Monster Dog

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Monster Dog
Monsterdog.jpg
Video box cover
Directed by Claudio Fragasso (credited as "Clyde Anderson")
Produced by Carlos Aured
Written by Claudio Fragasso (credited as "Clyde Anderson")
Starring Alice Cooper
Victoria Vera
Carlos Santurio
Music by Grupo Dichotomy
Cinematography José García Galisteo
Edited by Antonio Jose Ochoa
Distributed by Continental Motion Pictures Corp
Release date
  • 1984 (1984)
Running time
84 minutes
Country Italy
Language English

Monster Dog, also known as Leviatán, The Bite and Los Perros de la Muerte, is a 1984 Italian horror film filmed in Spain, written and directed by Claudio Fragasso (in his directorial debut) and starring Alice Cooper and Victoria Vera.

Plot summary[edit]

Vince Raven (Cooper) is performing in the music video for his new song, "Identity Crisis." Later, Vince, Vince's girlfriend Sandra, and Vince's film crew drive to Vince's old childhood home to shoot a music video.

While waiting for the crew, Jos, the caretaker of the house, prepares a welcome home party for Vince. He is interrupted when he begins hearing strange noises. After searching around the house, he walks outside to find a pack of wild canines growling outside his door. The canines outnumber him and attack him.

The next morning the crew continue their drive to the house. Along the way, they run into two police officers, Sheriff Morrison and Deputy Dan, who are standing at a barricade. The police warn the crew that there has been another "attack". After the crew leave, the sheriff and his deputy are both killed by the Monster Dog in the woods.

The drive comes to a halt when Vince hits a German Shepherd with the van. The crew cannot stand to watch it suffer in pain, so Vince puts it to rest by killing it with a large rock. While the crew mourns the dog's death, an old man in blood-stained clothing attacks them. He warns them that they "will all die", except for Vince. The old man then runs into the woods. Vince and Sandra chase after him to get him to a hospital.

When the crew finally arrives at the house, Jos is nowhere to be found. Vince is worried about what happened to Jos, so he takes a shotgun and searches around the house. While the crew waits for Vince to return, they discover the food for the party. After searching the house, Vince gives up and wanders into a room where he discovers a book about werewolves.

Later that night Angela has a nightmare that the bloody old man murders everyone in the house. She runs from him and tries to get to Vince. She finds him reading a book in a rocking chair, his back toward her. She slowly walks up to him from behind until he gets up, revealing that he is the Monster Dog. Angela wakes up screaming and the crew tries to calm her down. She tells them about her dream and how Vince was a "werewolf".

Vince is later found reading in the same rocking chair as in Angela's nightmare. Sandra comes to talk to him, and he tells her the story of his father's death. He says that his father had lycanthropy (the werewolf curse) and that he was blamed for many deaths. He was stabbed with pitchforks, doused with gasoline, and burnt alive.

The next day, the crew decides to begin filming their next music video for Vince's song, "See Me in The Mirror". Angela is dressed as a bride and Vince sings to his reflection in a mirror. As Angela walks down the stairs, she notices the shadow of a body that is resting against the upstairs window. The light outside flashes and the body crashes through the window. It is revealed to be Jos's corpse. Angela leaves the house in shock while the others search the roof to find out what happened. Vince runs after Angela as a mysterious car pulls up to the house.

Vince heads to the roof where he has a shootout with some of the armed men. Meanwhile, a pack of wild dogs break into the house and attack the crew and one of the armed men. Sandra and Marilou run upstairs, with the dogs chasing them.

Vince and Sandra return to the car after another run in with a gunman. As they drive off, Marilou's corpse falls on Sandra and the Monster Dog attacks Vince from the back seat. Sandra jumps out and hears the car get destroyed with the sound of a gunshot. She finds the old man, who tells her about how he was attacked by Vince's father, which resulted in him becoming a "lycanthrope". The old man dies after telling Sandra that he has bitten Vince and that Vince will now become a werewolf. Sandra leaves to find Vince, who tells her to kill him before he turns into a werewolf. As Vince begins his transformation into the Monster Dog, Sandra shoots him.

The film ends with a reprise of the "Identity Crisis" video, now interspersed with clips from the story.

Cast[edit]

  • Alice Cooper as Vincent Raven
  • Victoria Vera as Sandra
  • Carlos Santurio as Frank
  • Pepa Sarsa (credited as Jose Sarsa) as Marilou
  • Pepita James as Angela
  • Emilio Linder as Jordan
  • Ricardo Palacios as Sheriff Morrison
  • Barta Barri (credited as B. Barta Barri) as Old Man

Production[edit]

Filming took place in Torrelodones, Spain, with a partially Spanish crew (even though director Claudio Fragasso was Italian, and star Alice Cooper was American). The film was dubbed in post-production by other actors, and consequently the only time Cooper's real voice is heard in the film is during his two musical sequences.[1]

In a 1986 interview with The Georgia Straight, Cooper said of the film,

"I didn’t want to do a heavy budget movie. I said if I do one of these I want to make sure it’s sleazy. I want it to be really cheap. I said ‘How many people do we get to kill in this?'... But I mean it was totally for fun. They told me it would never get released in the movie houses, and I said, 'Great. It should just be one of those movies you can rent at the video place.' And they said that’s what it would be, so I did it... I got a lot of money for it [laughs]. I think I was the biggest part of the budget." [2]

In later years, Cooper revealed he agreed to be in the movie immediately after finishing rehab for his chronic alcoholism, "to see if I could work sober," as he explained in 2012. He has said repeatedly that the producers told him the film would only be released in The Philippines. He has called the movie "a turkey" and "just awful" but expressed some degree of fondness for it: "That’s the kind of movie I rent," he said in 2001.[3][4]

Co-Star Victoria Vera later recalled the film was "wretched and unpleasant, but I had a tremendous time together with Alice; he is a very fabulous and funny person." Director Fragasso also remembered Cooper fondly, saying "I developed a good working relationship with Cooper... [he] has a passion for horror movies, and every night we would watch them together as if we were little boys!" [5]

Songs[edit]

The film features two original songs written by Alice Cooper, "Identity Crisis" and "See Me In The Mirror," which were eventually released on 1999's box set The Life and Crimes of Alice Cooper.[6]

Release[edit]

Though filmed in the Spring of 1984 and released in Italy in December of that year, it was not released until 1986 in the United States, and then only direct-to-video.[5]

Substance/ Jef Films issued the DVD in 2005, apparently taking the print from a VHS copy (and widely claimed to be a bootleg release).[7][8] [9][10]

In March of 2016, Kino Lorber released the film on Blu-Ray for the first time.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bell, Nicholas (March 22, 2016). "Monster Dog: Blu-ray Review". ioncinema.com. Retrieved 7 November 2017. It’s difficult to ascertain the level of ineptitude concerning performance thanks to the overt dubbing, particularly noticeable for those familiar with Cooper. 
  2. ^ Newton, Steve (7 November 1986), "ALICE COOPER TALKS HEAVY METAL, SLEAZY HORROR, AND GETTING BACK IN THE GAME WITH CONSTRICTOR", The Georgia Straight, retrieved 7 November 2017 
  3. ^ Northmore, Henry (17 October 2012). "Interview: Alice Cooper". www.list.co.uk. Retrieved 7 November 2017. Taking the lead in Monster Dog was very weird. I’d just finished my drinking career and I had just gotten out of rehab and I really wanted to see if I could work sober. So I had to find something where I could go to work every day and get up at 6 in the morning put make-up on, know my lines and act in a movie as a straight lead actor and I said ‘this is going to be a real good test for me.’ So I went to Spain and did this movie and they promised it would only be released in the Philippines [laughs] of course it became one of the great turkeys of all time which I love. That’s the kind of movie I rent. But it proved to me I could work sober. I’m just glad they didn’t want to do a sequel. 
  4. ^ Bonyata, Tony (20 October 2001). "The Vincent Price of Rock and Roll". conertlivewire.com. Retrieved 7 November 2017. they promised me that they would only release it in the Philippines. 
  5. ^ a b Senn, Bryan (6 February 2017). The Werewolf Filmography: 300+ Movies. McFarland. p. 157. ISBN 978-0786479108. 
  6. ^ Barton, Steve (7 July 2012). "B-Sides: Alice Cooper's Identity Crisis". dreadcentral.com. Retrieved 7 November 2017. 
  7. ^ DiVincenzo, Alex (14 March 2016). "Blu-ray Review: Monster Dog". brokehorrorfan.com. Retrieved 7 November 2017. Monster Dog was previously only available on bootleg DVDs featuring a poor-quality VHS rip, so Kino Lorber and Scorpion Releasing’s new Blu-ray and DVD release is a godsend for fans 
  8. ^ McKelvey, John (9 March 2016). "Beware the Monster Dog from Scorpion & Kino (DVD/ Blu-ray Comparison)". www.dvdexotica.com. Retrieved 7 November 2017. The DVD is from 2005, put out by Substance/ Jef Films, and it's a real junker...According to Scorpion [Releasing], it's a bootleg, though it's carried by Netflix and everybody, has a registered UPC, etc; so I don't know. It's probably one of those "we'll just assume it's public domain and not license it"-type releases. But even if it is strictly legal, it might as well be a bootleg, quality-wise 
  9. ^ http://forum.blu-ray.com/showpost.php?p=11515489&postcount=11
  10. ^ Monterastelli, Michael (8 October 2012). "COLLECTING VHS: Monster Dog (1984)". chud.com. Retrieved 7 November 2017. Note: a “company” calling itself Jef Films has released this movie as a bootleg DVD. It is nothing more than a bad VHS transfer onto disc. The film has not yet received the digital remaster it would need to officially consider it a DVD release. 
  11. ^ Orndorf, Brian (23 March 2016). "Monster Dog Blu-ray". blu-ray.com. Retrieved 7 November 2017. 

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