Rottweiler (2004)

Rottweiler (2004)

Eat. Sleep. Fetch. Kill.

Escaping from a Spanish immigration camp in 2018, Dante heads off to find his lost girlfriend who he left behind after his capture. He is relentlessly pursued by a bounty hunter and his tracker dog ROTT; a vicious rottweiler that had been left for dead and rebuilt ever stronger with fangs and jaws of steel.

 

Sounds like the recipe for a decent horror timewaster, doesn’t it? Some sort of Man’s Best Friend meets The Terminator. Well you’re wrong! If ludicrous special effects, a ‘killer’ rottweiler which just wants to nuzzle up to you, lots of gratuitous nudity, some bizarre plot twists and a close-up of a chicken-in-peril are your thing, then maybe Rottweiler is up your street. For anyone else, this is dog poo on the grandest scale.

Brian Yuzna knows how to turn a silly idea into an effective horror film (The Dentist should never be watched by anyone with a vague phobia of the dentist!) so clearly this film has no business being as plain awful as it is. It could have knowingly winked at it’s audience a few times but it’s played straight up from the get-go and this stonewall approach doesn’t do it any favours. It just goes through the motions from start to finish, never really stringing together an effective story or creating any excitement or scares. Yuzna has completely lost the plot in recent years, basing himself in Spain and making a series of middling horror films like Beneath Still Waters.

The flimsy plot about the prisoner running from the dog is the entire story and it’s nowhere near enough to fill ten minutes, let alone the entire film. There are lots of flashbacks to what happened to Dante in the immigration camp and these are just thrown around wherever in the film with little or no purpose to seemingly pad out some more screen time. It gets confusing when you don’t know whether what is happening is a flashback or the present. Brian Yuzna doesn’t know what type of flick he wants to make and ends up just rehashing elements of horror, revenge flicks and chase films where someone is pursued through the wilderness. The horror element would have worked best had the rottweiler actually been a lot bigger than it was (after all, it was supposed to have been rebuilt so they could have made it huge).

The special effects team commit the cardinal sin of having the dog appear different sizes depending on the situation. In some scenes the rottweiler is an actual dog, gleefully running around the film set wanting to play with some soft toy. In other scenes it’s a fearsome CGI beastie, walking through fire like Satan himself. And in other scenes, the dog is shown in close-up as a cheap-looking puppet head with false teeth. The metal teeth appear at will too – in some scenes the dog has a perma-grin on its face and in other scenes, the teeth are nowhere to be found at all.

The bizarre and downright perverse sexual undercurrent to the film really adds to the problems as well. What’s the first thing you would do if you were being chased by a killer rottweiler with metal teeth that could rip you in two straight away? Why take off your clothes and go and bath in the lake! This leads to one of the longest full frontal male shots I’ve ever seen. But he runs away naked to the house of a horny Spanish woman and her child. The woman holds him at gunpoint for a bit before taking him into her bedroom and romping with him. At the same time, the rottweiler is trying to break into the house but he’s too busy getting his leg over to bother. It’s just bizarre and a bit fantasist on the behalf of Brian Yuzna. The poor dubbing and ropey English-speaking Spanish actors don’t do the film any good either.

 

Rottweiler is just a waste of time from start to finish. A silly plot with no real meat to keep it going, a strange sexual element, ridiculous special effects and some lousy acting really make this the dog’s dinner. A truly awful film and one expects better from Mr Yuzna.

 

 ★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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