Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Five (35-year old) “students” fly to a privately owned island for a weekend getaway. One of the characters observes that it’s “nice to be a trust fund baby”. The characters fulfill the usual paint-by-number stereotypes. We get the funny black guy, the blonde bimbo, the tough-as-nails chick, and two brothers, one a jock and the other a nerd (there is some conflict between the brothers that will eventually be resolved as they go through hell and back together). Their home for the weekend, a large log cabin, is idyllic and there is an abundance of booze and picturesque views. The first night is spent with plenty of drunkenness and (non-nude) sex. This cozy situation is derailed fairly quickly however as the gang soon realizes that the island is replete with wild, experimental dogs. Apparently the military used to use this island as a training ground for developing super-dogs but had to put them all down once they developed rabies. Unfortunately for our band of misfits, the Army missed some. Will they be able to get off the island without becoming pooch chow?
I always get worried when a film says “Wes Craven Presents” before the title. Wes Craven is like the 40-year old who still talks about his football glory days in high school. Craven made a few good horror films a long, long time ago and has been coasting on his name ever since (e.g., John Carpenter). For every Nightmare on Elm Street he gives us 10 Deadly Friends and Shockers. I mean the guy’s last “good” film was Scream and that was in 1996.
Wes Craven is overrated want to fight about it?
Sorry, I got off track. My main point is that The Breed pleasantly surprised me. As I’ve stated elsewhere, I love predicament movies. That is, I love movies that place characters in a confined space with a horrible threat (e.g., Flight of the Living Dead, Cube, Prey, 2001, The Abyss, etc) and The Breed sets the perfect stage for mayhem. The film also plays on my minor fear of large, killer dogs. I also like that things are set in motion very quickly and it doesn’t let up for the duration. The action is fast and the blood flows often.
The always-annoying Michelle Rodriguez stars in The Breed
So why only 3 stars? The Breed is one of those films where the characters make stupid decision after stupid decision. For example, the house is situated in a very large open area. Jock brother, who establishes himself as an expert archer early on, should have remained on the roof of the house for the entire movie, slowly picking the dogs off one by one. Instead he’s constantly on the ground running away from the killer Cujos. Other examples of character stupidity and horror movie clichés include; once getting an old car started, the characters drive around with the windows down and the freakin’ moon roof open (?). Even after a dog jumps through the window it still never dawns on them to roll it up (!!); During the climax of the film the gang throw a party (?) and when the lights go out one of the characters goes down in the basement by himself to replace the fuse (!). Predictably he becomes a human dog biscuit. The Breed is a low budget flick and full of characters that make stupid decision. Despite it’s shortcomings it’s a lot of fun.
I prefer this Breed