Thursday, March 15, 2007
Bow Wow Wow, Yippee Yo, Yippee Yay
Today's first offering on the double feature is: Devil Dog: the Hound of Hell, a hybrid of the demonic kid and scary critter genres. One part Omen plus one part Old Yeller (the rabid frothing bits), this movie was a staple on WGN when I was in junior high and high school. They had to have shown it at least once a month; though it feels, in retrospect, like more. And I always watched it. It was just that bad.
The movie opens with satanic cultists in aviator shades going to a kennel in search of a demonic dog. And wouldn't ya know it--the puppy mill has a demonic German Shepherd (this must've been the period when we were supposed to be afraid of them; depending on when it was made it could've just as easily been a Rottweiler, Doberman, a Saint Bernard or a Pit Bull.) So they get their dog and take it to their sanctuary and have a ceremony with it--to imbue it with even more evil, I'm supposing.
Richard Crenna plays the dad and Yvette Mimieux is the mom in this horrid little flick. When we meet them, he's driving the family home where they find their dog dead in the street. In the midst of the kids' grief, a vegetable truck pulls up. Not only does this truck have farm fresh produce, it also carries the object of their doom--the devil dog. The kids take the plutonian pup inside where it's housed in a cardboard box.
The maid doesn't like the pup in a box. There are extreme close ups on the dog's eyes in the box staring at that maid, then her mumu bursts into flames. This to me is the most interesting bit of the movie. Take that you neo-marxists! The workers may control the means of production--but Satan controls the devil dog!
Ok--lets gloss over the mid-section of the movie which is perilously dull. Mom becomes a slut, banging Dad's friends and neighbors. Dad is convinced that this is all due to the dog. Why you ask? Good question. Dad was out working on his lawnmower one day, with the devil dog near by. Suddenly he gets this intense urge to plunge his hand into the whirring spinning mower blades. And the dog was staring at him. The urge to mutilate himself could have nothing to do with his leisure suits, bad hair, slut wife and hideous kids.
Then a few neighbors die and the kids become mouthy and uncontrollable. This is, of course, all the dog's fault. He goes to his doctor (?) about this. The doc gives him a scrip for tranquilizers and encourages him to take slutty slutty bang bang to Hawaii for a vacation. Dad opts out for this and decides to take the dog off some place and shoot it. He fires at it repeatedly and misses--because it's, ya know, satanic and can deflect bullets. He leaves the dog in the wilds and drives home. Only to find the devil dog waiting for him in the yard.
Okay--so modern medicine and Smith & Wesson can't help him. Who can? That's right--the crazy lady at the local bookstore. She tells him to go to South America, find some shaman guru guy who can help. He flies to South America and indeed does find the High Father of Devil Dog Knowledge who draws a pattern on his palm to aid his battle against the forces of canine evil. By the time Dad is back, dog is pissed. And they have their face-off in a nuclear power facility (don't ask me, I'm just recapping.) The dog reveals its true satanic form (which is like a full body suit that looks oddly like a jheri curl wig with a couple of lame-assed horns attached to its head.) Most of this "battle" is about Dad trying to flash his palm tattoo at the dog. He eventually does and the dog goes up in flames.
Ahhh it's over. The family is going on a vacation. They're getting into the car, when the son reveals that the devil dog is one of 10 puppies! Instead of going off and having old school throwdowns with the other devil dogs, Dad gets in the car and drives them off into the sunset.
Devil Dog: Hound of Hell
Dogs are not good gifts.
Your life will go straight to hell.
Bad dog! Bad, bad dog!