‘Don’t pet them… fear them!’
Dogs – aka Slaughter – is a 1976 American science fiction horror film directed by Burt Brinckerhoff from a screenplay by O’Brian Tomalin. It stars David McCallum (Frankenstein: The True Story), Sandra McCabe and George Wyner.
On the quiet campus of the remotely-located SouthWestern University, something strange is happening. All of the dogs in the area, once loyal, gentle pets, are now banding together in wild packs and hunting down their former masters.
Could the strange transformation have anything to do with the secret government experiments being conducted in the school’s physics laboratory? More importantly, can the dogs be stopped before it’s too late?
There was to be a sequel, appropriately entitled Cats. But when Dogs failed to bite at the box office, production was cancelled.
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‘While it’s far from being a classic of its genre, it has its moments in addition to some name stars among its cast. While The Pack (1977) is better, Dogs (1976) has the edge in the blood department. Although not a complete howler, I would only recommend it to ‘Animal Attack’ movie completists and for those wishing to see what familiar small screen stars were doing in between their TV tenures.’ Cool Ass Cinema
‘Instead of using the known intimidating breeds, like Rottweilers, Dobermans, or German sheppards, they opted to use friendlier looking dogs, mostly long haired ones, and the ones they have about as much capability of being threatening as do kittens. Fluffy dogs are not scary.’ Rock! Shock! Pop!
” …this is a perfectly credible entry in that short-lived fad with some memorable dog attack scenes. The most memorable takes place in a shower, of course, which certainly puts a new spin on the Psycho formula; the climax is also lively, too, with scores of extras fending off a dog attack on the college campus, complete with lots of screaming and shattering glass.” Mondo Digital
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‘ … we’re treated to some effectively eerie background baying here and there throughout the movie. Enough so that I almost forgot that the film I was watching wasn’t all that good. As for attack scenes and blood shed, the pooches rack up a nice body count tearing into any and everyone in their path…’ Horror News
‘More biological horror in the wake of Jaws, subordinating characterisation and plot to gory attacks, including a rip-off of Psycho as a girl is killed in a shower.’ Alan Frank, The Horror Film Handbook
Home video release:
Dogs was released on VHS in 1988 under the alternate title Slaughter. Probably because Linda Gray was then well known for her starring role on the TV series Dallas, she is misleadingly given second billing on the box behind only David McCallum. Gray actually has only about five minutes of screen time in the film.
In 2006, Dogs was released on DVD under its original title, with Gray this time receiving third billing on the box, behind McCallum and George Wyner. The DVD also includes a newly filmed 19 minute documentary on the film, including interviews with director Burt Brinckerhoff and actors George Wyner and Eric Server. Also included are the theatrical trailer and TV spot.
The film was released on Blu-ray in 2014 with the same bonus materials as the 2006 DVD release. A British Blu-ray release by 88 Films was issued on 8th January 2018.