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October 17, 2018, 12:45:08 AM
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Latest Member: LoriMatney Forum  |  Movies  |  Good Movies  |  The Plague Dogs (1982) animated film « previous next »
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Author Topic: The Plague Dogs (1982) animated film  (Read 6294 times)
Bad Movie Lover

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« on: April 24, 2013, 09:09:59 PM »

In the thread 'Movies Endings That Made You Cry', Umaril Has Returned mentioned the animated film, 'The Plague Dogs'.  He said that it was a very cruel movie on many levels, about two dogs who go through hell when all they wanted was to be loved.  This rang a bell for me, so I did a little digging this morning.

The Plague Dogs was based on a novel by Richard Adams, author of Watership Down.  The film was produced by the same person who directed Watership Down, Martin Rosen.  It tells the story of two dogs who had been subjected to horrific animal experimentation, their escape from the lab, and their pursuit by their captors.

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It sounds like a terribly sad movie, right up there with Grave of the Fireflies.  I watched the first ten minutes on YouTube this morning and could not watch any more, despite the excellent storytelling and adaptation of cinematographic technique.  What makes me think that I have seen it before is the strange familiarity of Snitter, a dog who has had experimental brain surgery, when he said that 'the white coats are definitely not masters'.  I'm sure I've seen this, but fortunately I don't recall it.  I remember movies like Watership Down, The Happy Prince (1974) and The Mouse And His Child (1977), but this one is only familiar, and I don't actually recall seeing it properly.

What strikes me is the very modern and dramatic direction.  It opens with a view of water, and suddenly becomes something else, and you realize what is going on.  It's graphic and frightening right from the get-go, and you'd never show this to a young child.  The director's use of real-life cinema technique is striking, too.  The way a character's face is illuminated by a sudden match-strike, or how a room illuminates in a v-shape from the lights in the ceiling, you see that in real life, in cinema, not normally in a cartoon.

If it wasn't so sad I would watch it all the way through.  As it is, it will be like Grave of the Fireflies for me, where I can only watch the first ten minutes and then stop because I can imagine how much worse it is going to be.

Does anyone else remember this film?
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 12:19:33 AM by Archivist » Logged

"Many others since have tried & failed at making a watchable parasite slug movie" - LilCerberus
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2013, 10:24:29 PM »

At the end of the movie, the dogs are swimming to reach a small island.  They don't know if they can make it.  Well, if you ask me, HELL YES THEY MADE IT!  In fact, it wasn't an island, it was Doggy Heaven, and they spent all eternity chasing rabbits, laying around, and being petted by angels.  They deserved it.

Kneel before Dr. Hell, the ruler of this world!
Bad Movie Lover

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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2013, 12:23:43 AM »

Doggy Heaven!  I'll have to agree with you about that.

It appears that the original book ended with them swimming towards an island, but later editions included an epilogue.  The dogs were rescued by a boat, and Snitter was returned to his owner, who also took in Rowf.  So in the book, they did reach 'the island', after all.   Cheers

"Many others since have tried & failed at making a watchable parasite slug movie" - LilCerberus
Bad Movie Lover

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Excuse me. You need to go back to grad school.

« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2013, 09:20:11 AM »

I am too much off an animal lover to sit through this :-( Still seems like a very good film that is informative. 

Then I did not just look into the mirror, I looked through the mirror...
Umaril Has Returned
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2013, 09:56:23 PM »

Yeah this movie was definitely not for kids. This one really made me cry. The fox with the Geordie accent was really cool though. Not every day you meet a fox with a heavy Northern English accent  Smile
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