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2.25.2008

Cliches in the horror field...

I took a look at Dog Soldiers last night on DVD. I wanted to watch the damned Oscars, but our Directv went on the fritz and the one free broadcast station that absolutely would not come in was ABC. Go figure, right? How do I loathe thee, Directv? Let me count the ways...

Oh, well--the wrap-ups I've been reading say I didn't miss anything.

But as much as I enjoyed Dog Soldiers (B-), the movie really suffered from some distracting horror cliches. Ok, we all see the embedded werewolves a mile away. That I can live with. Why they haven't made the transformation as quickly as their outdoor brethren is beyond me, but I can still accept it.

But after the British G.I.s whole up in the abandoned farmhouse (anyone see this setting before?), are we to believe that the three separate time we see them nailing flimsy pieces of wood over the windows is supposed to keep these ripped-ass lycanthropes out? I mean, these things look like Lou Ferrigno with bloody muzzles! They have the strength to punch through the steel roof of a Land Rover for goodness sakes, and these guys think nailing kindling over the windows is going to save their asses? And the boards were six inches apart!

Also, I'm sick of the "bravado death." You know--the guy fends off the attacking witches/zombies/sharks/goblins/republicans successfully and then mutters something gleefully boastful. "That'll teach you to mess with British G.I.s!" You know, something witty like that. And this guy is always near a door or window or next to the edge of the tank of sharks. We get this huge pregnant pause and then BAM!, the window explodes and the monster pulls the dumb-ass to his death.

Part of this is the proximity issue. If you just survived a shark attack, why are you resting with the top of your head on the ledge of the tank or six inches from the surf? Yes, you're tired. Yes, you've had quite a scare. But why not use that little bit of adrenaline coursing through your veins to move--I don't know--a foot away from the source of the attack?

There was a dilly of a bit of dialogue late in the movie when one of the embedded werewolves, who has helped these folks throughout the course of the film, finally decides she wants to eat them. Megan utters something to the effect of: "Most guys think girls are bitches. Well, I really am one! Especially around that time of the month!"

Wow. I mean, just wow. Neil Marshall hits us with a PMS joke and a gender blast all in one horrible little package.

All that said, it's a fun movie. It's definitely got its moments, not the least of which is its frightful opening sequence. Just go in knowing that this one trots out a lot of very tired content, but it does so lovingly. And stick around for the closing credits. Some good British humor there.

So let me open the forum. What are some of the things you've grown tired of over the years in the horror field?

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