Newest Reviews
Whoopee Boys, The
Set, The
Cyrano de Bergerac
Death Walks in Laredo
Gemini Man
End of the Century
If Beale Street Could Talk
Raining in the Mountain
Day Shall Come, The
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, A
Sons of Denmark
Light of My Life
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Jerky Boys, The
Chambre en Ville, Une
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Farewell, The
Challenge of the Tiger
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Newest Articles
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
  Monster Dog Identity Crisis yeah!Buy this film here.
Year: 1985
Director: Claudio Fragasso
Stars: Alice Cooper, Victoria Vera, Carlos Santurio, Maria José Sarsa, Pepita James, Emilio Linder, Ricardo Palacios, Luis Maluenda, Barta Barri, Charly Bravo, Fernando Conde, Fernando Baeza, Nino Basteda
Genre: Horror
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Everybody’s favourite shock rocker Alice Cooper went to Spain for this Italian-made werewolf horror flick by Claudio Fragasso, regular Bruno Mattei collaborator (or should that be accomplice?) and director of the infamous Troll 2 (1989). Alice plays rock star Vincent Raven (a takeoff on his real name: Vincent Damon Furnier) whom we first glimpse performing in a video for his latest single “Identity Crisis”, wherein he appears as James Bond, Billy the Kid, Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper (“I’ve got an image out of control - identity crisis, yeah!”). Dissatisfied with this cheesy promo, Vincent takes his entourage including girlfriend/video director Sandra (Victoria Vera), cute actress Angela (Pepita James), makeup girl Marylou (Maria José Sarsa) and preppie dorks Jordan (Emilio Linder) and Frank (Carlos Santurio) back to the American small town of his birth, hoping to shoot a new video inside his creepy ancestral home. However, the town is overrun by packs of murderous wild dogs that maul the local sheriff and his deputy. Vincent accidentally runs over one dog and has to put it out of its misery. Whereupon a crazy, blood-spattered old man (Barta Barri) appears out of nowhere and scares Angela with this loony rant: “He is coming! He will command the hounds and you will all die!” His rambling refers to a so-called Monster Dog that may or may not wear a human guise by day.

The following night Angela suffers a nightmare wherein the old coot chases her around the house warning only Vincent will survive the oncoming terror since he himself is evil. Her friends laugh off this psychic premonition but not Vincent, whose father it transpires suffered from lycanthropy. Blamed for a string of mysterious deaths, he was burned alive by angry townsfolk. During the video shoot, the canine mangled corpse of Vincent’s old caretaker tumbles headfirst onto the luckless Angela who flees into the wild. While Vincent takes off in heroic pursuit, Sandra and the others foolishly let four gun-toting rednecks into the house. Not realising these men have come to shoot a silver bullet into suspected werewolf Vincent…

Monster Dog has a garish comic book tone that befits Alice Cooper’s stage persona. It’s far from a classic but quite fun in parts and certainly droll to watch Alice play an action hero and romantic lead. In its own slapdash way, the film plays amusing games with his shock rock alter-ego, with both “Identity Crisis” and his other song “See Me in the Mirror” underlining the duality of his nature as an ambiguous antihero. Alice begins the film scrubbed clean and makeup free then dons leather and eyeliner when he goes shotgun crazy.

Italian horror approaches a nonsensical plot like a waking nightmare but requires a strong guiding vision a la Dario Argento or even Lucio Fulci otherwise the whole thing falls apart. Fragasso’s later horror movies - After Death (1988) and Beyond Darkness (1990) - grew increasingly stylish but at this stage his anything goes approach yields some distracting idiocies. How does a dog get inside a locked car? Is the forever blood-oozing old man the Monster Dog? If not, why the hell won’t he die? Excessive slow-motion renders one would-be tragic death very camp indeed.

Fragasso bathes virtually the whole movie in dry ice and deep blue lighting which aids the EC comics feel, but is something of a misdirection since much of the action concerns people wandering about the mansion in staid, talky scenes. Things pick up when the evil hounds invade and the Monster Dog (a reasonably effective puppet, half-shrouded in blue light) unleashes all sorts of mayhem. Victoria Vera makes a gutsy heroine while avid horror fan Alice must have had a ball shotgun blasting redneck villains and glowering through his campy close-ups. Aside from his two contributions, music comes courtesy of the unforgettably named Grupo Dichotomy.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 1874 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton


Last Updated: