Slaughter (1976)

aka Dogs
Article 2954 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 6-9-2009
Posting Date: 9-15-2009
Directed by Burt Brinckerhoff
Featuring David McCallum, Sandra McCabe, George Wyner
Country: USA

In a small California college town that is the home of a secret government experiment, dogs start banding together to kill people.

Sometimes you can just tell, can’t you? Though this is not a TV-Movie (it’s far too bloody for that), there was something about this the one (the style of photography, the pacing, the choice of music, etc.) that just screamed TV-Movie, and a quick check on Burt Brinckerhoff’s oeuvre shows only a tiny handful of feature films and a huge amount of TV work. There’s one or two chills here, but the rest is a cheesy concoction made of one part NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, one part FROGS, and a bit of JAWS (and I’m willing to bet that somewhere along the line somebody was thinking of calling it PAWS). No explanation is ever given for the dogs acting this way, though I’m sure the film-makers assumed you would tie it to the secret government project about which we know nothing. Two things in particular stood out on the negative side of things here; Sandra McCabe has one of the worst screams in cinema history (it sounds like she’s auditioning badly for an opera), and the ending (which implies that another group of pets will also start going on the rampage) made me snicker rather than shudder. This one makes THE PACK look pretty good.


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