The concept for this movie is perfectly described in six words, which are lovingly splattered all over the posters -- "Six Soldiers. Full Moon. No chance."
Like most great werewolf movies, it's not subtle ... but we love it. It starts off with a couple camping out in the Scottish highlands, and the girlfriend decides to give her boyfriend a silver dagger as a present. Hmm. They then proceed to get gruesomely slaughtered by an unseen beast. The real purpose of this opening scene is to let us know straight away that this is a werewolf movie, because for the next twenty minutes or so we are plunged straight into an ultra-realistic soldier movie instead. In director Neil Marshall's own words, this is a "soldier movie with werewolves", and not the other way around. But that's exactly what makes "Dog Soldiers" so great.
I can promise you great visual gags, entertaining dialogue, identifiable characters and most of all, brilliant werewolves. And it doesn't take place in some fantasy world -- these people are real soldiers stranded in a cottage doing their best to deal with a supernatural threat. Neil Marshall, along with a first-rate team of actors, keep the blood pumping and fill in the gaps with realistic conversation. All of the principal cast are great -- the leading man Kevin McKidd, Emma Cleasby, Liam Cunningham, and most of all Sean Pertwee, who excels as the squad sergeant.
The special effects could easily match any big-budget Hollywood movie, if only because of the way that they are utilised and shot convincingly. Most of all there's a sense that genuine love and care went into the making of this movie, and everyone involved understood what it was about and intended to make it the best it could possibly be. It references films like "The Evil Dead", "Night of the Living Dead", "The Matrix" -- and of course "The Howling" and "American Werewolf".
If this movie has any flaws they are it's own lack of ambition. It's sets out to be a fast-paced, exciting Friday night movie about soldiers fighting werewolves, and that's exactly what it is. There's no real subtext or exploration of the werewolf myth, just full on carnage from start to finish, and the execution of the concept is spot-on. Some of the dialogue may be a little difficult for non-British folk to follow, but the level of slang is fairly realistic -- unlike in many British films where it feels forced and false. It also may be difficult for some people to believe that they'd actually still be worrying about the results of an England v Germany football match while being stalked by a pack of werewolves, but, well ... we would.
"Dog Soldiers" is a movie for anyone who's after a howling, snarling, throat-ripping good time.
I'll make this quick. This is what you get with a film about werewolves battling soldiers that has a good writer-director, a top notch cast, a growing sense of dread, a surprising amount of actual intended funny moments that are (GASP!)funny(even if they are British-oriented for the most part), and some good looking werewolves.
I really enjoyed this movie. I mean I was all set too trash this at the begininng, but wow. It starts off with the traditional campers-in-the-woods-oh-no-full-moon-getting-eaten kind of deal then skips over to these soldiers going through training. Well one thing leads to another and they wind up in werewolf territory during that oh so glorious full moon. I don't want to say to much about the action cause its the best part, but the guy fighting with the frying pan was COOL. The gore factor's okay, not too much but not too little and the werewolves are I would say decent and there is a little twist. All in all one of my favorite wolf-flicks.
A true classic movie, this is my favourite movie of all time. Until I see a better movie, this is #1 for me. *Must watch this movie*
This was a pretty good movie. I liked the way there was a family of werewolfs, and the fact there was soldiers with actual weapons. I also liked the way it took place in the wilderness rather than in the city, which seems to be the way it happens now.
I just want to make this clear first of all that this is a great movie. Tons of action, and not to mention great werewolves! the plot is fantastic and the fact that it is real soldiers that have a chance instead of some random helpless people getting slaughterd makes this movie a must see! And the woods make them on an even playing field. I strongly recommend this movie to any werewolf fim lover!
This was by far the most spectacular werewolf movie I have seen in a long time. The greatest thing about it was how it had some great twists. I don't care what anybody says, Dog Soldiers is the best werewolf movie that was ever made.
A friend told me about this movie so I decided to pick it up. It did not disappoint. This was a good movie from start to finish. As far as werewolf movies go, American Werewolf in London is still my personal no# 1 but this movie is 1A.
I'm afraid I have mixed feelings about this film. Although I find it THE scariest werewolf movie of all time, as it does what the shark did in Jaws to this movie (what you cant see is what scares you the most) but im afraid the accents can be so thick that for 70% of the movie I have no clue whats going on. Visually this movie is a masterpiece as it delivers great werewolf action and gore alike and the story pulls you in, but like I said, unless you can decipher the THICK british accents that the actors spew youre not going to understand the movie too much.
I am visually stunned by these werewolves. although they look a little hairless in the chest area, the realism of the makeup effects make you believe this movie. Superb!!!
Okay ... the werewolves here are bloody great.
In the 'making of' documentary, Neil Marshall mentions his own interest in werewolf movies and his desire to make his own wolves look good. He sums up 'American Werewolf in London' with "Great movie ... naf werewolf. It's a dog.", and to 'The Howling' he says, "Love the movie, great werewolves, but you hardly see them." And so the design of the werewolves here are a lot like those nasty biped wolves in 'The Howling', but of a greater level with animatronics so that they can convincingly stay on screen for a fair amount of time.
It really had to be guys in suits here, for the 'wrestling' scene at the end of the movie where one of the soldiers takes on a wolf with his bare hands (see fourth photo down). They also used leg extensions to make their movement more wolf-like, and very cool animatronic wolf faces. All the other physical effects -- the blood, the guts, the explosions and so on, are as good as those in any Hollywood movie.
The transformation sequences basically involve cut-aways, and the actors suddenly wearing contact lens and fangs, then falling off screen for the final transformation into wolf form. I'm sure that if the budget allowed it, the makeup team would have had a lot of fun doing a fantastic transformation sequence ... but maybe in the sequel. At least they didn't resort to crappy CG transformations.
The wolves are introduced to us in quick flashes at first, but you're definitely made to feel their presence with the great sound effects and the gruesome aftermath of their attacks. By the end of the movie you're seeing them in all their glory, on screen in extended shots (see third photo down), and they still look fantastic. They are agile, fast-moving and deadly, exactly how werewolves should appear. Their breath appears in the air like warm vapour as they snort ferociously, ready for the kill. They are quite simply my favourite werewolves ever. If these kinds of effects can be achieved in a low-budget production such as this, then there's no excuse.