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Dog Soldiers

Dog Soldiers

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Dog Soldiers is a 2002 British horror film written and directed by Neil Marshall
Neil Marshall
Neil Marshall is an English film director, editor and screenwriter. Marshall began his career in editing and in 2002 directed his first feature film Dog Soldiers, which became a cult film. He followed up with the critically acclaimed horror film The Descent in 2005...

, and starring Kevin McKidd
Kevin McKidd
Kevin McKidd is a Scottish television and film actor and director. Before playing the role of Owen Hunt in Grey's Anatomy, McKidd starred as Lucius Vorenus in the historical drama series Rome, and provided the voice of Captain John "Soap" Mactavish in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and the sequel...

, Sean Pertwee
Sean Pertwee
Sean Pertwee is an English actor known for his television, film and voice-over work.-Career:In the early 80s, he auditioned for a place at the Surrey County Youth Theatre where he was cast as Captain Fitzpatrick in the play Tom Jones, based on the novel by Henry Fielding...

 and Liam Cunningham. It was a British production, set in the highlands of Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, and filmed almost entirely in Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

.

The film contains homages to H.G. Wells, the films The Evil Dead
The Evil Dead
The Evil Dead is a 1981 horror film written and directed by Sam Raimi, starring Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, and Betsy Baker. The film is a story of five college students vacationing in an isolated cabin in a wooded area...

, Zulu
Zulu (film)
Zulu is a 1964 historical war film depicting the Battle of Rorke's Drift between the British Army and the Zulus in January 1879, during the Anglo-Zulu War....

, Aliens
Aliens (film)
Aliens is a 1986 science fiction action film directed by James Cameron and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, William Hope, and Bill Paxton...

, The Matrix
The Matrix
The Matrix is a 1999 science fiction-action film written and directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, and Hugo Weaving...

 and Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan.

Plot


A couple is camping in the Scottish Highlands, the woman gives the man a silver letter opener as a present, shortly before they are attacked and killed in their tent by an unseen attacker.

In North Wales, Private Cooper is running through a forest. He attacks his pursuers, but is overwhelmed. Cooper was trying to join the special forces
Special forces
Special forces, or special operations forces are terms used to describe elite military tactical teams trained to perform high-risk dangerous missions that conventional units cannot perform...

, but fails when he refuses to obey Captain Richard Ryan's command to shoot a dog. He is returned to unit.

Four weeks later, a squad of six British army soldiers, including Cooper, is dropped into the Scottish Highlands
Scottish Highlands
The Highlands is an historic region of Scotland. The area is sometimes referred to as the "Scottish Highlands". It was culturally distinguishable from the Lowlands from the later Middle Ages into the modern period, when Lowland Scots replaced Scottish Gaelic throughout most of the Lowlands...

. Expecting to carry out a routine training mission, they find the savaged remains of a special forces squad who were part of the same exercise. A wounded survivor, revealed to be the same Captain Ryan who failed Cooper, makes cryptic references to what attacked them. Unseen antagonists attack the troops. While retreating, Bruce impales himself on a tree branch, and Sergeant Wells is badly wounded. He is rescued by Cooper and carried to the roadside where the group encounter Megan, a zoologist, who takes them to a lonely house. The house is empty, save for a dog named Sam. The soldiers that remain are Wells, Cooper, Spoon, Joe, and Terry. As night falls, the house is surrounded by the attackers: to the soldiers' incredulity, these are revealed to be werewolves.

After tending to Wells' wound, the soldiers try to get to the car. The werewolves force them to abandon the car and maintain a desperate defence inside the house, believing that if they can make it to sunrise, the werewolves will revert to human form. After Terry is abducted and ammunition
Ammunition
Ammunition is a generic term derived from the French language la munition which embraced all material used for war , but which in time came to refer specifically to gunpowder and artillery. The collective term for all types of ammunition is munitions...

 runs short, they realize that they will not last, and decide to try to escape. Spoon creates a distraction while Joe steals a Land Rover from the garage. When he gets in the car, he sees Terry being eaten by a werewolf. As Joe drives toward the house, he is killed by a werewolf hiding in the back seat.

It is soon ascertained that the family that lives in the house are the werewolves and the soldiers are trespassing on their territory. Shortly after confessing that his unit was assigned to capture one of the werewolves, and that Cooper's squad was intended to be "bait," Ryan changes into a werewolf, having been infected with the condition due to his wounds, and runs off. Using petrol, gas canisters, matches, and the Land Rover, the soldiers blow up the barn where Megan tells them the werewolves must be hiding. Once it has been destroyed, Megan reveals that not only were there no werewolves in the barn, she only told them that to destroy their only means of transportation; she is a werewolf as well, and had been suppressing the transformation, but gives in at that moment. As she begins to transform, three werewolves appear behind her. Wells shoots Megan in the head.

Cooper and Wells run upstairs and Spoon runs to the kitchen, blocking the door. A werewolf breaks into the kitchen, confronting Spoon who resorts to hand-to-hand combat. He fights the werewolf, but is killed when another of the monsters joins in. Meanwhile, Wells and Cooper shoot through the floor upstairs to escape the werewolves, dropping into the kitchen. Wells, who is beginning to transform, orders Cooper into the cellar. Cooper obeys and flees with Sam. As three of the werewolves enter, Wells cuts a gas line and blows up the house, killing himself and the werewolves. Before Cooper can leave, Ryan, in werewolf form, confronts him. Cooper has difficulty fending off the werewolf but is helped by Sam who attacks the creature from behind. Cooper notices a silver letter opener among the items on the floor, and uses it to stab Ryan. The werewolf writhes in pain and Cooper shoots it in the head, killing it. Daylight breaks and Cooper and Sam walk off into the woods.

As the credits roll a newspaper appears showing the football result (England: 5, Germany: 1), with a smaller headline showing a small picture of Cooper and the headline "Werewolves ate my platoon."

Cast

  • Kevin McKidd
    Kevin McKidd
    Kevin McKidd is a Scottish television and film actor and director. Before playing the role of Owen Hunt in Grey's Anatomy, McKidd starred as Lucius Vorenus in the historical drama series Rome, and provided the voice of Captain John "Soap" Mactavish in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and the sequel...

     as Private Cooper
  • Sean Pertwee
    Sean Pertwee
    Sean Pertwee is an English actor known for his television, film and voice-over work.-Career:In the early 80s, he auditioned for a place at the Surrey County Youth Theatre where he was cast as Captain Fitzpatrick in the play Tom Jones, based on the novel by Henry Fielding...

     as Sergeant Harry G. Wells
  • Emma Cleasby
    Emma Cleasby
    Emma Cleasby is an English theatre, television, and film actress best known for her role as Megan in the 2002 horror film Dog Soldiers.-Music career:...

     as Megan
  • Liam Cunningham as Captain Richard Ryan
  • Thomas Lockyer as Corporal
    Corporal
    Corporal is a rank in use in some form by most militaries and by some police forces or other uniformed organizations. It is usually equivalent to NATO Rank Code OR-4....

     Bruce Campbell
  • Darren Morfitt
    Darren Morfitt
    Darren Morfitt is an actor who has appeared in 55 Degrees North, Grafters, Red Cap, Warriors, Making Waves, The Government Inspector and the cult werewolf movie Dog Soldiers. Most recently he starred as Jesus in the Manchester Passion and in the science fiction action film Doomsday as Dr...

     as Private "Spoon" Witherspoon
  • Chris Robson
    Chris Robson
    Chris Robson is an English stage, television and film actor. He was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in the United Kingdom.His work has spanned genres from Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction....

     as Private Joe Kirkley
  • Leslie Simpson as Private Terry Milburn

Reception


Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes is a website devoted to reviews, information, and news of films—widely known as a film review aggregator. Its name derives from the cliché of audiences throwing tomatoes and other vegetables at a poor stage performance...

 gave Dog Soldiers a score of 76% based on 29 reviews.
The DVD release gained 100% based on 9 reviews.

Awards


Golden Raven and Public's Award to The Brussels International Festival of Fantastic Film, in 2002.

Sequel


A sequel Dog Soldiers: Fresh Meat was planned and it was said that the story would pick up from the end of the first film. Neil Marshall was not involved with the production and neither was cinematographer
Cinematographer
A cinematographer is one photographing with a motion picture camera . The title is generally equivalent to director of photography , used to designate a chief over the camera and lighting crews working on a film, responsible for achieving artistic and technical decisions related to the image...

 Sam McCurdy, production designer
Production designer
In film and television, a production designer is the person responsible for the overall look of a filmed event such as films, TV programs, music videos or adverts. Production designers have one of the key creative roles in the creation of motion pictures and television. Working directly with the...

 Simon Bowles
Simon Bowles
Simon Bowles is a British production designer, who got his start in the film industry in 1993, working as an art department runner and then standby art director...

 or any of the original cast, aside from Liam Cunningham. Rob Green
Rob Green (film director)
Rob Green is a film director, producer, editor and screenwriter.-Biography:He is most notable for The Bunker and the drama-horror-thriller House...

was pencilled in for directing duties.

Although it was announced that filming would commence in April 2006, by August 12, 2008 information about the film had been removed from various web resources and there was no news of its production status.

A web series titled Dog Soldiers: Legacy was announced in September, 2011. The article also stated that the films sequel was in early pre-production.

External links