Review By Paul Mount, 4 out of 5 At last! The film which gave the moribund British film industry a much needed punt up the posterior finally arrives on R2 disc, months after it’s appearance in R1. And for once we Brits get a better deal with a much more satisfying collection of extras than the earlier addition. Hurrah!
DOG SOLDIERS, Neil Marshall’s inventive new look at the werewolf myth, exploded into British cinemas like a breath of fetid air last year, blowing away all the crinoline and big trousers of our period dramas and sidelining that nice Hugh Grant (if only temporarily). Like 28 DAYS LATER, DOG SOLDIERS took a skewed new look at an old idea and did it with gusto.
It’s the Scottish Highlands (well, it’s really Luxembourg but that’s the magic of the movies for you) and a group of British squaddies are off on special training manoeuvres. Imagine their surprise when they stumble across the mangled remains of a previous Special Operations Unit. Imagine their terror when they’re attacked by a bunch of wandering werewolves. Fleeing from the carnage the squaddies fall in with passing local Megan and together they take refuge in an old farmhouse and take arms against the werewolves who are trying to get in. Much screaming and shooting ensures and there’s a fair amount of intestinal spillage too. Yum.
DOG SOLDIERS is a loud, audacious film and, whilst there’s little original in either content or execution, it’s also a refreshingly enjoyable experience. Marshall’s script bounces along and there are plenty of genuine jump-in-your-seat moments and loads of swearing from Granny to grumble about. The shoestring special effects are quite refreshing and the tone of the piece stays on the right side of kitsch without ever toppling into screaming parody. All in all, a surprisingly successful British horror film. Who’d have thought I’d ever write those words again?
THE DISC: Plenty of darkness to challenge your player but the disc is well up to it. Bags of extras including a raucous beery commentary from Pertwee, McKidd and Marshall, an alternative drier commentary (from the R1 disc) by the Producers, some deleted scenes (rightly deleted) and a humour-free gag reel, trailers, Making of feature and ‘Combat’, Marshall’s first attempt at film-making. It’s a sensibly-priced disc (even cheaper if you surf a bit) and a nice addition to any collection.]]>