September 19, 2009

DVD Review: Dog Soldiers (2002)

"The best werewolf movie since Silver Bullet. Period."
In Attendance- Me, Erin, The VG, and Cherrie.
Cast Members of Note- Sean Pertwee, Kevin McKidd, Emma Cleasby, and Liam Cunningham.

A squad of British Army blokes on a "routine" training mission (aren't they always routine) come upon the destroyed camp of their own Special Forces. Everyone is dead save for their leader, who is badly injured, and he starts talking about a pack of mean dogs or something. Like some angry dogs are going to take out an entire unit of the British SAS? Riiiiggghhht!

Well, I guess that is a pretty big dog...
Soon enough the dogs attack again, only this time they're Werewolves! Forced to flee or be ripped to tiny little cockney shreds, the soldiers catch a ride with some cute chick who takes them home with her, but it's not really her home. Or it might be. I was confused. Anyway, they're forced to hole up there and make a stand against the were-dogs, whom are really not happy at all to have had to chase their dinner so far. 

"I'm real mad at you guys!"
So the soldiers are stranded in a ramshackle house 50 miles from nowhere, badly injured, low on ammo, afraid, and missing the greatest football game of their lives. They also find themselves losing limbs and getting disemboweled, so I'm gonna have to guess that an England vs. Germany football match takes a back seat... Oh who am I kidding? Nothing takes a backseat to football in the U.K.

Here, a West Ham fan is being bitch slapped by a werewolf that prefers Manchester Untied.
Crazy inter-species violence and betrayal ensues. I won't spoil what happens next for you here, but suffice it to say that everyone gets torn to shreds, lots of things explode, and the English win their footy!

This season on Game of Thrones...
Dog Soldiers can proudly say it belongs along side of An American Werewolf in London, The Howling, and Silver Bullet as one of the few truly excellent Werewolf movies ever made. Yeah I know many will say Lon Chaney this, or Ginger Snaps that, but really, you can keep the cheese and teen angst, and give me some bad-ass-looking, mean Worgs any day. This is just a well-made, engaging movie that doesn't leave you feeling cheated at the end. 

I also love the nods to Bruce Campbell and H.G. Wells via character names, as well as the very sly references to Star Trek and An American Werewolf in London. I just love that Neil Marshall is a cool guy who likes to have his fun with his movies; he's the guy who gave us the awesome The Descent and Doomsday, after all.

"Eye see your point."
I've owned this on DVD for 5 years now, and this was the first time I've ever sat down and watched the whole movie. I NEVER leave movies sitting unwrapped/unwatched after I buy them, and I'm not really sure why I did it in this instance, and I am truly ashamed to have let such a great flick sit for so long. 

"Come at me, bro."
Why are there so few good Werewolf movies? Most of them seem to focus on the inner turmoil that people face when struck with Lycanthropy, and they try to humanize them. I'm fine with that, but why does it always come off so lame? Feral beasts are at their best when they just do their thing, and do it violently. Also, CGI is not necessary to make a Werewolf look good, nor is it preferred.

We love you,practical effects.
The wolves turn everything around them red with blood in this one, and it's plenty gory. Spilling guts, multiple lacerations and gashes, plenty of gun violence, biting... all sorts of good stuff is present here.

We get no nakedness, but we do at least get a woman wearing a tight shirt with some visible pokies. We takes what we can gets.

She could cut ice with those things.
"You just can't get past the dog, can you?" or "They were always here, I just unlocked the door." or "I'd torture him." Tons of great lines in this one.

Krazy Glue is awesome. Also, Werewolves are kinda smart... and tricky. Mean too.

Also, if you like the werewolves in Twilight, you wear panties. End of story.
This movie is a modern day Classic, without a doubt. Finally, after so long, a movie does Werewolves the complete justice that they deserve, and kept us on the edge of our seat all the while. It's well-made, stylish, bloody, action-packed, and fun. If you hunger for a real Werewolf movie, then this one is a must see. 


Dog Soldiers is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD.

*Addendum: In June 2015, Scream Factory will be releasing a Collector's Edition of Dog Soldiers on Blu-ray, which is an excellent thing.


  1. Yeah, I liked this a lot, too. Instead of asking why there are so few good werewolf movies, I would ask how come there are so many good British movies as compared to their American counterparts.

    At least, speaking aproximately the same language, the Hollywood types can't remake a UK movie and use the exact same script, only make it lamer.

    Actually, if I think about it, the last horror movies that I rememeber I liked were at least partly British! The Descent, Event Horizon, 28 Days/Weeks Later...

  2. Absolutely LOVE this movie. I remember picking it up at Blockbuster when I was like 14, reading the quote that says "Jaws, Predator, and Aliens with a werewolf twist" or something and then a blurb about Evil Dead. I HAD to see it. Glad I did.

  3. Yeah Becky, agreed 100%

    And siderite, I've been saying for a while that the British, along with the French, have been on a great roll as far as horror goes. All Hollywood can seem to pull off this past decade are remakes.

    We will be discussing this in our year end wrap up :)

  4. I Love Werwolf movies, This is definatly one to check out if you haven't yet. the Movie Was a lot of fun, Did anyone else notice the the front door was virtually Invincible?
    Werewolf proof, and explosion proof! The don't make doors like that anymore.

  5. I Love Werwolf movies, This is definatly one to check out if you haven't yet. the Movie Was a lot of fun, Did anyone else notice the the front door was virtually Invincible?
    Werewolf proof, and explosion proof! The don't make doors like that anymore.

  6. I went to see this on the 2nd day of release in uk theatre's. A very rare thing indeed. Shaun of the dead too.

    This too was a cracker with some likable characters. Kevin McKidd from Love Fist (GTA:Vice City), Trainspotting and Sean Pertwee, son of John Pertwee (an old Dr Who). Speaking of Dr Who. I came home (hometown) today and there's a fucking TARDIS on my local castle

    Was well impressed!!