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April 24, 2012

The Mike's Top 50 Horror Movies Countdown: #39 - Dog Soldiers

Previously on the Countdown: Number 50 - Happy Birthday to Me  Number 49 - Prince of Darkness  Number 48 - House on Haunted Hill  Number 47 - The Monster Squad  Number 46 - Hellraiser  Number 45 - The Fog  Number 44 - Creature From the Black Lagoon  Number 43 - Zombie  Number 42 - Tales from the Crypt  Number 41 - Bubba Ho-Tep  Number 40 - Phantom of the Paradise
Dog Soldiers
(2002, Dir. by Neil Marshall.) 
Why It's Here:
When I need a bad-frickin'-a-double-crooked-letter horror movie that's packed with action, gore, and macho dudes doing macho things: I need Dog Soldiers.  It's the Predator of werewolf films, taking a tough as nails platoon of soldiers and dropping them into a dangerous countryside during the wrong part of the lunar cycle.  When the film takes on full-fledged siege picture status as the survivors try to defend a remote farm house - well, that's about the point when I start fistpumping and slapping fives (even if there's no one else around).
The Moment That Changes Everything:
Dog Soldiers pretty much starts on a high note and stays there, but I have to mention the wily side character known simply as "Spoon", who puts up a fight that should make little guys around the globe proud.  As we wade through thick accents and wonderful practical effects, we have to take notice of Spoon's encounters with lycanthropes and smile.
It Makes a Great Double Feature With:
Predator and Aliens do similar things quite well (and might be better movies), but they're sci-fi and this is a horror list.  So how about a dose of 28 Days Later (or its pretty good sequel, 28 Weeks Later) to keep the military and British horror theme going?  Dog Soldiers moves at a much quicker pace than that film, but both are frenetic enough to keep viewers on their toes while they're both thrilled and chilled.
(Alternate Choice: Want a "his and hers" werewolf bonanza? Pick up this one and Ginger Snaps, enjoy a bit of military massacre and a bit of teenage girl coming of age.  With lots of extra hair.  Everyone goes home happy!)
What It Means To Me:
Dog Soldiers has been one of those movies that I try to push on everyone I know since the day it was released on DVD.  Comparing it favorably to the films I just mentioned might sound crazy to some, but I'll gladly jump into the battle alongside Neil Marshall's fabulous debut film any day of any week.  It's one of the most watchable movies I know.


monty said...

I agree 100%. I love Dog Soldiers! It's kick ass! Might just be my favorite werewolf movie. Well this and An American Werewolf in London. Great post!

Liam Underwood said...

Another excellent choice. I can't get enough of this film, it just has such a great sense of fun.

R.D. Penning said...

oh how I love this movie.