We're about half way through the Underrated Series and have finally reached one of the big genres. I'm expecting lots…
Now there's a new name for terror...
A friendly St. Bernard named "Cujo" contracts rabies and conducts a reign of terror on a small American town.
While I haven't seen all of Stephen King's films, out of the films I've seen thus far Cujo is my favorite!
The first 32 minutes are devoted to character development! For the most part it's a lil sneaky peaky at the skeletons in everyone's closets!
The next 50 minutes of the film is devoted entirely to scaring the living daylights out of you and I! And it succeeds!
Dee Wallace's agonizingly realistic performance made it easy to buy into the whole premise with her truly riveting portrayal of a mom and her young son struggling to survive a ghastly ordeal that only the sick twisted mind of Stephen King could conjure up!
Currently Streaming on NF!
I think Dee Wallace's performance is what inevitably draws me back to Cujo.
Inherently feminine, with a small frame and a weak, flutey voice, she starts off as a shallow adulteress whose inner strength emerges in a crisis; the kind of strength that's retiring, downhearted and quietly resentful.
Based on Stephen King's bestseller (he says he was so drunk he can't remember writing it), this movie debases itself by establishing its family in colourless scenes that recall TV movies circa 1980. Dee Wallace is cheating on her prim-and-proper husband with a bearded 'rebel'. She decides to end it and save her marriage, so he ransacks their house.
The movie insists on these gossipy scenes, believing an audience watching a young…
A horror film that unfolds against the meltdown of a young family, Lewis Teague's "Cujo" spends more of its time setting up its domestic drama than presenting its horror elements. When those elements hit, however, they are intense, harrowing, and relentless.
"Cujo" is probably best known as the Stephen King adaptation about the rabid St. Bernard that terrorizes a mother and son trapped in their vehicle. This description is adequate but does not do the film's narrative justice. "Cujo" begins by alternating between the story of a pet dog, bitten by a bat and breaking down thanks to a rabies infection, and a family breaking down thanks to job stresses and infidelity. The film does a solid job of setting…
Film 7 in my Re-watch Wednesday Project.
Cujo is the first movie I ever saw in theaters (at least as far as I can remember). I saw it with my mom (a life long horror fan) in 1983 the year it was released. I would have been 6 or 7 years old. I always remembered liking it, and gave it credit for being one of the films that turned me into a horror fan just like my mother. It was probably a little much for a kid my age but hey I turned out alright. For the most part anyway.
Cujo is a friendly St. Bernard until he contracts rabies from a bat and reigns terror on an unexpected mother…
“Fuck you, dog.”
-Donna Trenton (Dee Wallace-Stone)
Second King adaptation of the day, with a serving of Cujo! This is probably my favourite ‘it’s so bad, it’s fucking awesome!’ kind of movie. If you thought Thinner was an insane premise, like I did, you really haven’t seen nothing yet. This is a movie about a nigh on indestructible St. Bernard terrorising a town and tearing folk to shreds. Guess what? It’s so, so bad. But it’s FUCKING AWESOME.
Genre icon Dee Wallace (star of classics, like E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial and The Howling, and not-so classics like Critters!) heads up the fairly bog average cast, and turns in a great performance; completely over-the-top and needlessly melodramatic! Like this review! She stars…
The horror of being trapped in a car with a whiny kid and a rabid dog outside.
Got that Americana normal family threatened by evil vibe going on. Gotta sit through some family drama before you get to the good shit, including infidelity and a bizarre sub plot about bad cereal. It's pretty engrossing though.
It's well shot, not just some thrown together schlock. When the family roll up to the farm there's a great shot of Cujo bounding towards them. the dog make up is great too, rabies gradually getting to Cujo. All the stalk and kill scenes are great.
FYC: The dog or dogs who played Cujo.
After having read the book for the first time, I wanted to see how well it holds up and it seems like that the movie is a much better version of the two because the book is slow and boring on parts plus is has no break in the flow of it since there is no chapters. There was a lot of extra stuff about the account her husband was working on and more of cujo's owners what they were like and movie gets to the bare bones of it while wrapping it up nicely. I liked the book's savage ending more than the films which was nicer and more pleasing to the audience.
Outstanding adaptation, a completely terrifying film filled with great characters and an unforgettable villain. The slow burn is expertly crafted and leads to a intense finale. My only reason for not giving this a five star rating was the abrupt ending, it worked, but it was too sudden.
Less sadistic than the novel, but it's also not as good, and makes Cujo nothing but a rabid monster rather than a sympathetic character.
Beneath the surface of the film's simple premise lies a horrific thriller which explores the dynamic of a dysfunctional family in addition to childhood fears and anxieties. Distressing scenes, particularly those featuring the main child character add to the films emotional impact. The menacing performance from the canine antagonist is achieved very well through clever animal training along with precise camera and stunt work.
A simple yet realistic idea is executed brilliantly in such a way which audiences find amusing and can relate to. The horrific events which eventually unfold interestingly parallel anxieties and tensions brewing in our protagonist and her immediate family. Unlike other titles based off the source's author, characters are well developed in the features short run-time. Which, allows for common issues straining our lead family dynamic to be all the more sympathetic.
"Meat and potatoes" is the go-to term here - it doesn't get more basic than a couple of people terrorized by a rabid dog. But it's a thin concept to stretch out over an hour and a half, and the domestic dramas are not compelling. There's even a subplot that we come back to throughout with the husband in another town, bothered by the feeling that something's wrong - and the only payoff for it (and it's admittedly a good, if subtle one) is where the kid, scared shitless and apparently not comforted by the impressive bravery of his mom, starts crying for his dad.
But once the dog fucks shit up, it can get pretty intense. The dog attacks…
I forgot how slow this movie was, and how little I care about anything that happens until Cujo goes ape shit.
If I was Dee Wallace, I would have fed Danny Pintauro's Tad character to Cujo and walked off the farm. That kid is so annoying in this film. They should have kept the original ending from the book.
This terrified me as a child. Not as scary now but still one of the better Stephen King adaptations.
As another week passes, another Stephen King adaptation shall be reviewed. This time around Forest shares his thought on Cujo. Cory detours from King material to cover the remake/sequel, The Town That Dreaded Sundown.
The horror duo also chat about being bombarded by winter weather, Forest goes to see Birdman and Cory explains how Mary Kate & Ashley Olson got their names. All this and "Ahhhh, my knees....!".
More than 1100 movies of pure 80's horror.
Missing films I can't locate on Letterboxd:
Blonde Ambition (1981)
The Devil in Miss Jones (1972)
I Like to Watch…