Man's Best Friend (1993)

DVD Cover (New Line Studios)
John Lafia John Lafia
Ally Sheedy Ally Sheedy
Lance Henriksen Lance Henriksen
Robert Costanzo Robert Costanzo
Fredric Lehne Fredric Lehne
John Cassini John Cassini

5.0 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres / Traits: Horror, Natural Horror, Sci-Fi Horror, Science Fiction, Canines
A genetically mutated dog is stolen from the lab of mad scientist Dr. Jarret by news reporter/animal rights advocate Lori Tanner, who conceals it from the police in her home. The dog, Max, endowed with intelligence and other special abilities, is at first lovable, but also proves to be a ferocious, unstoppable killer. --IMDb
Review by Chad
Added: May 13, 2004
EMAX is a genetic splicing facility, where they do research on, well, genetic splicing. The main project there is Max, a dog that is spliced with traits from various other animals, giving it their uniqueness. For example, it has the vision of an owl, the ability to blend in with the environment from a chameleon, the speed of a cheetah, etc. All is going fairly enough, until Lori, a news reporter, breaks into the lab to do a news piece on animal cruelty for the nightly news. Of course, she spots Max and decides to do her news piece with him. As this is going on, the main doctor from the lab discovers what's going on, and some yelling commences. Lori hauls ass out of there, and Max follows her. After an incident at a local convenience store, Lori decides to keep the dog as a pet; however, as the drugs that were injected into the dog wear off, it gets more and more violent towards humans. At the same time, the doctor is trying to track down the dog and recover it, and he's not exactly very pleasant himself.

Decent enough movie. My only gripe with it was the over-building of Max as such a nice dog for the majority of the movie, and the over-abundance of the child actors who crapped up their scenes. The kids require no explanation, but by the whole nice dog thing, I mean that they showed him shanking off a robber outside the Quik-E-Mart because he was attacking Lori. Alrighty, it's a nice guard dog. Then he tries to attack her husband Perry because he thinks that by them two fucking, he's hurting her. Then he thinks the postman is trying to attack her. It just kept on going like that, when it was quite clearly established early on that he was a good guard dog. Also, I realize it set everything up for the ending of the movie, but I really don't care a whole lot about the dogs sex-life, so that whole scene quite obviously drug on just a wee bit too long for me.

Unfortunately though, with all the guarding and attacking and whatnot, we really don't see a lot of death here. Max totals up four human deaths, leads to the death of another, offs two animals, and finally injures another guy. Average enough, but when you consider that all of those kills aren't really shown at all, only the dog jumping, person falls, blood splatter.... well, it was a slight letdown. However, some nice effects were had in the opening scene when we saw all the mutilated animals in the lab; excellent work there. As a side-note, I found it hilarious how they handled the "voice recognition software" in the lab. The doctor would talk to his computer, then the camera would zoom in, and we'd see a ladies face "replying" to him... however, they made no attempts to cover up the "Media Player - movie8.mpg" in any of the scenes. Call me a geek, but that sure was some grand hilarity, indeed.

Rumor has it that this airs quite frequently on USA or some other such channel. Might be worth a viewing in that case, but I wouldn't recommend dropping the two bones on a rental, unless you're really into the man-vs-animal type movies. 4/10.
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