Man's Best Friend Review

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When a TV reporter Lori, breaks into the lab of Dr. Jarret to expose his cruelty to animals, one of his projects, a genetically mutated dog, escapes. Grateful when he attacks a mugger on the way home, Lori decides to keep the beast, hiding him from the cops at her house. Soon the dog's powers come to the fore and the result is horror.


TV reporter Ally Sheedy breaks into a top secret vivisection lab to investigate the scientific torturing of cuddly animals. In the kerfuffle, she liberates Max, a super-intelligent guard dog who has been gene-spliced by mad scientist Lance Henriksen. Grateful when the pooch sees off a mugger (by ripping out his throat), Sheedy takes Max home to her understandably dog-hating boyfriend.

While Henriksen shouts at the cops that the dog has to be found before he suffers "a psychotic episode", Sheedy does her best to make the mutt inconspicuous in suburbia. Things go awry as Max starts swallowing cats whole, date-raping next door's collie and sabotaging cars, and Sheedy makes the mistake of trying to give him away. Emerging from an encounter with an oxyacetylene torch as a scarred freako, Max is compelled by his feelings of rejection to go after its former masters and shred them to Pedigree Chum.

Director Lafia, one of the "masterminds" behind the now-legendary Child's Play series, obviously hopes to wring a franchise out of this dopey, doggy horror picture. Thanks to some truly ludicrous plotting, Max is given all sorts of useful super-powers while the mechanical script pits him against all of a dog's traditional enemies: cats, postmen, dog-catchers, a junkyard owner.

The problem is that the film keeps veering between Beethoven-style sentiment and dumb-ass comedy ("What about my dog?" Henriksen asks the cops, "Have you got any leads?"), then throws in jaw-droppmgly insane science-fiction (because he has chameleon DNA, Max can become invisible!), moronic plot developments and frankly unpleasant gore. All this plus a canine sex scene scored to Puppy Love.

Unsure of what it is exactly, this film suffers from a terrible plot and a clunky script.