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Dog Soldiers  (2002)

Cast: Sean Pertwee, Kevin McKidd, Emma Cleasby, Liam Cunningham, Thomas Lockyer, Darren Morfitt
Director: Neil Marshall
U.S. Distribution: Artisan
U.S. Release Date: 7/20/02 (Cinemuerte Film Festival, San Francisco)
Running Time: 1:45
MPAA Rating: R

2002 has already been a very good year for horror cinema (Signs, Red Dragon, The Ring, etc.) and now along comes a British film which may be as good and gory as any.

Dog Soldiers cannot help but be compared to the Predator movies, a testosterone-fueled soldier film with an interesting assortment of characters and some good monsters, a nice remote setting and a whole lot of blood and guts ("sausages!?"). And all for just a fraction of the cost of the SFX-loaded, big-budget bombs which are force-fed to American horror-lovers. This was a labor of love for Neil Marshall and it shows. He directed, wrote and edited the film; and more than likely came up with the terrific tagline, "Six soldiers... Full moon... No chance."

Others have compared this film to An American Werewolf in London, Alien and Jaws, but I think it owes just as much to Night of the Living Dead and the traditional children's tale of "The Three Little Pigs". Only this time around, the wolves are BIG, BAD and BLOODTHIRSTY.

With a more impacting and memorable title, this Dog might have been a bigger hit here in the States. ("Night of the Werewolves" was also considered and it wasn't much better.)

 The word "bone" is used many times in Dog Soldiers. It is British slang for "not very good", according to the producer commentary included on the U.S. DVD release.

© 2002, Delton Perrodin

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