Thursday, June 15, 2017

Italian Dark Universe: Monster Dog

I bid you greetings and usher you back to Italian Dark Universe because...shared universes always turn out well. Look at AVP and Freddy Vs Jason. Such cinematic delights they were. Y'know I have witnessed titanic tainted turds. I have waded through some putrified piles of puppy poop and then there is this movie. What do you get when you cross the Godfather of Horror Rock with an illustrious Italian Horror director?! Well normally if we were speaking of Mario Bava, Dario Argento or Lucio Fulci I would say an awesome sauce of film making. Alas, we have none of those men up to bat. Hell we don't even have Bruno Mattei at the helm. Nope, instead we got Troll 2's own Claudio Fargasso (Women's Prison Massacre, Rats: Night of Terror, Cop Game, Zombi 3, Strike Commando 2 and Shocking Dark). This is Monster Dog a.k.a. The Bite and Lord of the Dogs.

Welcome to Alice's Contractual Nightmare...

OoO scary music with a red background and title fonts. Now I am not expecting gold but honestly this film feels like I didn't get coal in my stocking as much as a heaping collection of reindeer crap. Of all music sensations, Vince Raven (Alice Cooper of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Roadie, Prince of Darkness, Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, Wayne's World and Dark Shadows) is finished with his latest rock video (that was when MTV stood for Music Television, younger readers) and his girlfriend Sandra (Victoria Vera of Rosalia, Canas y barro, Rebeldia, Under Seige, Black Jack, Freddie of the Jungle and Private Crimes) alongside the film crew of said video suggest they film in Vince's hometown for the next hit off his latest album. We are in 1984, people. This kind of welcome home would be pitchforks and torches, possibly some Latin chanting while waving bibles and/or crucifixes.

Sheriff Bluto and Deputy Andy Gibb patrol the streets.

Former schoolmate and childhood chum is now Sheriff Morrison (Ricardo Palacios of Ragan, El Condor, Secret Intentions, The Man Called Noon, The House on Garabaldi Street and The Beasts' Carnival) greets Vince but warns him of the late night shooting would be problematic as there have been vicious dog attacks and they should stay on their toes. Now the fact there are 5 crew members shooting this video really bugged me and proved once again Fargasso had next to no budget. Seriously, five people working on a professional video shoot?

No sooner the main cast has been warned in lesser Crazy Ralph tradition, the law of the town is killed by the wild dogs. They ate the sheriff and the deputy!!! Now who will confiscate pot from teens or leer and peep on the kids at Make Out Point?!

I'm gonna drive the hell out of this scene.

The jaunt to the house is interrupted when the driver accidentally runs over a German Shepard with jump cuts. Not wanting it to suffer another single minute of being in this film I mean in pain, Vince cracks its skull with a rock. As the crew is paused of the death an old man spattered in blood attacks them announcing they will all die and then flees to the woods. So if we are to believe this lycanthrope can shapeshift...why a German Shepard? Also was his clothes nearby or do they just shift up inside of him when he is in dog form? Well the cast splits up and you know what happens from there.

Vince thinks he was bit at some point in the film and tells Sandra he cannot live that nightmare of chasing parked cars and licking his balls all the while not falling off the couch.

Other than unusual film choices, Alice Cooper may have created 26 albums, 48 singles, 11 live albums and 21 compilation albums. Six of which went platinum in the US and 2 additional went gold.
With the typical lack of continuity, editing and just decent storytelling, this film had potential. I am still curious how a rocker got dressed like a soccer dad between shoots but that was the least of my worries.

Alice Cooper has been dubbed over with a guy that sounds like he is trying desperately to be a hybrid of Raymond Burr and Edward Mannix. The blocking was terrible, the werewolf was an dry ice shrouded puppet and the rest of the cast is Italian with the exception of Cooper. Cast and directed by Italians, shot in Spain you get the feeling it was never meant for the land of the living. While the musical score was genuinely creepy, the pace was fair I would recommend this film to MST3K or IncognitoCinema Warriors XP for riffing delight.

Grr.  This is the best the puppet could do.  Grr.