06 February 2007

Ink Blots L - The Plague Dogs

Every dog has his day, at least during dog themed month.

Rowf and Snitter are test subjects at an animal research lab, and when they get the chance, they escape. But once in the wild, they must prey on farm animals to stay alive. They team up with a crafty fox named "The Tod" who helps them to evade their human pursuers. At first, the lab denies any knowledge of the escaped dogs, but eventually the media breaks a story that 2 dogs are in fact missing from the lab and quite possibly infected with bubonic plague. This news causes the locals to demand action be taken. As a result, military forces are called in to track down the animals.

From the same director as Watership Down, The Plague Dogs is also based on a book by Richard Adams, and features similar lifelike animal animation. In fact, the animation is quite impressive as it captures the quirks and actions of these animals that give them endearing personality. This 1982 film never got a real release in the US, and even on DVD is only available in its full version in Austrailia. I guess there isn't a huge market for depressing animal films.

This is really a sad story about these two canines who just want to be free. They want to escape the cruelty of the "whitecoats" and find nice masters. Snitter has recently undergone some brain vivisection and so he is a bit out of it, but Rowf takes care of his little companion. This isn't your typical furry animal film. From the opening scene of Rowf being nearly drowned in a water tank, its clear that little kids would be deeply disturbed by the content here. These poor forlorn pups earn a somber B+.

The Plague Dogs


toast said...

Ink Blots L?! Wow! You are the reviewing man! Keep it up!

I have not seen this one or Watership Down. They do look nice, though.

tygriffin said...

This is one of my long-time favorite stories - and the animated movie adaptation was pretty close to the book, as near as I can recall. It's been a long time since I've seen it. :)

j said...

I remember Watership Down being pretty trippy as a kid. It always made me want to read the book, and I was never able to get past the first few pages.

However, I'm recently having some success with another book that I'd previously had trouble getting traction with (Great Expectations), so maybe I can give Watership another try when I finish this one.

Chip Chief said...

So j, now you have "great expectations" for Watership Down?

By the way, expect a WD review next month!!!

j said...

I'm looking forward to your WD review, b/c all I remember is some shadow rabbit that one of the rabbits could never catch, until he was dead or something.

Yeah, its been a really long time since I saw that one.

justin said...

I think proper care should be taken of the dogs in the lab... After all it is their responsibility...