Monster Dog

February 10, 2013 at 2:16 am (4 Heads, Monster Dog) (, , , , , , , , , )

Monster Dog – 1984 – Spain

Monster Dog is a Spanish production starring Alice Cooper, which I suspect was never intended for U.S. release. Evidence of this: Cooper’s English dialogue is dubbed by a different actor. The history of this flick is probably interesting, but information is scarce. Apparently, director Claudio Fragasso (alias Clyde Anderson) befriended Cooper due to a mutual interest in horror movies and golf.

Monster Dog begins with a laughable music video by Vincent Raven (Cooper). Ladies fawn as he imitates James Bond, Billy the Kid, Sherlock Holmes, and Jack the Ripper. At least Vincent admits the video is dumb as he drives to his ancestral manor to shoot a better one. Upon arriving, the manor’s caretaker is missing and killer dog packs roam the misty countryside. After another music video, deranged hillbillies appear, call Vincent a werewolf, and try to kill him. Wearing a tight leather vest and eye makeup, Vincent is both foppish and badass as he stalks the hillbillies with a shotgun. Meanwhile, dogs devour the music video crew. Vincent and his girlfriend flee the manor in a car. Just as the girlfriend sighs “the nightmare is finally over,” the biggest dog of all lunges from the backseat and mauls the couple. The girlfriend is thrown clear of the ensuing car wreck. Wandering in a daze, she finds Vincent transforming into a werewolf. As he staggers about piteously, she shoots him dead.

It’s a lot of work to make sense of Monster Dog and it’s not really worth it. Creepy portraiture alludes to the lycanthropy in Vincent’s family. But that doesn’t explain the giant demonic dog charging around with its head inside out, or why a psychic girl dreams of a blood-smeared old man. At least the atmosphere is engrossing. The manor’s décor is uniquely sparse, and the scrubby foggy countryside looks like a war zone.

Monster Dog’s most memorable part is Alice Cooper’s infectious rock theme. Eventually, I won’t remember anything about this flick other than the song’s lyrics. “Sometimes, I’m on a case. Sometimes, I’m shooting bad dudes. Sometimes, I’m slashing the face. Sometimes, I’m looking for clues.”

Rating: 4/10 Shrunken Heads. I awarded a bonus head for Monster Dog’s remarkably shameless product placement. I’m not sure PepsiCo Inc. even asked for it.

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