest of the crew stuff their faces, Angela has a strange feeling that the warning the old man told them was right and that they are in danger staying here.  Later that evening she has a vivid dream (her t-shirt has "DREAM" emblazoned on it) where she wakes up next to the corpses of her friends and the old man chasing her through the house telling her that Vincent will kill her.  She doesn't believe him and searches for Vincent whom she finds in a rocking chair facing away from her.  When she places her hand on his shoulder he hops up and reveals his face:

  "Hey man, can I bum a square off ya?

She awakens screaming, waking the rest of the crew.  When Vincent asks what's wrong Angela glares apprehensively at him.  It was a dream.  Didn't she read her shirt?  Angela tells him that he changed into something and killed everyone in the house except her.  Vincent asks her what he changed into and she replies "a werewolf".  Judging by the pic above I'd say a werewolf with severe depression.  Everyone has a big fucking laugh...except Vincent. 
     Sandra finds Vincent later that evening in the same rocking chair that Angela saw him in her dream.  This time when he turns around he's still normal.  Vincent is reading a book about the "scientific realities" of werewolves which provides as evidence a picture of Lon Chaney in the 1941 film, The Wolf Man:

Claudio Fragasso: ever the stickler for historical accuracy.

I guess all of the myths and theories dating back to the 15th century were too deep of waters for Fragasso to wade into.  Vincent tells Sandra that whatever they saw in the woods when they went to look for the old man was anything but normal.  She doesn't believe in werewolves and sites the fact that because he's a rock star and can board a plane and travel anywhere within hours as her proof.  Hard to argue with a sound theory like that.  Vincent decides to come clean and tell her that twenty years ago a pack of wild dogs with above-average intelligence killed a bunch of families.  The town blamed Vincent's father for the deaths because of his "heart affliction" that caused him to go a little feral when the moon was full.  It didn't help his cause when the townspeople found him covered in blood next to the mutilated corpse of a calf.  He was murdered by an angry mob that stabbed him with pitchforks then set him on fire.  Sandra heads to bed but not before looking at a creepy painting of a young Vincent and his parents accompanied by a beastly dog hiding in the bushes beside them.  
     On to more pressing matters.  There's a music video to shoot!  Vincent and his crew record the video for his song "See Me In The Mirror":

    It's like a gothic version of "Thriller" minus the molestations.

During filming Angela sees a bloody form pressing against a window that eventually breaks through the glass and comes crashing down onto the set.  It's the corpse of the caretaker, Joss.  The rest of the crew go upstairs to investigate leaving a distraught Angela alone who sees the old man that has been haunting her in her dreams.  She wanders outside the house.  Vincent elects to go look for her while Sandra calls the police.  Suddenly the lines are cut and a band of misfit townies armed with guns are looking to reenact the murder of Vincent's father twenty years ago:

The bane of any pack of intelligent assassin dogs.
The makeshift posse pulls up to the house as Vincent's crew packs to leave.  One of the men tells Sandra that he knew Vincent's dad and asks if they could let them in until Vincent returns.  Every word is dripping in sarcasm and yet Sandra still let's them come in.  The cumulative IQ of this town must be below one hundred.  A moment later, one of the men shoots the tire of the camper as the others subdue Vincent's crew.  The leader of the gang tells Sandra that he has a silver bullet intended for Vincent's heart.  She realizes that these are the same men that killed Vincent's father and the leader confirms it and adds that it was their mistake for letting his son go without thinking he would be a werewolf as well.  Sandra still doesn't believe this despite the literal bodies of evidence she's encountered in the last twenty-four hours.  
     Vincent finds Angela crouched down in the middle of nowhere.  He takes her back to the house while Angela tries to tell him about her vision.  He doesn't listen.  They arrive back at the house and the posse leader is waiting behind the locked front door with his pistol ready to shoot Vincent in the heart as soon as he opens it.  They both bang on the front door for someone to let them in when Vincent tells Angela to wait here.  One of the posse flings the door open and the leader shoots Angela in the stomach thinking it was Vincent.  She dies in Sandra's arms.  The posse pursues Vincent as the leader tells one of his men, Ed to kill the rest of the crew.  Ed, of course, takes a simple process of simply shooting the remaining four crew members and decides to draw it out by speculating on the sexuality of Frank.  Vincent is chased onto the roof of the house that consists of a chicken-wire fence enclosure.  A pack of wild dogs makes it way back to the front of the house.  Thankfully, Ed tells Frank that he has to kill him instead of just pulling the trigger and gives Sandra enough time to stab him in the foot with a fireplace poker.  Frank takes the shotgun from Ed's hands.  Frank stops Sandra from hurting Ed because "they're not killers".  Obviously, neither is Ed.  
     Back on the roof, one of the posse turns around to find Vincent aiming the barrel of the shotgun at his chest.  He shoots him.  Frank heads out the front door to look for Vincent when he's mauled by the pack of dogs:

 Frank never told anyone about his kinky dog fetish.

The funny thing is that the pack consist of a wide variety of dogs.  It's almost as if Fragasso just rounded up any dog he could find and told the cameraman to focus on the German Shepard rather than the smaller breeds.  It really looks silly.  Back upstairs, Vincent gets the bead on another member of the posse.  He calls to him and when the man turns around...HEADSHOT:

 Vincent's shotgun only had a 7% chance for a critical.

The leader comes firing from a hallway and Vincent shoots him as well.  Downstairs the pack of dogs swarm through the house and attack Ed who, in an attempt to defend himself, somehow manages to light himself on fire when he smashes a lamp into one of the dogs.  Engulfed in flames, he drives through a window.  Stop, drop and dive through a window?  Frank is still getting mauled as Sandra tries to get a clear shot.  The dogs stop attacking as a bloody Frank lay dying on the floor.  A werewolf (or is it Monster Dog?) rips open the front door and it brought its own back-lighting:

Did the entire fucking moon follow him to the doorstep?

Jordan (a crew member I hardly got a name for) takes the shotgun from Sandra and opens fire.  When he's out of bullets he decides to beat it to death with the butt of the gun.  Sandra and Marilou (another inconspicuous crew member) flee upstairs with the dogs in pursuit.  The werewolf or Monster Dog drags Jordan out the front door while Sandra and Marilou are trapped in a bathroom.  The monster-dog-wolf-whateverthefuck smashes its head through the door and Sandra decides to go out in the hallway to stab it with a pair of scissors.  Instead Vincent grabs her arm and tells Marilou to follow him.  
     The three lock themselves in a bedroom.  Marilou accuses Vincent of being the Monster Dog (she actually uses that phrase instead of werewolf) because the beast and Vincent are never together.  She starts pounding on his chest until collapsing into his arms in a sobbing fit.  Sandra wakes up later that evening and decides to step back out into the foyer where she sees Vincent surrounded by the pack of dogs that seem to be subdued by his command.  Sandra approaches him and Vincent is amazed that the dogs are all calmed down.  Am I to believe that he of all people would be shocked by this considering what he knows about his own father?  He tells her to wake up Marilou so they can leave now.
     The three get into the car driven by the posse when Vincent discovers that there are no keys for the ignition.  Vincent and Sandra go back to the house to see which one of the four bodies has them.  Marilou is left in the car.  Sandra finds the keys but Vincent is ambushed by the leader who, not only was still alive, but stayed in the same spot as Vincent shot him at!  I assume he knew that Vincent would eventually return to him, no?  Oh yeah, this is logic according to Fragasso.  Sandra takes a risky shot with a sawed-off shotgun and kills the leader.  They race to the car, start the engine and drive off.  Sandra, thinking it's over, asks Marilou a question.  After she's met with a moment of silence, Marilou's corpse leans over the front seat startling Sandra and Vincent.  Suddenly, Vincent is bit by the Monster Dog from the back.  

 Must of been hiding in the cup holder.

Come on!  So, they didn't see this enormous fucking monster dog in the back seat of the car along with Marilou's body?  Vincent yells for Sandra to open the door and jump from the vehicle.  She does.  A car crash is heard followed by a gunshot.  An injured Sandra makes her way back to the vehicle which is flipped upside down.  Marilou's body lays on the ground but Vincent is nowhere to be seen.  She stumbles along until somebody grabs her.  It's the old man that was harassing Angela and he tells her that Vincent's dad bit him in the neck and now that he bit Vincent, he will be the "new king in the house of the dead forever".  Where in the fuck is he going with that statement?  The old man keels over.  I have to say that the more disheveled Sandra gets, the sexier she looks:

Milk my bone monster doggy style!

She finds Vincent who hands her the shotgun and tells her to shoot him before he transforms.  Vincent begins to change into either a Monster Dog or Sloth from The Goonies.  You decide:

"I needz muh Moutin' Dew!"

After watching him continue his painful transformation, Sandra finally decides to end his misery just as he's about to attack her.  She collapses in sadness realizing that he wasn't crazy and knew all along about his family curse.  A montage of the film follows along with the song "Identity Crisis" that accompanied the video at the beginning of the movie in case you forgot what you just watched for the last one hour and twenty-two minutes.  
     I understand that you need a certain amount of suspension of belief while watching some films but this one needs you to undergo a lobotomy to enjoy it.  After all the abuse that the old man endured while as the Monster Dog I don't get how he could be killed by a single gunshot after he bit Vincent.  If he loses his power by biting another person in the neck then, by that very reasoning, wouldn't Vincent still be alive after Sandra shot him?  Whatever.  Alice Cooper does a pretty competent job for a first-timer and the dubbing somehow makes it work.  I guess the reason why this is dubbed is that originally the film was released specifically for a Spanish audience, titled Leviatan

 When it was released on the VHS market here in the States the original dialogue was missing, hence the dubbed Alice Cooper.  I also enjoyed Victoria Vera that played Vincent's girlfriend Sandra.  She has a natural beauty that becomes quite striking as the film proceeds.  Vera would remain a staple of Spanish television well after this film.  As for the film...it sucks.  Scant gore, no nudity and not very muchi n terms of engaging storyline or cinematography.  However, you wouldn't know it by reading the various eight to ten star reviews from the collection of ignorant dumbfucks that populate IMDb.  This "Dog" should immediately be put down...and Fragasso too while I think about it. 


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