93 min., 1983
Written by Don Carlos Dunaway/Lauren Currier
Directed by Lewis Teague
My rating: ★★★★
When a St. Bernard attacks!
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Our movie begins with a little bunny in a field then it is attacked by a St. Bernard, who we later learn is named Cujo (Daddy), who chases it into a hole in the ground. Cujo sticks its head in and starts barking, this causes some bats that are in there to flip out and one of them bits him. We then jump to the Trenton family, husband and wife Vic (Daniel Hugh-Kelly) and Donna (Dee Wallace) and their son Tad (Danny Pintauro). Everything seems fine until it turns out that Donna has been having an affair and Vic decides to leave for a bit to get his mind together. After a little car ride Donna and Tad get trapped in the car by Cujo who, infected by the bat, now has rabies. Can Donna save Tad or will Cujo get into the car for a meal?
It’s no surprise to anyone, which has read any of my reviews where Dee Wallace is involved, that Dee does a great job. I have always been a fan of her work and this movie is no different. She plays the role of terrified mother perfectly, and even when she finally snaps at her son it’s completely believable and understandable in the situation. The surprise to me was from Danny Pintauro. I hate child actors (as you probably already know) but Danny does a really good job. He acts like a child his age, instead of being super smart and talking like an adult, and when he gets really scared he sounds like a scared child instead of a child acting scared.
The effects of the movie are probably my favorite part of the movie. Actually I really shouldn’t say effects, but the dog handling and Daddy (Cujo) himself. Kinda like Zoltan in which the dog really makes the movie, the same rings true for this movie. If they didn’t have a dog that was truly believable and terrifying it just wouldn’t work. Luckily Daddy starts off as a pretty sweet looking dog and as time goes on they make him look meaner and scarier. Then when they have him attacking the car it is really quite powerful.
This movie is actually pretty solid all the way throughout. There are a few slipups here and there but the acting is really good and Daddy is a great killer dog that would make me shit my pants if he ever attacked my car. I really forgot how good this movie was and would suggest that people check it out again.Have You Read...?