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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Cujo (1983) - Lewis Teague

I had been meaning to watch Cujo for years but had heard bad things about it and decided to put it on the back-burner. After watching Man's Best Friend and my nagging love for Stephen King's work I finally busted out the... mp4 file... and watched it. Sure, the movie was decent. Cujo was a terrifying dog. The movie just had a few problems.

The movie primarily takes place inside of a crappy late 70's/early 80's model POS. The recently admitted adulteress Donna (Dee Wallace) and her wee son Tad (Danny Pintauro) are stranded there in the blazing sun while the quite rabid and quite angry St. Bernard Cujo patrols them making sure they can't leave. It doesn't help that the car is broken down and no one knows that they are up there. No body has a cell phone in 1983. It's not like Dee Wallace can just call up her husband/ex-husband and have him save the day. The internet was completely right though Danny Pintauro's crying is piercing and annoying. This is where Lewis Teague is sneaky.

Teague want's you to be annoyed by Tad's crying and screaming to get you frustrated with the situation. The screaming and whaling of the terrified young boy is enough to put scars on the deepest parts of your soul. If you watch this movie without grinding the teeth out of your mouth, you have hearing problems. You are put right smack in that car with that annoying brat and his mother fresh out of options. However, not out of panicking. She sure has shitloads of that. You can hate Tad for his annoying screaming all you want but it wouldn't be that bad if this ten foot dog wasn't trying to kill them at every chance he got. 

Cujo was a hell of a dog. That thing was the biggest St. Bernard I had ever seen. I believe there was a scene where the dog had his front paws up on the passenger side window and he could clearly look completely over the car. That was nuts! Cujo was struck by a nasty and exaggerated case of rabies from sniffin' around some no-good bats. This case of rabies made Cujo a cold-blooded killer that would rip it's victims to shreds. He was really nasty looking and progressively got worse as the movie went on. Face covered in puss and blood. A cruel mix of the horror from himself and his prey.

I recommend this movie to anyone that loves Stephen King and just can't do without watching all of the movies about his work. That's fine. If you love him that much then check it out. If you are looking for something good, save your ears and watch something different.

You couldn't sic that dog on me if I was comin' at you with a straight razor in each hand!
  • Five St. Bernards were used, one mechanical head, and a guy in a dog costume.
  • Star Dee Wallace said she has often been praised by parents for the scene where a hysterical Donna screams at Tad in a moment of frustrated terror. She said its a scene only a parent could identify with.
  • The original novel was a sequel of sorts following The Dead Zone. Since killer Frank Dodd was killed he became a kind of bogeyman in Castle Rock and supposedly haunted Tad. It is hinted that Dodd possessed Cujo. Sheriff George Bannerman, played by Sandy Ward here, makes specific references to Dead Zone hero Johnny Smith. Both this movie and The Dead Zone were developed at the same time, with this film released two months before, by different studios so the references were removed.  


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