Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell Film Details
Overview: A dog that is a minion of Satan terrorizes a suburban family.
Tagline: Man’s best friend… or the devil’s spawn?
Review: Having been a fan of the delightfully decadent Martine Beswicke (née Beswick) for many years (ever since I first caught her in “Dr. Jekyll & Sister Hyde*), I’ve always wanted to see “Devil Dog” — and it’s odd that I would have missed it when it was first aired, because I would have been a hardcore TV-movie junkie at that young age. but miss it I did (must’ve been out trick- or-treating that night). I’m glad I waited-out the DVD (great print!) and finally got to see this TV-movie in pristine glory. Other Martine fans out there (you know who you are) will delight in the opening seven minutes or so. First, La Beswicke (in a spectacular set of high-heeled, ankle-strapped, f*ck-me pumps) along with a couple of her diabolical disciples stroll through a dog breeder’s complex shopping for the right “Rosemary” to give birth to Satan’s canine offspring. They’re all dressed in black suits and drive a sinister, black station wagon (how cool is THAT!?!). There’s a brief, but droll exchange with the breeder who wonders aloud what these big-ticket, officious types want with “Lady”, a highly prized German Shepard puppy-machine he’s used to pop out blue-ribbon winning litters in the past (only the best for the Prince of Darkness, you know…). Martine sets him straight in her characteristically exotic line delivery, “we’re NOT adopting a CHILD, you know!…” Could this be a public service announcement for a PETA ad campaign? But I digress… Cut to a close up of what has to be one of the neatest Satanic portraits I’ve ever seen. The horned Master is rendered in shades of pea-soup green with a snake coiled around him. Could this be an episode of “Night Gallery”??? Pull back to find the enormous painting (which I wish I HAD!) hanging above an altar in a barn where Ms. Beswicke, in red robes, is conducting a black mass. Pull back further to reveal a pentagram in a circle drawn in the ground, where “Lady” the pooch is leashed to a stake. Martine makes some invocations and tosses some “thing” into the space between her and the dog which explodes on contact with the ground (ooh! ahh! Special Effects!). The sparkler spooks the dog, naturally, and all you can feel is compassion for the canine (oh, poor doggy!). We get some great close-ups of Martine, who looks fabulous, btw, and deserves much credit for managing to recite all the dialog with a straight face. Nobody quite does “evil” like Ms. Beswicke; she really gets into the part and seems to relish it (atta girl!). Mention must be made of Martine’s purple-clad coven, who manage to recite back all the mumbo-jumbo she’s been saying (which indeed must have taken some bit of rehearsal). A windstorm begins, heralding the appearance of The Black Prince (or his dog, anyhow). We get another giggle-inducing moment when the camera cuts to one of Martine’s minions who has chosen to attend the function in his sunglasses. The tension mounts. As credits announce the production, Martine swoops down from her altar and escorts her denizens outside the barn, leaving “Lady” tied to a stake in the middle of the pentagram (presumably to await impregnation). Soon a huge shadow of a dog passes over them all, and into the barn. Martine shuts the doors and throws a captivating smile (as her credit appears). What goes on inside is merely hinted at, but WE KNOW, don’t we…!?!?!?! Later we learn it is the big, black station wagon that kills the Barry family dog which means they’ll be in the market for a replacement (hasn’t anyone heard of having more than one dog at a time? Oh well…). A terrific actor (Victor Jory?) portrays the devil-worshiper/grocer-on-wheels who just “happens” to show up outside the door of the Barry family and bestow on them the prize puppy of “Lady”s litter. He leers malevolently at Kim Richards and Ike Eisenmann (the Barry family children) like a gleeful child molester turned loose in an orphanage, offering them first ripe, red apples (shades of Snow White!) and then a puppy from the litter of a rather worn-out looking “Lady” which he just happens to be carting around in the back of his awning-draped caravan. There are so many “warning” messages in this film! Don’t sell dogs to satanists! Don’t let your children near leering mobile grocers! Don’t adopt puppies from leering mobile grocers who may be satanists!, etc. But it’s the innocent, gullible Carter-era of the 1970s and none of these folks have a clue about what’s going to happen to them… Other reviewers have focused on what comes next, so I’ll spare you my interpretation, except to point out that the wallpaper in the Barry household (look at the dining room and the kitchen, for example) is far scarier than anything that “Lucky” the adopted spawn of Satan can conjure up. Rent (or purchase) at once for a night of fun with friends. Pair this up with Susan Lucci’s dreadful demonic health-spa film, “Invitation To Hell” or possibly another canine car-wreck like “Won Ton Ton: The Dog That Saved Hollywood” (if you can even find a copy!). Keep the popcorn flowing!
Country: Canada, USA
Duration: 95 min
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Also known as: Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell,El perro del infierno,La fiera,Devil Dog: Hound of Hell,Το Σκυλί της Κολάσεως,Pirun koira,Les chiens de l’enfer,Der Höllenhund,Diabelski pies,Пес дьявола: Гончая ада,El perro diabólico,To skyli tis kolaseos,Il cane infernale,Devil dog,Cão do Diabo