Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Deadly Dogs Week: Man's Best Friend (1993)

Okay. Man's Best Friend was SO not the movie I was expecting. But I have a tendency to expect either very much or very little about the random movies I watch and I wasn't even sure which of those categories Man's Best Friend was in. And surprise, surprise! What a fun movie. A little on the hokey side and a lot ridiculous at some points but still a good time.

Trying to get an exposé story on facility doing experiments on animals, Lori Tanner (Ally Sheedy) and her videographer sneak into the place to get footage. When they get caught and make a break for it, one of the experimental animals, a dog named Max, escapes with them and Lori takes him home. While Lori thinks he's the best pet ever, everyone else sees him for the danger he really is. Meanwhile, the dog's creator Dr. Jarret tries to get him back before the drugs he gave him wear off and Max turns into a killing machine.

Sometimes I have a problem with movies that use the old "genetic experimentation" stand-by to explain why some of these animals or people are going all crazy in these movies. It seems like too much of a cop-out or that the filmmakers didn't have a better reasoning for someone or something's psychosis. However... this genetics shit in Man's Best Friend was absolutely fantastic, if only because it brought about some of the funniest scenes in the movie. Some of the funniest stuff I've seen in a long time.

You see, Dr. Jarret (played by the wonderful Lance Henriksen) didn't just mess with Max's DNA - he created his monster by splicing the DNA of other animals like jaguars, owls, snakes, and lizards to give Max all of these animals' most useful abilities. So then we get some amazing scenes of just what little Max can do.

Let's go over some of this awesome stuff. 1) Max seems to have the strength of a bear as he busts through doors and windows and rips himself away from the chain that crazy animal abuser junkyard guy put on him.
2) He has the agility to leap over two cars to avoid being run over by police.
3) He can climb trees like a big kitty cat in order to go after a little kitty cat which....
4)... he is then able to swallow whole like a snake! This was the greatest few seconds of movie time ever. Hilarious and amazing.
5) Max has acid pee! I have no idea what animal that is supposed to come from but it's pretty freaking great when Max pees all over Lori's boyfriend's face and burns him.

Max is also a ladies dog. I couldn't believe I was watching this as it was unfolding but again, it was hilarious like most of the shit that happens in this movie. Max breaks into a neighbor's house to have sex with the cute collie dog who lives there. Some people may see it as a "dog rape" scene but I don't know about that... The collie was acting all coy and shy when Max showed up and where did he find her? ON THE BED. Yup, she knew what was gonna happen.

I expected a more glorious death scene for Max. He gets a cute little moment of sympathy with Lori right before Jarret storms into the room, shotgun in tow, and blows Max away with one shot as he's leaping at Jarret. Jarret then gets it too when he falls through a glass window onto a metal which THEN electrocutes him when the little dog Spike messes with an electrical plug. Whew. But I kinda feel sorry for Max. He might actually have been a good dog if he could have kept up with his meds that stopped him from, well... killing people.

Man's Best Friend is a surprising little horror/thriller/comedy that is not really great by any standards. The technical specs are okay, even some of the mechanical dog work is believable to somebody not really paying attention. But I liked it! Those scenes listed above had me laughing out loud and that is cool in my book. So give this one a chance if you have the time.


  1. Great review! I love cheesy horror movies that can make me laugh and smile. I'll definitely check this one out. :D

  2. Love this theme week! Man's Best Friend was pretty decent. Lance Henriksen is always entertaining.

  3. @Jenny: Oh this one has tons of laugh moments! I think you'd enjoy it.

    @Ty: Thanks! I loved watching all these crazy dog movies (except Rottweiler). Yes, Lance is key!

  4. I totally forgot I saw this. Even after I read the review, the only thing I can remember was the dog climbing the tree, and the cat *slowly* sliding down its throat. God bless the horror section at the VHS rental store for gems like this.

  5. the scene with the cat eaten by dog was disgusting.How did a dog manage to eat a whole cat really!!!

  6. I Love This movie but I want to see max3000 Vs cujo that be hot for 2013two of best movie