For Love of
Sausage or When Brains and Braun Make Babies
A Review/Ponderance of the Dog Soldiers DVD by Mike Meyer
It’s a real chin scratcher when you think of all the great sci-fi movies
ever made and realize that they were good because they were really something else.
Aliens was really a Vietnam movie. The Day the Earth Stood Still was
a huge allegory. Star Wars a classic opera. Though not science fiction,
Dog Soldiers falls into that category of “it’s really a good this,
because actually it’s a that”. And goddamn is it a great freaking
“that”. Don’t let the cover art, the direct to video release,
or any other of the normal detractors fool you. This movie lives up to the
lofty praise tacked onto the trailer.
For those out of the know, Dog Soldiers is a story of a young, promising soldier
Cooper (Kevin McKidd, best known as the clean cut Tommy from Trainspotting) who
after failing an entrance test into a special operations unit, is sent into the
lush forests of Scotland with a bunch of other spicy mouthed Brits soldiers for
a war games exercise. However, this rag tag bunch of lads have no idea
their opponent really is…(you ready?)….a pack of 10-foot tall bloodthirsty
werewolves! HALLELUIAH! Werewolves have made a return to cinema in
brilliant form. With this and Ginger Snaps, the foreign horror market has
made these forgotten horror icons their million dollar babies. But Alice
Cooper references aside, this movie was phenomenal. Why? Even if the werewolves
were removed, you would have had a phenomenal tale of trust, camaraderie, and
above all respect for life. That’s right, it’s really a war
movie. This movie goes to great lengths to assure that it’s not just
about kicking werewolf ass, taking names, and throwing in some biting Cockney
quips every few minutes. In the tradition of the Alien films, the makers
of this film really try to do deal with a meaty story outside of the bloodshed.
And goddamn if that’s not a daunting task. This movie piles
on pounds of exposed intestines, blood, and a enough exposed human inner narst
to make this Italian zombie movie fan cheer. And it’s hilarious in
that the plot of the film blasts gratuitous violence while displaying it in truckloads.
And not really in a “you see how terrible this is” kind of way.
It acknowledges how much fun watching people get torn to pieces actually
is, while maintaining that it’s still something not to be pursued.
The extras on this disk are great too, the featurette being the highlight. It
gives you the lowdown on the intellectual element of the film, interviewing the
actors, writer/director Neil Marshall, and producer David E. Allen, all of them
I wanted to meet. Because not only are they all engrossingly smart to watch,
but they’re all huge horror movie fans who looked like they had an absolute
blast shooting a man vs. werewolf firefight in the woods. Plus, the designer
gives the lowdown on what went into making the werewolves, the best horror design
I’ve seen in a while especially considering nothing was digitally augmented.
For the director-in-training, each creative figurehead that speaks on this
featurette has magnificent insight into filmmaking, specifically horror, that
you won’t get in other featurettes. In all, this DVD satisfies any
and all wants and needs of a horror fanatic and is just a fantastic ride for the
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