Man’s best friend turns on him again in this “SyFy Channel” woofer that has a high pedigree but winds up following the “Sharknado” formula too closely to stand out from the pack.
It all starts with a huge asteroid hurtling towards earth. It breaks up into green glowing chunks that rain down on a remote town(is there any other kind ). A pair of deer hunters witness the event but before they can report the event they are attacked and ripped to pieces by wolves .
Next up we meet our fractured family that will soon be imperiled, ala the raining sharks flick. Dad works at an orchard, mom(who has just signed the divorce papers) looks after their youngest daughter, and their oldest, Roslyn, is about to go for a hike with two girlfriends and the family dog.
Meanwhile the dogs are howling all over town and green chunks of meteorite appear to be everywhere. They emit a sound wave that only Fido can hear and it appears to be telling them to go out and kill!
This leads to a few clever bits. First up is a corker of a scene where a young girl is looking for her missing cat and finally finds it up in a tree with about seven other felines waiting out the end of the movie. Then there’s the dog catcher who stops for gas and finds himself in the dog house when his prisoners escape and tear into him like he was carved out of “Alpo.”
More incidents include a pet groomer who gets nipped and a dog loving diva whose snooty snout gets swallowed by her petite pooch. The downtown area looks like something out of a Hitchcock movie when people gather in a restaurant only to exit too soon ,thinking things have calmed down. They find out the hard way that dogs can play a mean game of opossum.
Meanwhile our family spends the movie getting out of scrapes so they can finally join forces . When they do we learn that they just happen to have a small plane at the local airfield( which they head for post haste). They take off in the nick of time but the friendly skies turn out to be a lot more inviting than what waits for them on terra firma.
This is an okay dog flick from the talented Eric Red, who wrote and directed such 80’s horror classics as “Body Parts” and ‘The Hitcher.” Red is able to unleash plenty of horrific scenes and lives up to his name by going heavy on the gore.
That said the movie doesn’t do anything new with the genre though it earns points for being the first SyFy Channel flick in a dog’s age to avoid CGI effects . The actors are okay and include Rob Morrow (“Numbers” and “Northern Exposure”) as the desperate, and indestructible, dad who manages to walk away from a mauling or two as well as getting his legs trapped between two crashed cars.
Fun in spots but proof positive that this genre needs a time out before it goes to the dogs.
Best Line: “He got tore up like a bag of kibble.”
Tomy Doty is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.