Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Geoff Anderson|
|Produced by||Holly Baird|
|Written by||Tracy McMenemy|
Julia Sarah Stone
|Music by||Ben Lumsden|
|Edited by||Jason Pielak|
|Distributed by||Joker Films|
Vampire Dog is a 2012 Canadian family film directed by Geoff Anderson and starring Collin MacKechnie, Julia Sarah Stone, Amy Matysio, Ron Pederson and Jodi Sadowsky. The vampire dog (Fang) is voiced by Norm Macdonald.
In Transylvania a woman in her kitchen cooks a jelly pudding. When she leaves the kitchen, a dog suddenly appears from nowhere and eats the pudding. The woman witnesses the dog suddenly disappear. Back at home, the dog's owner questions who should look after the pet after his death.
In Lugosi County, somewhere in North America, twelve-year-old Ace and his mother Susan arrive at their new home. Ace plays drums well, but suffers from stage fright. Susan gets work as an additional music teacher at the local high school which will be closing after the current year.
Though the current music teacher, who is also the school's principal, Barry Hickman discourages students and doubts their skills, Susan thinks the right approach will help the kids. She involves the school in a talent show, which, if they win, will save the school from closure. Hickman assigns Ace to play drums, but Ace panics and falls off his stool. This is recorded by the other students; since Ace is also the son of the new teacher, he is teased and ostracized. Skylar befriends Ace, though she tries to hide it from the other students.
Susan gets a letter from a notary: the father of her late husband has died, and Ace has inherited his old dog Fang. Later, a trunk is delivered; inside is apparently a regular dog.
A television program shows an interview regarding a woman from Transylvania and the incident with the dog. Doctor Warhol sees the show, and is now sure: the legend of the vampire dog is true. Warhol is sure the DNA of the vampire dog will lead to a solution to create a cream which will stop aging of human skin. She orders her assistant Frank to search for the vampire dog.
Next day, Fang is outside, tied onto a long string. When Ace arrives from school, Fang is hiding in the shade under the deck. Once inside, Fang starts talking and blames Ace for putting him in the sun: he is allergic to sunlight. Ace faints and Fang drags him to the couch.
After Ace awakens, Fang explains that he is a 600-year-old vampire dog, living on jelly pudding. Besides talking, Fang can hypnotize and can run at almost the speed of light. Ace forbids Fang to tell his mother - she might faint and hurt herself. Ace decides not to tell his mother the dog needs jelly pudding to survive, so he smuggles Fang to school each day so the dog can seek pudding in the schools' kitchen and cafeteria.
Meanwhile, Skylar knows the truth about Fang. Fang tells her he turned into a vampire dog 600 years ago when a certain count Vlad tried to attack the great-great-great-...-great-parents of Ace. Fang attacked the vampire, but was bitten. As he became immortal, the dog stays with the family. After becoming a vampire, Fang ate mostly horse hoofs until discovering jelly pudding. Skylar, a genius in chemistry, knows the reason: jelly pudding contains gelatin, which contains collagen, which for Fang, is a substitute for hemoglobin. Skylar wonders if she can find a way for Fang to walk in the sunlight.
Doctor Warhol and Frank have attempted to kidnap the dog and failed. They then scheme to buy up all the gelatin in town to lure the dog, but fail again. Not much later, Fang is found by the school caretaker and brought to a pet shelter. Ace is grounded by his mother for taking the dog to school and refuses to get his dog back because she sees her son as an embarrassment and tries to save her career. Despite being grounded, Ace and Skylar visit the pet shelter to save Fang from another kidnap attempt by Warhol and Frank. The talent show takes place that evening. Susan's class performance is stopped by Hickman, exposing that the drummer is using a drum computer to cheat. Hickman and the drummer, (his nephew Murray Arbuckle), were bribed by Warhol, to doom the school, so she can build her chemical company on the land. The contest jury rules that the group can continue if another drummer can be found. Ace appears and plays drums without his stage fright. His school wins and is saved. Susan is proud of her son. The corrupt Hickman is fired, while Arbuckle is assigned to the instrument triangle instead of drums. Ace becomes a very popular boy. Skylar finds out Fang only needs to take some drug against sun allergy. Warhol and Frank are arrested by police and declared lunatics after they claim Fang is a vampire dog.
The film was shot on locations in Crescent Park, Ontario and Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada, and is Geoff Anderson's debut as feature film director. It was one of the last films to take advantage of the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit; the production company announced it was moving to Alberta due to the end of the credit.
The Common Sense Media review in 2012 stated that the film had "anti-bullying messages weighed down by predictable plot", further calling it "logic impaired", and giving it two (of five) stars. In its advice to parents, it cited "silly slapstick action with nothing scary and no serious consequences", and rated the film as suitable for seven-year-olds.
Couch Critics reviewer Sarah Jehnzen approved the film for all families, but gave the film two (of five) stars, stating that the film lacked "laughs" until the blooper scenes, and that the two plot lines "didn't mesh well."
- Schonfeld, Renee (September 23, 2012). "Vampire Dog". Common Sense Media. Retrieved December 25, 2012.
- Campbell, Joshua (August 16, 2011). "Vampire Dog director has is 'day'but". Moose Jaw Times-Herald. Retrieved December 25, 2012.
- Gasson, Joel (November 29, 2012). "Film underway in Regina one of last getting Sask. Film Employment Tax Credit". CJME. Retrieved December 25, 2012.
- Foy, Scott (July 23, 2012). "A Vampire Dog Voiced by Norm McDonald? The Sucking Begins on DVD this September!". Dread Central. Retrieved December 25, 2012.
- Vampire Dog. Netflix. Retrieved December 25, 2012.
- Vampire Dog. Amazon.com (via IMDb). Retrieved December 25, 2012.
- Vampire Dog. iTunes. Retrieved December 25, 2012.
- Jehnzen, Sarah (October 1, 2012). Vampire Dog. Couch Critics. Retrieved November 30, 2012.