Monster Dog

I watched Troll II the other day. Believe it or not, I had never seen it before. It's requisite viewing for horror fans, so I needed to see what the fuss was all about. And...yeah, it's pretty bad. Here's the thing; I have made it my vocation in life to imbibe the weirdest, most obscure b-movies in the solar system. I've seen the shittiest of the shitty. Troll II is whacked out, but it's not the worst z-grade production that I've had to endure. As far as schlock goes, it's not the funniest aberration out there, nor is it the silliest. It's not even close to that ballpark. Well, it's close, but it's loitering in the parking lot.

What does Troll II have in common with Monster Dog? Nothing, I guess. Moving on! For the record, I'm glad to be moving on. After sitting through Troll II (and Best Worst Movie, the documentary that studies the appeal of said cult classic), I don't want to run afoul of anything that reminds me of Nilbog. So, Monster Dog. It was directed by Clyde Anderson. Hmm, that name sounds familiar. Let me check IMDb...interesting. Apparently, it's a pseudonym used by Italian filmmaker Claudio Fragasso. Gotcha. Many great artists adopt a nom de plume, an assumed name to apply to unrelated projects. Wait a minute. No, that couldn't be. Troll II was directed by Drake Floyd. Let's see what IMDb has to say about Drake Floyd...oh, fuck.

It's true. Troll II and Monster Dog were spearheaded by the same dense, borderline autistic auteur. I am here to tell you that Troll II is the better film. If you rented Best Worst Movie, you know that one of the things that hindered the "creative" process was the language barrier between the cast and the crew. Here, the gullies in communication are amplified. Monster Dog was shot in Spain by Italians. The star? Alice Cooper. Because why not? To Cooper's credit, he is probably the most talented actor in the bunch. He gives it the old college try, but his effort is invalidated by execrable dubbing. FACTOID: The man who supplies Alice with a voice had a bit part in The Passion of the Christ. It's a small world after all?

The perennial shock rocker plays Vincent Raven, a perennial shock rocker. Vincent travels to his father's estate to shoot a music video with his girlfriend and a ragtag troupe of flaky friends (a model, a cameraman, some chick and some dude). When they arrive to the dank premises, they are warned about a roving pack of wild dogs that has already claimed two lives. The locals point to Vincent as the catalyst for all of this carnage. His father was slaughtered by a mob of torch-bearing villagers who swore that Vincent Sr. was a werewolf. Is his blood tainted by a curse? Is there another werewolf commanding rabid dogs in the area to rip into innocent flesh? Is there a werewolf at all?

Monster Dog has a few novel ideas, but lethargic pacing and hideous special effects get in the way of a fun time. Customarily, I don't pick on cheap creature designs. I'm easy to please, but we never see a full werewolf suit. They didn't make one! We get a sloppy puppet and an embarrassing transformation sequence. That just won't cut it. This flick clocks in at 84 minutes, but it seemed like it took two hours for the defective storyline to resolve itself. I did enjoy the campy music videos, and Fragasso can do wonders with a fog machine. Still, Troll II offered a less traumatic viewing experience. The irony is paralyzing.

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