Thursday, October 04, 2007

Devil Dog

(1978) **1/2

Like many movies I watch in October, Devil Dog begins with a group of blank-eyed culties worshiping a green and scaly demon with horns. These are your standard horror-movie Satanists; the ones that wear robes, carry purple candles and chant gibberish while standing over a pentagram. Everything seems to be in order. The ritual appears successful and the Great Horned One is reborn in the form of a dog.

Next we’re introduced to the typical squeaky clean 70’s family. There’s Richard, his wife, Charlie the David Cassidy wannabee and last and certainly least, the awkward prepubescent daughter. They purchase one dog from what can only be described as a traveling fruit and dog salesman. They happily name him Lucky.

Maria the maid senses evil in Lucky and begs Richard to get rid of him. But Maria’s feelings don’t really matter because in the very next scene she tragically goes up in flames. Soon thereafter, the kids start to act stranger than usual. Their new hobbies include smiling, candle carrying and chanting. Concerned about Charlie’s radical change, his teacher visits the house and expresses his concerns to the parents. Then he dies. At this point mom has joined in on the crazy, leaving only dad to figure out what hell is going on. Finally (as in, about friggin’ time) it dawns on him that Lucky is the cause of his family’s dysfunction. One might even go so far as to call him a “devil dog”. Richard takes the dog into the woods to shoot him but Lucky doesn’t die. He then tries abandoning him in the middle of nowhere only to find the Luckster greeting him upon his return.

This is when things go from kinda dumb to pretty fucking stupid. Richard enlists the help of a psychic to interpret a blood painting of a 3 eyed devil that his family made. Immediately the psychic spells it out for him. “It’s a pity it isn’t a one eyed devil” she whispers knowingly. “The one eyed devil is not your brightest. But the 3 eyed devils are all-seeing – the cleverest I’ve ever seen like this before.” She then goes on about the soul for a little too long. In Madam Ruby’s expert opinion, Richard has no choice but to fly to Ecuador in search of an old wise man. Richard heeds her advice and finds this guy:

Crazy Old Man in Wool Hat teaches Richard how to dispose of the evil mutt once and for all. He paints a circle inside a triangle on his hand and sends him on his way. During the satisfactory final conflict we get to see Devil Dog’s true form which I will share with you at this time:

They leave the door open for the sequel that was never meant to be.


JPX said...

Hilarious review! The power of your prose is that I now want to see this movie despite how awful you make is sound. I love your choice of pictures. Was this a made-for-TV movie?

Would the sequel be called Twinkie?


Johnny Sweatpants said...

Yeah, it was made for TV alright. And I'd watch this one again if I had the time.