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Dog Soldiers front cover
Dog Soldiers
Information
Director Neil Marshall
Writer Neil Marshall
Starring Sean Pertwee
Kevin McKidd
Liam Cunningham
Released 10 May 2002
Previous N/A
Next Dog Soldiers: Legacy
Dog Soldiers: Red
Dog Soldiers: Fresh Meat
Six soldiers. Full moon. No chance.

– The film's tagline.

Dog Soldiers is a 2002 British horror film written and directed by Neil Marshall, and starring Kevin McKidd, Sean Pertwee and Liam Cunningham. A British production, set in the highlands of Scotland, it was filmed almost entirely in Norway. In the US, it premiered as a Sci Fi Pictures telefilm on the Sci Fi Channel.

PlotEdit

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, 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. 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, Captain Ryan, 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 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 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 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 takes shelter in the cellar with Sam. As three of the werewolves enter, Wells cuts a gas line and blows up the house, killing himself and the werewolves. However, before Cooper can leave, Ryan, who also took shelter in the shelter and is still 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."

CastEdit

ReceptionEdit

On the film-critics aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, Dog Soldiers scored 76% based on 29 reviews. It is widely held as one of the best werewolf films of all time. In 2002, the film won the Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film's Golden Raven, the festival's top award, as well as the audience prize, the Pegasus.

ProductionEdit

Dog Soldiers was produced by the Kismet Entertainment Group, the Noel Gay Motion Picture Company, the Victor Film Company, and the Carousel Picture Company with the support of the Luxembourg Film Fund. In addition to the credits in the infobox, the costume designer is Uli Simon, the casting directors are Jeremy Zimmerman and Andrea Clarke, the special makeup, animatronic and digital visual effects are by the company Image FX, and the physical-effects supervisor and stunt coordinator is Harry Wiessenhaan.

The original version of the film had more characters, and was about two hours long.

A British production, set in the highlands of Scotland, it was filmed almost entirely in Norway. In the US, it premiered as a Sci Fi Pictures telefilm on the Sci Fi Channel.

The film contains homages to H.G. Wells as well as the films The Evil Dead, Zulu, Aliens, The Matrix and Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan.

SequelEdit

Main articles: Dog Soldiers 2: Fresh Meat

A sequel, Fresh Meat, was first announced in January 2004 by David E. Allen, who said it would begin shooting in either Luxemberg or Canada, with a budget of approximately £32 million[1]. The film was repeatedly pushed back, until eventually being scheduled for release in December 2014[2].

Notes and referencesEdit

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