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Dogs in Horror Movies, Part 1: Zombeavers (2014), Blood Beach (1980) and The Boogens (1981)

June 17, 2015

“Animals in horror” has always been a fun topic to address.  Today I want to talk about dogs.  Dogs are very versatile tools in horror movies.  The dog can be the evil antagonist, a pet or minion of the bad guy, a harbinger of danger (serving more as a storytelling device than a character) or as a heroic character.  Today I have randomly chosen to highlight 3 horror movie dogs in no particular reason and with no particular theme.  Enjoy…

Zombeavers (2014); Gosling the Jack Russell Terrier.  Now, dogs are typically heroic in horror movies–even if their heroism leads to their demise.  But this poor pup never stood a chance with these jerks. 

Zombeavers

So the 20-something victims and their dog are stranded on a dock-raft on a lake besieged by zombie beavers.  In an effort to create a diversion, some jerky bro throws his girlfriend’s dog in the water to serve as a decoy and draw away the zombeavers so that he could safely swim to shore.  He SACRIFICED the dog!!!!  That’s like pure evil. 

The poor dog (Gosling) gets eaten.  The offending bro gets his when he has his scrotum bitten off by a werezombeaver!  Even the guy’s friend, the buffoon wearing the knit winter hat while swimming in a lake in summer, gets his.  He has his foot bitten off and later he also turns into a werezombeaver.  Yes!  I said a werezombeaver.  Like a werewolf, but a were-zombie-beaver.  That’s a thing now people…and an appropriate punishment, I think.

zombeavers_lake_6_cmyk

 That poor dog.  SMH.

zombeaver67

Blood Beach (1980) 

blood_beach_poster_02blood_beach_ver1

In the opening scene a lady is walking her dog on the beach and she is pulled into the sand by some “thing” which we later learn is a giant scrotum flower monster.  As she is pulled down screaming, far before the release of Tremors (1990) by the way, her dog frantically barks for help. 

Blood Beach 1bloodbeach6

A cat would have just watched her with contempt.  I’m just saying dogs are better pets in horror movies, that’s all. 

Sadly, the dog is later found dead and beheaded near a small sinkhole in the sand.  However, the police pathologist claims that the dog’s head was not cut off but literally pulled off by something with “long strong fingers and very sharp fingernails.”  Essentially, it is only because of the dog that we have any reason to suspect an inhuman culprit.  So, in a round-about way, the dog was a major help in the investigation.  Go, dogs!!!

Moving on…

The Boogens (1981) 

This golden oldie features likable characters and some pesky little tentacle monsters that are never explained.  It’s really just for those who appreciate great dog characters and the slow-burns of the 70s and 80s in which you don’t see the monster until the very end.

Tiger, the dog character, is used very well.  Most dogs in horror movies just bark at basement doors and harbinger the presence of a slasher in unlit hallways, often causing distractions leading to their owners’ demise.  Tiger actually helps develop the viewers’ relationship with the main characters.  He’s a cute dog and he gets many of his own scenes; you’ll like him.  Most notable among the dog scenes was after the dog investigated the monster and was killed…

This dog owner is dumb!  Yes, by all means, move in for a closer look at whatever rended the metal floor grating.  Whatever it was, it couldn’t possibly do the same to you!

I mean, you saw THIS [above] and it looks like your dog’s hair is on it…
So this dog WAS here…and now it’s NOT…but its fur is on the grating.  I wonder what could have happened…

This chick had it coming.  She probably wasn’t even a good dog owner.

In loving memory of Tiger.

Stay tuned for more Dogs in Horror

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 17, 2015 3:52 pm

    Actually, it’s the blonde girl’s boyfriend, the one who gets his scrotum bit off, not the knit-hat guy, who throws Gosling the Jack Russell Terrier in the water. To be fair, none of them are very likable, but still…

    I like this feature. Make sure to incorporate Nanook and Thorn from my very first horror movie, “The Lost Boys,” (I was about eleven,) into a future list. One great thing about “Lost Boys” is that neither of the dogs (not even the ‘hell hound’) dies. I hate it when they kill dogs in horror movies; it seems like such a cheap trick.

    Yes, the dog in the last picture is super cute!

    • John Leavengood permalink
      June 17, 2015 4:20 pm

      Thanks. I have edited the Zombeavers entry. The Lost Boys’ Nanook is in my queue of worthy dogs. As are other dogs both good and evil, victim and hero.

      And, YES, poor Tiger. <>

      • June 17, 2015 11:42 pm

        I also recommend (although it’s disturbing to dog lovers) the 1989 French horror film “Baxter,” narrated in voice over by a bull terrier who is born with a sociopathic human intellect,and who displays the worst traits- selfishness, misanthropy, and cruelty- of the humans around him. I bought a used (very rare) copy of the book on Amazon, but I haven’t got around to reading it yet. A European (and deeply strange) pick would add flavor to your theme.

      • John Leavengood permalink
        June 18, 2015 9:24 am

        Baxter sounds very cool! Despite my love of all things horror-related, I never really read fiction. But I’ll recommend it on my Podcast when the topic of Dogs in Horror comes up.

    • John Leavengood permalink
      June 18, 2015 9:25 am

      Thanks for the constructive comments. Pease comment like crazy. You have good intel to share!

  2. David W. McCoy permalink
    July 23, 2015 2:31 pm

    I thought the opening credits set the tone of the movie. The cartoonish cutouts scampering across the screen with the accompanying music left no doubt that at no point did this film take itself seriously. Without giving away the plot twists the writers did force their willing victims, the audience, to pay attention to dialogue and body language. (Bath room scene involving Mary and Sam). The closing credits and music reminded me of the black and white scare ’ems with the trendy rock song playing along as the credits ran. The beaverisms (jokes, gags, and large ground thumping tails) continued throughout along with what every summer cabin is stocked with (Books on the American Beaver). Laugh. Cry. And vacation in the city.

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