Dog Bites Man Image

Dog Bites Man

By Bradley Gibson | April 9, 2024

The performances of Rodgers and Morrison are rock solid. They bounce between terror and comical absurdity, like Laurel and Hardy. At times, they wander into caricature, satirizing dated, overblown portrayals of gay men, a la La Cage Aux Folles. The dialogue is formal to the point of being theatrical. Dog Bites Man often feels like a stage play and would work wonderfully as such. The repartee would not be out of place in a play by Oscar Wilde or Noel Coward. Wit and volleys of banter spark as the night wears on.

However, it’s not all fun and fireplaces at the siege in the woods, as there are a couple of nits to pick. First and foremost is the use of the German Shepherd, trading on the familiar images of the breed as police and Nazi enforcement animals. But, mainly, German Shepherds are loyal defenders. It would be very hard to get one to lay siege to a house with no immediate threat. I get the symbolism, but come on. If they’d offered that good boy a biscuit, he’d come in and make friends. The other miss is the lack of cell phones. Their car is new, so the time period must be now. Evo and Darm would have phones, and their “weekend getaway” house would be within spitting distance of wi-fi. Neither laptops nor phones were in evidence. Being cut off is necessary for the script to work, but it’s asking much of an audience to suspend that level of disbelief. The ubiquity of the smartphone is making scriptwriting much more challenging.

The performances of Rodgers and Morrison are rock solid.”

Finally, the film concludes with a moral-of-the-story speech delivered straight to the camera, breaking the fourth wall. Nothing that’s said is wrong, but this is somewhat sanctimonious. We already know this is the “New American Civil War,” and the forces intent on driving us into an “old-white-straight-man” dark age are real. That said, who is the intended audience? Those who agree don’t need the sermon, and those who don’t won’t watch the movie.

The dialogue is clever, and the characters are likable. The powerlessness of the situation is frustrating. A viewer may wish one of them would grab a baseball bat and head out to give the rednecks a little stick time. Still, overall, Dog Bites Man is entertaining and disturbing, if a bit too stagey and preachy.

Dog Btes Man (2024)

Directed: Vincent Zambrano

Written: Frederick Kirwin

Starring: Andrew Rogers, Cade Morrison, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

Dog Btes Man Image

"…the ubiquity of the smartphone is making scriptwriting much more challenging."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Frederick Kirwin says:

    Dear Bradley Gibson, thank you so much for your thoughtful, well-written review. However, twice in the movie it’s mentioned that the cellphone is in the car. At 3:55, Darm says, ““What do you mean, did I look? I was busy running back alongside YOU. Did YOU look? Furthermore, you left the cellphone in the car.” And at 23:30, Evo says, “….our cellphone’s in the car, and there’s no Internet out here anyway.” And there is also a visual of the cellphone in the car..

Join our Film Threat Newsletter

Newsletter Icon