Monday, November 8, 2010

Rock Stars, Cowboys, Monsters, Dogs & Werewolves

I learned a lesson these past few days. When you get the guy who directed and wrote Troll 2 and hire Alice Cooper to be your main character, you are going to get what you deserve. I love Alice Cooper but man… he shouldn’t be given a lead role. However, that wasn’t the problem with Monster Dog. No, the problem laid between the movies 3 or 4 different genres. Normally I wouldn’t care if the film made a point to homage a specific film genre; hell QT did pretty well with Kill Bill but this film literally felt like 3 different movies (bad movies at that) rolled into one. The overall genre was supposed to be horror but it rarely felt like one. Now you are probably asking what are the three genres that were in this film?

Considering that it is Alice Cooper, what do you think the first genre was? It opened up the film and 1/3 of the movie was this. That’s right, it’s a music video. Coopers ‘Mistaken Identity’ and ‘Face In The Mirror’ totaled to about 7 minutes, which isn’t bad but the rest of the music video came from the film’s montage sequences. This was the first time I ever saw a montage that had 3 separate melodies to go with it and what was being shown during the montage? Why, behind the scenes shots of Alice Cooper making his music video. Though I do want to get something straight, Cooper plays a musician that has to travel to his boyhood town to shoot his music video so the footage fits with his character.

Half way into the movie I began to space out (I was really tired) and the next thing I noticed was five cowboys walking up to a Mission style home, guns drawn and long down filled coats swaying in the breeze. It felt like an ugly cross between Demon Knight and Once Upon A Time In The Old West. These ‘cowboys’ were supposed to hunt and kill the werewolf that was destroying their town but they had on the cowboy hat, the boots, the dirty old coats, the big belt buckles, the spitting, the giant rifles and the dirt plaid ascot. When Cooper shows up the whole film takes a dive into a Western shootout. Gunpowder fills the air and gunfire is heard. It was like High Noon with werewolves. Funny, that’s what I kept thinking about: what if John Landis collaborated with Sergio Leone? That would make a hell of a team and I’m sure they would be able to dish out something better than this.

Lastly, and almost forgettable by the movies midway point, is the horror genre. If they only decided to focus on this part of the film that I probably would have liked it. I probably would have looked at it as a cheesy lowbrow werewolf movie but they didn’t. I ain’t going to comment on the scares because there isn’t any but there are some creepy transformation scenes. If I was a kid I would be pretty creeped out by it.

Overall, with the jumbled genres I felt like this movie didn’t know what it wanted to be. I guess I should have expected nothing more from Claudio Fragasso. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if some people out there would actually like it. Personally for me, I wanted a werewolf movie… not a western music video.


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