Cujo is my favorite movie about a rabid dog and a Pinto. By a mile. I always had an idea that I thought would be pretty awesome for a tagline: “The movie Ford Motor Company doesn’t want you to see!” I’d totally watch a horror flick with a tag like that. Who wouldn’t? Besides causing Pinto sales in America to immediately drop 800%, Stephen King’s adapted film manages to be an entertaining and scary survival horror film. In fact, it’s one of the better entries.
Early on the film throws all kinds of random side-plots and happenings. A husband, wife and young kid live out somewhere in small town in America. The husband travels for work quite a bit, so he employs a guy to do some wood-working around the house. And that is exactly what the gentleman does, works his wood in all kinds of places, like inside the wife for example. The husband eventually finds out, but has to leave for 10 days. Not sure of what he is going to do upon his return. There is also a plot involving a kid’s cereal that is making everyone sick. It’s completely throw away material and stupid.
Random plots aside, the film centers on a dog named Cujo who gets bitten by a bat and turns rabid. And then turns into a killing machine. And then traps the aforementioned wife and her young son in a Ford Pinto on farm on the outskirts of town. This is when the movie gets going. Up until this point the film is a bit of a yawner. Martial problems are just not that enjoyable to watch. Vicious bloodthirsty St. Bernard’s are. It’s a tried and true principal of life.
In the time it takes a Ford Pinto to, predictably, break down the movie becomes intense and nearly unbearable. Cujo, the dog, is the kind of things nightmares are made of. He is bloody, frothing at the mouth, and has the taste of human flesh on his mind. The woman and her son are f*cked. The 45 minutes or so of the film involving the “car scene” are some of the most intense moments in horror.
None of this would be possible if it wasn’t for an excellent performance from Dee Wallace in the role of the mother/wife. She gives a performance that is able to reach out and grab viewers. You may not like her, because she is a cheating slut, but eventually you feel for her. As her son begins to slip away (as in die) you can literally see and feel the mother’s heart breaking. Right before the final showdown with Cujo, the mother and son have a scene together that nearly brought me to tears. It’s THAT emotional.
Some people aren’t fond of the end, but to me any movie that finishes on a freeze frame is automatically good. Why? Because freeze frames are bitchin’!
Snore Factor: ZZZ (Sleepy for the first hour)