Dog Days Are Over
A different take on Stock Background Characters 101 this month as VeVo appreciates the literal underdogs of slasher film – the faithful canine.
Dogs needn’t worry about going in or out of style, they retain their lovable auras regardless of big perms and mullets with nothing but a jangly collar and sometimes a neckerchief. Gotta love that.
There are many pets in slasher films, some fish, budgies, but mostly cats that leap out of wardrobes with perfect timing to scare the beejeezus out of the inquisitive final girl and dogs that sense trouble long before their masters. They try to warn them but, much like children, nobody really knows/cares what they’re on about. Regardé:
“Woof woof woof woof woof. Woof woof. Woof woof woof woof woof” Trans: “There’s someone outside. Look out. …I want some kibble.”
Let us celebrate the best dogs of the slasher realm…
LESTER from Halloween
Breed: German Shepherd
Owners: The family Wallace
Skillset: Senses danger early, loves Lindsay Wallace, hates Annie Brackett. Growls a lot.
Hug-a-bility: 42% – if you’re a Wallace.
Fate: Tragic early doggie victim of Michael Myers. Poor Lester. Sadface.
MUFFIN from Friday the 13th Part 2
Breed: floppy, lapdog thing1?
Skillset: Wandering off to find backwoods-dwelling psychos, providing false sense of safety and does it all with a cute purple ribbon in her hair.
Fate: Unknown, last seen alive (along with Paul), hope she canters off to safety.
BEAST from The Hills Have Eyes Part II
Breed: German Shepherd
Owner: Ruby, I think
Skillset: Can save people from evil mutants not once, but twice! Capable of flashing back to experiences that occurred six years earlier. Has adorable Littlest Hobo-style neckerchief.
Hug-a-bility: 71% (if he likes you)
Fate: Saves the day again! Yay@Beast!
JASON from A Nightmare on Elm Street 4
Skillset: Jason crosses into the dreamscape with Kincaid and is able to piss a fire that resurrects Freddy Krueger. In a dream.
Hug-a-bility: 88% (as long as you’re awake)
Fate: Survives! Comes-a-waggin’ when Kincaid gets de-gangstered by FK.
SUNDAE from Halloween 4
Breed: Golden Retriever
Owners: The Carruthers
Skillset: Can make little orphaned Jamie Lloyd feel better when she has nightmares or nasty kids pick on her.
Fate: Another of Myers’ poor innocent doggie victims. Sadface #2.
TOBY from Friday the 13th Part VIII
Skillset: This lucky puppy gets to cruise to New York City and demonstrates that dogs can climb up and down ladders to and from lifeboats. Barks at thugs and flees when told to do so.
Fate: After scooting and thus missing having to trudge through sewers, alleys and diners, Toby pleases us all by appearing unscathed at the end, neckerchief n’ all!
MAX from Halloween 5
Owner: Rachel Carruthers
Skillset: Barky, scary doggie charged with protecting Rachel around October 31st. Fails to bite annoying friend Tina though.
Fate: Max becomes yet another dead dawg to add to the pile on Michael Myers’ karmic epitaph. Although it’s clear that the dog pictured is a cuddly toy with some ketchup on it.
HOOTIE from Urban Legend
Skillset: Hootie the fraternity dog drinks beer, has a pierced nose and scampers around the place bringing joy to all.
Fate: Poor Hootie becomes the test subject in a recreation of the legend about the old lady who microwaves her wet dog. Ewwww.
Unknown Dogs* from Flashback
*I couldn’t be bothered to decipher the abysmal dubbing to try and capture their names.
Breeds: I dunno, to be honest. There’s this dog on the left and another Westie-type pup later on.
Owners: Dog #1 – Janette’s family, Dog #2 – Ella
Skillsets: Dog #1 is nice to children and eats M&Ms; Dog #2 is a bit of a cute pest and interrupts sex.
Hug-a-bility: mean average of 76%
Fates: Pictured dog is sickled by the dress-wearing killer of the prologue and Westie-type dog is chopped in half by the dress-wearing killer of the rest of the film. A cat is shoved in a blender as well. This film was not a regular at PETA demos.
CHEROKEE from Scream 3
Breed: Golden Retriever – but very red
Owner: Sidney Prescott
Skillset: He can make poor Sidney feel better about her frankly crap existence and all the people who keep trying to kill her for various contrived reasonage.
Fate: Cherokee lives to see more country walks – yay!
Breed: Retriever cross
Owner: The Taggart family
Skillset: Mac is a lazy farmdog who loves the Taggart family and barks and howls when he senses that all ain’t right in yonder cornfield. Alas, this all comes too late and little Billy has already been snatched by the evil Creeper when those around him start to believe the dog.
Fate: Yay! Survival against the odds. Guess he doesn’t have anything the Creepers needs.
Owners: Nothin’ but the wind, baby
Skillset: Eating teenage animal rights protesters who happen to be suspended upside down – and bleeding.
Hug-a-bility: 29% (high chance of fleas)
Fates: They live paw-to-mouth. Hopefully Cesar Milan will come to their aid.
REGGIE B from Simon Says
Breed: Is that a Poodle?
Owner: Blonde camper woman
Skillset: Little Reggie B is adept to finding and picking up severed hands as gifts for his owner.
Hug-a-bility: after doing that, 36%
Fate: stamped into oblivion by nasty Crispin Glover. Relaaax, it was clearly a toy dog. Owners then annihilated so probably for the best.
Quartet of Killer Dogs from Wilderness
Breed: German Shepherds / Alsatians (aren’t these the same thing?)
Master: Psycho Killer Soldier Man
Skillset: Super-highly trained military dogs-of-destruction, these handsome creatures’ bites are far worse than their barks. Can eat Sean Pertwee in seconds.
Hug-a-bility: 3% unless you’ve got the whistle
Fates: one of them takes a fall over a cliff edge while another is decapitated. The surviving pair presumably find love on the island and start a family of happy little puppies in preparation for Wilderness 2: Return to Killer Dog Island of DEATH!!!
* * *
Conclusions drawn: Some dogs live, some dogs die, some dogs eat people on command. Beast is clearly the best dog to have around when psychopaths are after you. Listen to your dog when he begins growling and barking for no apparent/visible reason – something bad’s about to go down!
Other worthy mentions: Gordon, the dog who leapt out of a window to get the fuck outta there when Jason was on the prowl in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (did he jump or was he pushed? Well, the J-Man was in the basement 5 seconds later so I’m going for jump). Ebus, the dog from Poltergeist who pawed at thin air and ate unwanted waffles.