Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bad Doggy!: Rottweiler

If nothing else, Brian Yuzna films are good for a laugh.  I don't mean that necessarily in a negative way either, as some of his films- like Bride of Re-Animator and Return of the Living Dead Part III- have some actual humor in them.  So, with that in mind, imagine my shock when I watched Rottweiler, a bleak film in every sense of the word.  This film offers you no hope, no love and no salvation.  Life sucks, Paul Naschy rapes your girlfriend and you die.  That's pretty much it, really.  Mind you, being a bleak film is not always bad.  Obviously Cannibal Holocaust does not have the most up-lifting themes or messages in it, but I really like that movie.  Unfortunately, this film tries to get too clever for its own good, serving up a confusing narrative that only really makes sense at the end.  Even then, however, it's still a bit confusing.  So we've got a bleak film without a plot that really makes sense.  Can the gore effects, action and character development make up for that?  Get out your smelly cowboy boots for my review of...
Our tale begins with our hero being dragged into a prison beaten and bruised.  He's taunted by an unseen warden and threatened by a scary dog.  While waiting to be put away, a scorpion walks onto another prisoner and bites him.  In the ensuing chaos, our hero and a prisoner he is chained to escape into the woods. They don't make it that far before the titular dog rips the 'Red Shirt' to pieces, but our hero escapes when his arm comes off.  It takes a bit away from your sadness when you snap the arm at the bone to get the cuffs off, dude!  He escapes out into...the desert, since there is no clear land orientation in this movie.  He makes it a long way before a helicopter shows up.  He climbed about three different mountains in the time it took you to mount a helicopter together and go check the area?  He's either really fast or you all suck!  He manages to allude detection in a bush that barely covers him- one point for my second theory- and stops in a cave for the night.  He has a dream/flashback to how he got into prison.  Him and a lady were on a boat full of illegal immigrants going into the country.  The film's version of ICE/INS show up and the pair flee onto land.  They end up following someone else into a prison where they're greeted by Paul Naschy?!?  Damn it- you're here?!? Our hero explains that they were playing a game called 'Infiltration'- never explained- and the Warden takes her off for some fun.  His exposition-style dream is broken up by capture from a guard and the killer dog though.
Taking adversity very well, our hero/convict manages to trick the dog and grab the guard's gun from him.  He wounds the animal (thanks, movie) and kills the man.  He also makes sure to steal the man's cowboy boots, since he's lack in footwear at the moment.  After some wandering around, he ends up in a den full of Mexican drug dealers, who take him in once they realize that he's a prisoner that killed a police officer.  They eat and drink, but our hero's sleep is interrupted by more dreams/flashbacks.  As it turns out, our hero is a complete dick and gets mad at his girlfriend for getting raped.  Personally, if I had a girlfriend raped by Paul Naschy, I would have been both upset and a little star-struck.  Of course, I'd be a bit creeped out if it happened now (R.I.P.).  Anyhow, the man wakes up the next day without boots, since the men took it.  Oddly, they didn't take his gun.  That's kind of poor planning on your part, especially if he wakes up mad!  This proves to be a moot point, however, as the man in his boots is killed by the dog that has now come back to life/re-booted.  Don't ask me to explain how any of that worked.  Furthermore, don't ask me to explain what the hell the point of having the scorpion from earlier keep showing up either.  For no reason, he picks a fight with the dog at a river when it shows up again.  This leaves him running naked through the land- hurray?
Despite not having a linear plot to speak of, the movie keeps insisting that it does!  He ends up at a house owned by a widow and her daughter.  Naturally, the naked man who shows up is mistrusted...until the woman has sex with him.  Unfortunately, the dog arrives and puts an end to that bizarre scene.  He ultimately kills the woman before our hero spirits the kid away.  It chases them to the highway and onto a truck, leading to more kills.  For an innocent man, this guy is causing a lot of death!  He escapes into a city, leaving the kid with some people, in order to find his missing girlfriend.  He runs afoul of a prostitute in one of a true 'red herring,' while the dog kills more people.  Our hero eventually gets back to the prison he was originally caught at and remembers the truth.  In a bit of rage, he inadvertently-killed the woman.  He has another battle with the dog and confronts Warden Naschy.  He's kind of a dick, so our hero causes his helicopter to crash and explode.  Unfortunately, the dog is still alive and emerges from the fire in a lawsuit-worthy rip-off of The Terminator (hence the alternate title in Korea).  He awkwardly battles the obviously-CG dog skeleton before he apparently dies at some point.  The movie just time-jumps and shows his skeleton, so I'm left guessing.  So yeah, everyone is dead and or maimed- save for that damn scorpion!  The End.
This movie is a giant waste of potential.  A good man-vs-beast tale is ruined with a bad lead, bad writing and confusing plot.  Seriously, what was the point of showing it in non-linear order?  There are times when that is actually important or helpful- not here.  The reason, unfortunately, is because our hero has to completely forget that he is a total douche-bag and let his lady be killed.  If they had said that from the beginning, there would be zero reason to care.  Speaking of care, there was not a lot of it put into explaining anything.  Why is there a robot dog?  Why did it bleed when it was shot?  How come it works fine as just a charred exoskeleton?  More importantly, the movie just made me feel disconnected due all of the aforementioned things, leaving me with plenty of time to ponder these sorts of questions.  When I have time during your film to question your plot-holes, you've done something wrong!  I wish that I could recommend this to you, but it's a badly-written film with a good premise.  Maybe some other Phillipino director will come along and do it better.  The bar is set nice and low, Man's Best Friend and Devil Dog.
Next up, my first David Decoteau film is reviewed.  This one involves women, witches...and heart in a box?  Stay tuned...
*Just for you, Carl*


  1. The dog is cool as hell, but yeah, the 12-m of naked dude ass and weak kills make this a pretty bland killer dog film. But c'mon Alec, wheres the video of the chicken?? Its on youtube, and no Rottweiler review is complete without it

  2. I'll get right on that when I get home. This week has been hell for me update-wise. As soon as I can catch up to today, I'll find it. :-)