Film (1993). New Line Cinema/Roven-Cavello Entertainment. Written and directed by John Lafia. Cast includes John Cassini, Robert Costanzo, Lance Henriksen, Fredric Lehne and Ally Sheedy. 87 minutes. Colour.
Routine sf/horror movie, with moments of black humour: Dr Jarret (Henriksen) has been performing animal experiments at the EMAX research lab, and has created a super killer guard dog through DNA splicing, some of the imported genes coming from other species (see Genetic Engineering). The mastiff-type dog, temporarily stable until a controlling Drug wears off, is accidentally released by television journalist Lori Tanner (Sheedy, a good performance), who adopts it, thinking it (correctly, in a way) an innocent victim. The high-IQ dog goes on to rape (another dog), multiple murder including killing Tanner's boyfriend by pissing acid onto his face and, implausibly, even camouflaging itself as a toolbox. Events escalate in the traditional manner of an exploitation movie, and the animal rights issue is raised but never really examined. Director/writer Lafia was previously best known for the extremely violent horror flick Child's Play 2 (1990). This is not as good in the horror-dog line as Cujo (1983) which was based on the Stephen King novel, but Man's Best Friend did well commercially. [PN]
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