Man’s Best Friend – USA, 1993 – reviews

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‘Nature created him. Science perfected him. But no one can control him.’

Man’s Best Friend is a 1993 American science fiction comedy horror feature film written and directed by John Lafia (The Rats; Monster! 1999; Child’s Play 2). The movie stars Ally Sheedy, Lance Henriksen, Robert Costanzo, Frederic Lehne, John Cassini, and J. D. Daniels.

A Blu-ray release by Scream Factory was released on March 12th, 2019.

  • New 2K scan of the original film elements
  • New Audio Commentary with writer/director John Lafia
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Teaser Trailer
  • TV Spots


Reporter Lori Tanner (Ally Sheedy), investigating a story about animal cruelty, gains access to a facility where dogs and cats are the subjects of cruel experiments conducted by Doctor Jarret (Lance Henriksen).

After seeing the conditions of the lab, Lori flees the building, but massive escaped dog Max follows her. Lori decides to keep Max as a pet, however the seemingly lovable canine is a genetically altered dog with unusual abilities and psychotic tendencies that set him on a killing spree…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

” …you got some cheap, but effective scares. However, there’s moments of insight and clarity as well. Man’s Best Friend is the type of film that struggles to find a sense of identity. Is it a popcorn thriller or is it something more nuanced and considered? The various pieces of this film are entertaining on there own, but serve two legitimately different purposes.” Brandon C. Sites

“the movie is more weird than I remember it being. There are gruesome killings and then a comedic scene where the dog eats a cat whole. Then the dog kills a few people and it’s followed by a scene with a lovely little song in the background. All in all, I still enjoy watching Man’s Best Friend…” Bulletproof Action


“You will have to suspend your disbelief for a fair chunk of its running time but Man’s Best Friendtakes, what was on paper anyway, a pretty absurd idea and turns into a highly watchable sci-fi horror romp. I just wish they’d have put a ceiling over the silliness and kept it relatively believable. Invisible dogs with acid wee…..come on!” Popcorn Pictures

“The film is almost like a Friday the 13th sequel with a killer dog instead of a maniac in a hockey mask. Every set-up is staggeringly predictable. This is one of those nastily moralistic horror films where every victim has their fate stamped on their forehead and is made to deserve their death…” Moria

Man’s Best Friend is a pleasant surprise, giving an old formula enough new (and unexpected) touches to come across as fresh, and handling the expected moments in a professional manner that won’t make you mind seeing them all over again.” The Unknown Movies

“Since Max is smarter than the average junkyard dog, and everybody else seems dumber than Socks, it’s barely a fair fight, though not half as much a battle as Sheedy trying to sink her teeth into her role. Embarrassingly air-headed, even as a television reporter, she threatens to lift the film up, up and away. Only Henriksen, an anchor in so many genre films, keeps this one credible.” The Washington Post


Cast and characters:

  • Ally Sheedy … Lori Tanner
  • Lance Henriksen … Doctor Jarret – West of Hell; Stung; Mind Ripper; Aliens; Near Dark; et al
  • Robert Costanzo … Detective Kovacs
  • Fredric Lehne … Perry
  • John Cassini … Detective Bendetti
  • J.D. Daniels … Rudy
  • William Sanderson … Ray
  • Trula M. Marcus … Annie
  • Robin Frates … Judy Sanders
  • Rick Barker … Mailman
  • Bradley Pierce … Chet
  • Robert Arentz … EMAX Security Guard
  • Cameron Arnett … Dog Catcher #1
  • Adam Carl … Dog Catcher #2
  • Thomas Rosales Jr. … Mugger

Filming locations:

Sierra Madre, California


Man’s Best Friend was released by New Line Cinema on November 19, 1993.

Box office:

It was a modest success at the box office, grossing $12.9 million against a reported $6 million budget.

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