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Man's Best Friend

Man's Best Friend (1993) Movie Poster
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  •  USA  •    •  87m  •    •  Directed by: John Lafia.  •  Starring: Ally Sheedy, Lance Henriksen, Robert Costanzo, Fredric Lehne, John Cassini, J.D. Daniels, William Sanderson, Trula M. Marcus, Robin Frates, Rick Barker, Bradley Pierce, Robert Arentz, Cameron Arnett.  •  Music by: Joel Goldsmith, Alex Wilkinson.
       A genetically mutated dog is stolen from the lab of mad scientist Dr. Jarret by news reporter/animal rights advocate Lori Tanner, who conceals it from the police in her home. The dog, Max, endowed with intelligence and other special abilities, is at first lovable, but also proves to be a ferocious, unstoppable killer.

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   Length:  Languages:  Subtitles:
 1:45
 
 
 0:43
 
 
 0:31
 
 

Review:

Image from: Man
Image from: Man
Image from: Man
Image from: Man
Image from: Man
Image from: Man
Image from: Man
Image from: Man
Image from: Man
Image from: Man
Image from: Man
This is a silly and nonsensical monster movie which mixes sci-fi elements in with plenty of tired and predictable clichés, rounded off by an unbelievable plot which bears little resemblance to real life. The intriguing possibilities of a killer dog movie are quickly dissipated when you realise that this is a family-orientated movie, complete with lame jokes and so much sweet talk and sentimentality that it'll make you physically sick (it certainly made ME sick). After the initial set-up, the film is merely content to go through the paces, introducing one-dimensional characters who are set up just to be killed off.

The many death scenes in this film are generally off screen and not very gory, although some of them will make you jump. Sadly they're shot in such a slick way that any suspense or terror emanating from them is destroyed, as they just look too unrealistic. There are so many plot discrepancies that it's impossible to list all of them, plot twists are based on contrivances and you begin to wonder if the story was written by a child.

The acting - well, if you can call it acting - from Ally Sheedy as the film's lead is terrible, her character a simpering idiot who fails to see what's going on right in front of her eyes. Incredibly, Sheedy continues to love the killer dog despite the fact that its eaten a cat whole, mutilated her boyfriend (via acid urine, go figure) and devoured half of the minor cast. The ever-reliable Lance Henriksen is on hand as a cruel scientist, and incredibly he's vilified as the film's chief villain - even though his only sin is to try and get his own property back! This is definitely a movie that makes no secret of its distaste for animal experimentation, as you get the morals shoved down your throat at every opportunity, the intelligent character Henriksen plays a mean-spirited and bad, bad person - despite the fact that he himself mentions that his research is being carried out for the good of mankind!

Elsewhere, familiar faces like that of Robert Costanzo pop up but fail to make much of an impact, although I did like William Sanderson's bastard scrapyard owner whose first action upon receiving the dog is to club it with a spade! Whilst the first half of this film is schmaltzy, feel good stuff - you could be forgiven for thinking that you're watching BEETHOVEN, actually - packed with silly humour and obnoxious characters, the second half - a violent string of brutal murders - sits oddly with the beginning. Indeed some of this film's scenes border on the deeply unpleasant, like one character burning the dog's face with a blow torch as he is attacked! It's not really necessary, just a reason to give the dog an ugly look to make it more frightening. It's not. Kevin Yagher's usually reliable special effects work are also below par, the animatronics instantly recognisable from the real dog(s) used.

The final insult comes at the end of this movie. What an infantile, stupid, moronic way to end the film. Aside from the incidental pleasure of watching a dog rip a postman to shreds, MAN'S BEST FRIEND is an appalling and ugly film to watch, one that offended me deeply.


Review by Leofwine_draca from the Internet Movie Database.