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Dog Soldiers (2002)

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NOTE: Both commentaries are only available on the Region 2 DVD release. The Region 1 DVD has the producers track but not the one with the director and cast.

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Producers Brian Patrick O’Toole and David E. Allen Rating:6.0/10 (5 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by Brian Thibodeau on June 15th, 2005:Find all reviews by Brian Thibodeau
Amiable but bland commentary from the American producing quotient on this underrated horror film traverses the same old ground, as the two provide acceptable levels of production information (though nothing that really surprises), point out the questionably high number of references to other famous horror movies and Britpop culture after proudly claiming the originality of the piece, and lapse into for-the-most-part tolerable stretches of narration and praising of the crew and performers. David Allen dominates the track for the duration, and is quick to discuss the role the internet has played in the reception of the film in the U.S., where it never received theatrical distribution, while Brian O'Toole offers little in the way of enlightenment. The track loses one point early on when the duo reminds the viewer NOT to listen to the commentary if they haven't yet watched the film, as if anyone, anywhere has EVER done that. Allen's read-through of thank-you's over the end credits leaves exactly no time for O'Toole to offer much more than "watch it again!" before the track ends. This review is for the U.S. release version, which did not contain the British director & crew track featured on the R2 version, which one suspects offers more insight than can be gleaned here.
Reviewed by Gavin Millarrrrrrrrrr on December 13th, 2008:Find all reviews by Gavin Millarrrrrrrrrr
Allen says this is his first film as producer and presumably it's also his first commentary as he rather misses the point, telling us little about the film and a lot about himself and his disagreements with director Neil Marshall.
They say that Britain and America are two countries divided by a common language - Allen goes into a pointlessly prissy explanation of how "(water) closet" is another term for a toilet as he seems to think Pertwee is shouting "I'm in the closet" at the finale when it's clearly "I'm in the kazhi"("kazhi" being English slang for toilet) - and, it would seem, a sense of humour too as Allen continually misses jokes lapped up by English audiences. This and his seemingly constant questioning of Marshall's choices over scenes/gags he didn't like/understand (but in retrospect sees he was wrong about), just makes him come across as finicky and priggish! (He even apologises for calling us Brits ‘Brits' throughout - we don't mind you Yanks calling us that, but not knowing what year we won the football World Cup really is sacrilege!)
If Allen had disagreements with Marshall then he was clearly very happy with the cast who he grabs every opportunity to praise, but even this is quickly overdone and just becomes tiresome.
All of which means O'Toole hardly gets a look-in.
The track is saved from being a complete waste of time by a few snippets of interesting information, such as alternate casting choices, awards won at various festivals and even the cuts made when it was shown on the Sci-Fi Channel, so I suppose it was worth getting a (very) American perspective on this (very) British film, but, frankly, they probably shouldn't have bothered...
Commentary 2: Director Neil Marshall, director of photography Sam McCurdy, co-producer Keith Bell, and actors Sean Pertwee, Kevin McKidd, and Liam Cunningham Rating:9.5/10 (2 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by Gavin Millarrrrrrrrrr on December 13th, 2008:Find all reviews by Gavin Millarrrrrrrrrr
As Brian suggests above, this track is the better of the two (by far) and much more in keeping with the style of the film.
It's Marshall, McCurdy and Bell who provide most of the Making of/Background Information (including scenes shot but not included in the final print which are available elsewhere on the disc with an optional Director's Commentary) while also quite happy to point out errors and in-jokes, along with the seemingly endless succession of film references and homages - from the obvious (THE EVIL DEAD and JAWS, as well as THE SEARCHERS and THE WILD BUNCH, underlining Marshall's description of the film as "a Werewolf Western") to the truly esoteric (STAR TREK II).
For their part, the actors spend most of the time (good-naturedly) taking the mickey out of each other, in person and on screen (highlighting the bond they formed while making the film), including having fun with Sean's "sausage pouch" and particularly enjoying the scene where Pertwee is accidentally punched full on the nose by McKidd!
Cunningham is especially amusing, recalling how he wanted to utter the name of the werewolf family (the Uaths - Gaelic for "horror" fact fans) at the end of the film a la Brando in APOCALYPSE NOW, something he is encouraged by the others to take the opportunity to remedy on this track only to have them predictably but hilariously ruin the moment, providing what must be the funniest ever end to a commentary (and a marked contrast to the other track which just peters out with a long, rather cloying, list of thanks to friends and family).
In conclusion, this is a must-hear for fans of the film making this one of those rare occasions when the Region 2 version is notably superior to the Region 1 release.