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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 15.7%
Average: 4.07%
Pretty Bad: 2.91%
Total Crap: 2.91%

6 reviews, 136 user ratings

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Dog Soldiers
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Scott Weinberg

"British Werewolves Gone Wild!"
4 stars

Since there’s a seemingly endless deluge of low-budget horror junk released on video these days, it would be easy for a movie freak to flip on the auto-pilot and look right past something that absolutely deserves their attention. Occasionally these flicks come in the form of some surprisingly entertaining cable or straight-to-video titles, but more often they’re simply imports from foreign lands that American distributors have no freakin’ idea about. At least two have come down the pike this year, the first one being a clever Canadian ditty entitled "Ginger Snaps"; the most recent is a blood-soaked Christmas present from the UK entitled "Dog Soldiers".

Best described as it is on the DVD cover ("Jaws, Aliens, and Predator with a werewolf twist!"), Dog Soldiers takes the most familiar of horror and action concepts, turns them gorily on their heads, and then dances around them while posturing in a decidedly macho fashion. To call this one an eventual cult classic would be an understatement, and woe is the horror fan who opts to overlook this goofily endearing and well-lensed gorefest.

Our heroes are a group of (rapidly dwindling) English Army reservists, a vulgar and affable gang of middle class working stiffs. While griping through their monthly activities, the platoon is promptly attacked by something(s) oddly resembling a werewolf. After a few brief skirmishes (which claim a few laddies in rather nasty fashion) the remaining grunts find themselves holed up in a dilapidated old cabin... and the night’s not nearly over.

What Dog Soldiers lacks in originality it makes up for in an awareness of such unoriginality, one that allows the characters to cleverly reference other movies, banter sarcastically while being threatened by a 300 pound wolfman, and deliver a handful of masterfully kinetic action scenes – all without worrying about re-inventing the wheel. Sure, it’s no mean feat to mix action, comedy, and horror into one movie, but what is difficult is producing a genre flick that’s actually exciting, funny, and scary – often at the same time.

A half-dozen of my movie freak pals raved about this one before I was able to see it, and though I may not be as resoundingly enamored with Dog Soldiers as they are, the flick definitely deserves to be seen. While I’d point to a meandering middle act and more than a few mild slow spots here and there, someone who likes the movie just a little more than I will call those complaints "character development" and "moody pacing". Since I liked Dog Soldiers quite a bit, I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt. Plus, there’s simply no denying that two of the extended action scenes more than make up for a few slow spots – particularly the amazing finale!

The (nearly all-male) cast is clearly having a ball here, and it’s a testament to the actors that things get so messily intense and intensely funny at the same time. Sean Pertwee (Event Horizon) steals every scene he’s in as Sergeant Wells, a likable bloke who spends much of the movie kicking all kinds of werewolf ass, despite the fact that his intestines have been forcibly jammed back into his belly and then cauterized into place. (It’s a great scene, trust me.) Kevin McKidd (Topsy-Turvy) is also rock-solid as the seemingly unkillable hero character, while Emma Cleasby brings some extremely welcome feminine wiles to this testosterone-heavy extravaganza.

Dog Soldiers has more energy, wit, and creativity than just about any studio horror product, and if waiting for the home video release is the only way I’ll get to enjoy these slick horror imports, then so be it. I’ll be able to hoot and holler all I want, plus it’s always nice to rewind those drippy werewolf attacks and fast-paced action bits. (No screaming babies either, which seem to be cruelly prevalent whenever I see horror movies at the local multiplex.)

So a healthy and well-deserved “Ta” to my friends across the pond. Dog Soldiers may not be a "big" movie by any stretch of Hollywood’s limited imagination, but it’s great to see an import like this make such a big splash with horror fans. We’re a patient lot, and we really do get so little to cheer about. (Oh, and before I forget to mention it, the musical score in this flick simply rocks.)

Not only are we treated to an inspired indie horror flick, but Artisan Home Video has offered up a few slick goodies as well. First up is a full-length audio commentary with producers Brian O’Toole and David Allen. One wonders why writer/director Neil Marshall wasn’t included in the festivities, but alas. This pair offers all sorts of interesting insights and anecdotes and the dry spots are few and far between. Plus it’s clear these guys truly dig the movie and are understandably thrilled at its success. Next up is a 20-minute behind-the-scenes featurette (effects tests, cast interviews, production tales, etc.) that should entertain the fans, plus the original theatrical trailer is included.

Bottom line: a damn solid little werewolf import and a supremely satisfying DVD package.

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originally posted: 04/30/04 10:36:00
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User Comments

5/09/17 Mark Louis Baumgart One of the best werewolf movies EVER. Rewatch it all of the time. 5 stars
7/23/11 Rob Superbly paced low-budget masterpiece,a must-see for fans of quirky and stylishhorror 5 stars
10/04/10 jared Spoon is the shit!!!! his fight alone makes this an awesome movie 5 stars
9/18/09 Richard Only plot hole: Megan heard gunfire the night before, yet not a shot gotten off by the SF 5 stars
5/05/09 Ben Awesome 5 stars
11/01/08 Shaun Wallner Friiggin Awesome!! 5 stars
6/26/07 CODY slow at first but cool action and horror movies, with great looking werewolves 3 stars
4/18/07 Stevo UK If the british army cant find a bunch of dogs, we need better funding from blair. 2 stars
10/30/06 Richard Agree completely. Best since An American Werewolf in London 5 stars
9/08/06 Ric Eh, Predator was much better. 2 stars
8/10/06 Dragon The Artist No morph scenes, but still a good, well depicted werewolf flick!! 4 stars
4/12/06 ducka One of my favorites 5 stars
12/23/05 Dan Sylvestre Outrageously gory, refreshingly CGI free, don't miss it. 5 stars
10/04/05 firthy the best film in existance it couldnt be better 5 stars
10/02/05 cooper the uath... tha uath... 5 stars
9/05/05 Kaz Fantastic, Really funny 5 stars
8/30/05 Ian Superb, especially the psychology of the characters 5 stars
8/14/05 scott jebbia great movie 5 stars
7/19/05 Brandy Harrington This movie does NOT FUCK AROUND! Very badass. 5 stars
7/10/05 daveyt Long way from foundation, good work Neil...!!! 5 stars
5/17/05 E-FUNK Ranks up there with 'Howling', 'American Werewolf', and 'Ginger Snaps'. Cool fucking movie. 5 stars
3/17/05 megan good flim 5 stars
2/16/05 Jack Mack For my money the best werewolf film EVER! 5 stars
2/02/05 buda This movie rocks! 4 stars
11/17/04 Gooey Its the best werewolf movie ever 5 stars
11/14/04 Craig Jeffrey Best brit film in years. I cant get enough. Pertwee is amazing (Again). 5 stars
11/14/04 X $ % & ! Loved when the guy stabbed the wolf 100000 times. 4 stars
10/27/04 Steve Newman Great to see a UK AWESOME film - go watch 5 stars
9/26/04 KD Great action stuff 4 stars
9/23/04 Vince Pretty cool, but maybe slightly overrated by the efilmcritic crowd here 4 stars
8/27/04 American Slasher Goddess One of the best werewolf movies in a long time 4 stars
8/18/04 Destroy This Movie I loved this movie. Disregard Destroy 5 stars
8/17/04 Electron Overlord This movie kicked mopped the floor with the other werewolf film. But transformation... 5 stars
7/03/04 Stab Wounds Lots of blood and guts. 5 stars
6/05/04 Dean Rapp The werewolves costumes, took away from the movie. 4 stars
6/03/04 Mr. me Better than American Werewolf in London, & better than the Howling 5 stars
5/15/04 Andrew Lekar This is one of the best werewolf movies that I have ever had the privlidge to see. 5 stars
5/13/04  Shaun Rose I wish more movies were made today like this one. 5 stars
5/11/04 me Kickass Shit! 5 stars
5/05/04 Stephanie Mansi The Film was Brillient i loved eevery minute of it . 5 stars
4/18/04 Jon Great big sloppy fun 5 stars
4/17/04 Michael Greenwaldt Definitely no GINGER SNAPS, but pretty good once it gets going! 3 stars
4/15/04 Naomi Vingoe It's such i kool movie me and my friend watch it in a movie marathon 5 stars
4/05/04 Electricshadow So much potential. BUT! THe werewolfs were embarrasing, as was the dialog as was the plot 1 stars
4/03/04 Lord Durvok 2 Rips off so many movies it hurts 3 stars
4/02/04 steney spoon aka darren morfitt looks like Sam beb he is gorgeous and so are the wolves 5 stars
3/02/04 Charles Tatum Finally, a twist on the werewolf story 4 stars
2/28/04 slimmypee I LOVE DARREN MORFITT AND DOG SOLDIERS 5 stars
2/25/04 Cheyenne Conley LOVEIT!!!! w/ SEXY SOLDIERS 5 stars
2/23/04 Naturezrevenge Awesome little werewolf movie with soul. A must see for lycanthrope fans! 5 stars
2/03/04 Eloise 10 stars!!!!! love it love it love it love it 5 stars
1/22/04 American Slasher Goddess One of the best werewolf flicks in a long time. 4 stars
1/16/04 Vince Entertaining... but not that great. 3 stars
12/12/03 Micheal Fantastico!!! 5 stars
12/10/03 Witherspoon This is a fucking masterpiece. 5 stars
12/09/03 justin o'connor fucking great film 5 stars
12/02/03 Sammy The little film that no one heard or cared about when released... Now a cult classic! 5 stars
11/10/03 Renegade Bushido British swear words, Spoons stand, and awsome werewolves=cult movie classic 5 stars
10/20/03 Josh Standlee Those werewolves are friggin' huge! 5 stars
10/14/03 Gary GREAT 5 stars
10/12/03 Angel LOVED IT!!! LOVED IT!!! LOVED IT!!! 5 stars
9/29/03 Eloise Fan bloody tastic. Hollywood should be very afraid, this budget flick kicks their fat asses 5 stars
9/09/03 Carly Weston the best, and I've seen a lot lately 5 stars
9/07/03 Mikal Trimm Does for werewolf movies what 'Near Dark' did for vampire movies--made them cool again. 5 stars
9/07/03 R.W. Welch Basically The Alamo with werewolves. Okay, I guess. 3 stars
8/25/03 Amy R. M. Absolutly Awesome!!! I love everything about this film and its my no. 1 fav. in the world! 5 stars
8/17/03 dwukwiat the best fight scene in the kitchen, die dog die 5 stars
8/13/03 Rudiger "I hope I give u the shits, you fucking wimp!" - Classic. 5 stars
8/11/03 trent hughes the best wherewolf movie of all time!! 5 stars
7/24/03 Jan Fan - fucking tastic and Darren Morfitt is gorgeous 5 stars
7/19/03 mcculloch ,???? sweet meat,and a dash of intestinal pleasure! 5 stars
7/12/03 Alice Amusing 3 stars
6/25/03 HEATHER WARGO it's one of the greaties werewolf movies that i have seen and i seen them all. 5 stars
6/23/03 Davey Packer Best portayal of squadies in years, (fuck 28 days later!) 5 stars
6/16/03 Freya Howle I love it! 5 stars
6/09/03 Amanda Roberts As an ex military girl this film reminds me of why I joined up and of how much I miss it! 5 stars
5/12/03 Jack Bourbon Great accents, dumb dialogue. Fun movie, though. 4 stars
4/25/03 mr. Pink Didn't like this at all. I didn't care one iota for this crap. 1 stars
4/22/03 Tak ***** 5 stars
4/01/03 YES Best action/horror flick since Pitch Black. The action is fast, intense, and thrilling. 5 stars
3/30/03 Elendil I'm getting too old for this shit. 1 stars
3/29/03 Zedi fuckin brillant 5 stars
3/28/03 Jon "Thumb the Toad" Lyrik Yeah! Gore, horror, and humor! 5 stars
3/13/03 Dave Parker Complete agreeance! One of the most entertaining horror flicks in years! 5 stars
3/12/03 Sean Connery Suck it, MrChri5. Suck it long, and suck it hard! 5 stars
3/03/03 MrChri5 whats up with all the reviews? Its nothing special but worth renting. 3 stars
2/16/03 matt awesome 5 stars
1/28/03 TheBomb69 good movie but there was some holes in the story 4 stars
1/02/03 Vince Reed THIS BLOODY SOB F'ING ROCKS!!! 5 stars
1/01/03 Debbie Fantastic! Definitely worth OWNING! 5 stars
12/31/02 Stephen Butcher Brilliant, having been patiently waiting for the DVD release to show all my friends 5 stars
12/30/02 Isaac I didn't want the movie to end, it was that good! 5 stars
12/24/02 carl burton funny 5 stars
12/24/02 MASTER ROBIN FLANNIGAN The story was good and the acting was good considering the "type" of movie it was. 5 stars
12/22/02 wishdarrenwasmine this movie kicks ass and spoon was so hot...mmmmmmmmmmm...spoon 5 stars
12/17/02 Becky Great acting, fun horror, and good humor. So good, I even bought it on video. 5 stars
12/15/02 Brian Iwinski For not much of a budget, they pulled it off. I was entertained from the opening credits! 5 stars
12/14/02 Ashley West the best movie i've seen in ages. it scared the shit out of my mard arse friend. love it. 5 stars
12/11/02 nwo a lot of blood and guts!!!!!!! 5 stars
12/09/02 Paul Doherty Great film. Has true British grit, and humor. UK makes some great films. 5 stars
12/08/02 Sean Horan Good movie, great ending, and a surprise for the genre. 4 stars
12/08/02 weaselteet KICKS ASS 5 stars
12/08/02 MICK SWEEEET!!! 5 stars
12/08/02 Uter A nice homage to the multiple genres. McKidd (aka Tommy) and Cleasby are worth it alone.. 5 stars
12/06/02 Patrick Durkin Best werewolf movie since "American Werewolf in London" and I think better 5 stars
12/03/02 billy boy its was fucking scary as hell 5 stars
12/02/02 Yo Mama! Holy shit...that was pretty scary....I don't think I'll be eating sausages for a while!!! 5 stars
11/27/02 Ultimate Judge Boring. Not Scary. Ridiculous, crappy monsters. And did I mention that it was BORING.. 2 stars
11/27/02 CutterNewmoon Thoroughly enjoyable despite obvious plot holes and bad physics. 4 stars
11/26/02 Mr. Teeter Quite frankly, the laws of Physics were not evident in this picture which detracted from it 1 stars
11/24/02 Spunk Pumpkin heads body with lassies head? More holes then a pack of swiss, no predator for sur 1 stars
11/24/02 d v good 5 stars
11/21/02 Mason i thought it was dogshit 5 stars
11/20/02 Did We Watch The Same Movie? Great in spots, but the worst looking werewolvessince Lon Chaney 4 stars
11/19/02 Full Moon's Fury FANTASTIC!!!! .And Cooper is so sexy!!!! I luv it when they're gluing the Sarg bac 2gether 5 stars
11/18/02 SilverFang I loved that movie! its awsome! and the werewolves are soo cool! 5 stars
11/18/02 Kyle Fuck. This deserved a U.S. theatrical release... 5 stars
11/17/02 Bullpen "Bloody awful, if you ask me..." 2 stars
11/13/02 me had great black humour to add to the frightning scenes 5 stars
11/13/02 Film Dude Yeah, this was on Sci-Fi back in August... 5 stars
11/12/02 Maggie Griffin Forget the bland horror movies where you only see a shadowy werewolf with bad lighting! 5 stars
11/10/02 Stacey A really great movie... *So much suspense* 5 stars
11/07/02 Robert Sandlan What the Blair Which should have been! 5 stars
11/06/02 i see Wasn't this on SCIFI back in March? 5 stars
11/06/02 Colin McCarthy Finally someone remembers what makes a great horror flick. I love it to bits. 5 stars
10/10/02 Steve.M One of the Best all action horror/action movies ive seen 5 stars
9/26/02 Michael Roberts Best film I ever saw involving werewolves 5 stars
9/23/02 gary salter the best werewolf movie ever!!!!, tons of action, gore,mayhem!!!Saw it at a local horror fi 5 stars
9/21/02 Rastabub Great werwolf movie, I saw it in the US on the sci-fi channel. See Ginger Snaps, too! 4 stars
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  01-Nov-2002 (R)



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