FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Dec 18, 2007


For just a moment, imagine you are me. Try not to focus on all the jet-setting and glamour; rather, I'd like for you to imagine me in one particular situation. There you are (there I am? bah!) at the record & movie store, just a-browsin' on a Saturday. You spot a little something called Dogs (1976), a movie that falls squarely into your beloved "Animals Run Amok" category. You might pick up the DVD, thinking something like "Hmm. Oh my, yes". Then, upon closer inspection, you see two little words emblazoned on the DVD artwork- two great tastes that taste oh-so-great together...for, you see, you see:


Yes, what you are holding is an Animals Run Amok flick starring she of television's Models, Inc...starring she of (I shouldn't even have to tell you this by now) television's Dallas.

Let's reiterate: you are me, and you're holding an Animals Run Amok movie starring Sue Ellen Ewing. What do you do? You bring the movie home, right? Maybe make out with it on the way? Well, dear reader, you may be forgetting that I am nothing if not crafty. As such, I simply held the DVD before my shopping companion/pal Amanda By Night (who may love Sue Ellen even more than I do) and uttered a simple "Look!" Amanda snatched that shit up. Dogs found a home, I didn't have to pay for it, and I felt good about bringing content and the person who loves said content together; I'm all about helping people realize their goals, see, not unlike Sally Struthers.

At this point, you may be thinking "Oh Stacie, truly you are a gentle, magnanimous soul. But perhaps you should lay off the crack until after lunch time, yes? Your long-winded intro has nothing to do with anything, and in fact it makes very little sense."

Look, I'm trying really hard here to give this blog a bit of the human touch, okay? I'm trying to give you a glimpse into my fast-paced, action-packed lifestyle here without actually telling you anything about myself. Sure, I could have simply launched into a review of Dogs. I could have said "Yeah, Dogs. The acting was this, the directing was that, it was so-so."...but no. I'm trying to give you just a little bit more, a little something something, a little extra, like when you're having dinner out and your order arrives and the waiter offers to sprinkle cheese or pepper or some shit on your food. Yes, pasta primavera can be lovely, but the waiter wants to give it a little extra, a little tableside zing.

No, that's not a euphemism. And whenever they offer to spinkle stuff on my food I always refuse but that's not the point.

I don't even know what the point is anymore! What's this post all about, anyway? I don't remember. And P.S., I don't need a lecture: I'll use the crack anytime I want. Of course, everyone knows that crack is best in the afternoons and mornings are all about Xanax. Why do we have to argue about everything?

Whooooa. Maybe I should just start over. I borrowed a movie called Dogs from my friend Amanda. It stars Linda Gray of television's Dallas, and boy was I excited to see it! In the end, the movie I imagined was far superior to the movie I saw, but them's the breaks.

For just a moment, imagine a world in which all the canine pets turn on their owners! Imagine if one day your faithful companion Princess Fluffytail Wonderbottom III suddenly turned on you and made with the chomp chomp! Is that not a nightmare? Yes...yes, it is a nightmare. And that's exactly what happened in some fictional California college town! SHUDDER!

Why are the dogs attacking their owners? Why are they suddenly traveling in a big ol' pack, thirsting for blood? Is it due to pheromones? Is it because of the mysterious and experimental "linear accelerator" housed on the college campus? Who knows?

Certainly not anyone who watches Dogs, for the questions are never answered. This matters not, however- I mean, no one knows why the birds attacked in...umm...The Birds, and that's just fine. In fact, Dogs owes more than a little to Hitchcock's masterpiece, right down to the "children under attack" sequence. The comparisons are purely superficial, however: qualitatively, they're two very different beasts.

Dogs's biggest crime is that it's pretty boring. There's very little urgency to the proceedings, and the plot sort of meanders from one boring set-piece to another with a little attack thrown in once in a while. When these attack sequences aren't too dark to see (which isn't often), I will say that Dogs doesn't skimp on the blood and chewed flesh.

nom nom nom nom

The lead characters were extremely annoying and I found myself fervently wishing they'd end up meeting the pointy end of Sir Barkzalot but fast. Before you clamp your hand over your mouth and say "OMG, Stacie thought Linda Gray was annoying! Everything I know is wrong!", however, I'll point out that she wasn't a lead character whatsoever, despite the emblazoning of her name on the DVD case. She was in the first five minutes of the film, and then she had a shower/death scene an hour later. But oh, what an impression she made in a mere ten minutes of screen time! What an odd impression, I should say; she had this weird habit of continuously putting on and taking off her glasses for no reason whatsoever.

In the shower scene, for example, she puts her glasses on, turns on the water, then takes her glasses off. If she's that blind, she should consider wearing her specs all the time, you know? But no matter! A sneaky Doberman gets in the house and makes short work of poor Linda. The camera then pans to her beloved glasses sitting next to the shower, their owner now dead. I think this is supposed to symbolize something or other- what, I'm not sure. Whatever it is, though, I'm sure it's poignant and meaningful.

All in all, Dogs was pretty meh despite The Linda Gray Factor- my roommate fell asleep while we were watching it, and she never falls asleep during anything. That probably tells you all you need to know. I was mostly thankful that this film is 30 years old, for that means that Princess Fluffytail Wonderbottom III was a real dog, not one made out of computer. It's the little things, you know?


Anonymous said...

Oh but you are a sly one, Ponder. Poor Amanda...of course, she does get to take "Dogs" home.

Anonymous said...

La Ponder works her Jedi Mind Trick on Amanda to perfection. Well played.

But, hey, I was looking at the IMDb page for this movie, and it had David McCallum in it! Ilya* Kuryakin! Not that I'm old enough to have seen that show, but it was kind of huge there for those slight-older-than-I people. And he's a pretty solid actor. Where am I going with this? I don't know. So I'll, I guess, stop.

*I know, they spelled it Illya. But I spent too many damn years in Russian class to spell it like that. Ilya! Il’ya if you're nasty! Илья!

Anonymous said...

*takes off glasses*

*puts glasses back on*

Ray Banks said...

I hate it when waiters sprinkle some shit on my food. Especially when I don't ask for it.

Anonymous said...

And what you say about crack is so true.

Bloody Mary said...

Did I not read carefully enough, or did you fail to make fun of that man's striped suit and tie?

serial catowner said...

Yeah, it's hard to tell whether it's the glasses or the tie that makes the dogs bite people. Either one would get the dogs acquitted in France.

Seamus of the Hill People said...

I look for your book of movie reviews every time I'm in Borders. They tell me there's no record of it. And I tell them: "In a perfect world, Crowhaven Farm (1970) would be on DVD, and Stacie Ponder would write a book."

Stacie Ponder said...

Seamus, actually that's an idea I've considered. I do have books in Borders though; they're romance books written under my nom de plume Blanche Von De Cadenet. Most of them are about widowed mothers (young, beautiful, widowed mothers) who have to become scullery maids to support their young children who are stricken with one disease or another. The master of the house is brooding and temperamental but oh-so-handsome, and soon enough the master and the maid fall in love. Can their love overcome their class differences?

Sure can! And boy, is it steamy!