Rottweiler (2004)
By: Devon B. on September 7, 2006  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Magna Pacific (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 5.1, English DTS 5.1. 91 minutes
The Movie
Director: Brian Yuzna
Starring: William Miller, Irene Montalà, Paulina Gálvez, Paul Naschy
Screenplay: Miguel Tejada-Flores
Music: Mark Thomas
Tagline: Eat. Sleep. Fetch. Kill.
Country: Spain
While Brian Yuzna is not the world's most consistent filmmaker, I'm always willing to give one of his movies a try. They might not always be great *cough* Return of the Living Dead III*cough*, but they are generally fast paced, and have SOME entertainment value. Rottweiler is an adaptation of the novel El Perro by Alberto Vázquez Figueroa, and while it does have a fast pace, that's about all there is to it.

The year is 2018, and we find our hero, Dante, in a Spanish prison camp for immigration confinement. It may be in Spain, but everyone there speaks English. Dante escapes, but is tracked by a guy who has a ROTT, a mechanically suped up Rottweiler. The guy catches Dante, but Dante kills the dog, gets the upper hand, and Han Solos this Greedo. Posthumously (yes, posthumously), the tracker sics the ROTT on Dante, and the rest of the movie is Dante trying to reunite with his girlfriend while being chased by the now demonic dog.

The acting is pretty shit in Rottweiler, particularly from William Miller as Dante. It does seem that Willy is Spanish, though, and he's playing an American, so maybe the accent was just too much for him to do while acting. The Dante character does particularly stupid things throughout the movie, but he's such an idiot, it feels like characterization more than anything. Paul Naschy is present, but he doesn't turn into El Homely Lobo, so I didn't care that much.

The Rottweiler makeup can be pretty cool, and it reminds me a bit of the cover of NOW Comic's Terminator number seven with the dog terminator. Most of the CG used for the dog (and in the film in general) is bad, and there are a few moments where the dog is clearly a stuffed canine, but overall I think Yuzna did a good job bringing the animal to life on a lower budget.

Despite the dog, there's not too much of interest for horror fans, as this is much more of an actioner. There is some gore, but not too much, and it's not up there with some of Yuzna's more excessive works. There is a bit of nudity, and for a change of pace, this time it's a man running for his life naked through the woods, but if that's not what you're after, you'll be disappointed with this film.
Rottweiler is presented at 1.85:1 in a 16x9 enhanced print. It's a new film, so the image is sharp. There were a few MINOR specks, and some very light grain, but I really only noticed that in one darkened scene. A few digital glitches were present, but I think they were actually a result of poor CG edits.
Rottweiler comes with two mixes, a 5.1 surround and a DTS track. On the 5.1 track, the only effects I really noticed using the surround capabilities were some bullets and some cars. The dialogue is firmly placed in the centre speaker, and was a bit quiet, so I had to keep turning the sound up. I think the score did use the surround mix, but I may be wrong about that because all I could really hear was bass. I like bass, but the score was so bass heavy it was hard to hear anything else, and most action scenes had score accompaniment. There's one scene in a red light district where, I'd guess, some rap fan is supposed to be thumping in his car. It was so bass heavy that my partner yelled at me to turn off the subwoofer because the sound was painful (big bass baby). If they were trying to make it seem a b-boy was blaring his stereo in my lounge, they succeeded.

Fortunately, that's not the only audio choice, right? The DTS must salvage the disc, you say? Not so fast, gentle reader. The DTS audio suffers from a scattershot remix, with almost every sound effect and spoken word directed to the wrong speaker. Dialogue comes through the right rear channel for almost the entire film which makes it sound as though the characters are throwing their voices like seasoned ventriloquists, while subtle ambient effects which should normally come from the rear of the soundstage scream at you from the front speakers.
Extra Features
The main extra, for me, is a four and half minute interview with Yuzna, who confesses that the source book had no genre elements. There's also a two and half minute interview with the animatronic team, who said they liked the idea of doing a Terminator dog. An 18-minute behind the scenes is included, but it's a bit rough, playing like raw footage from the set. A few deleted/extended scenes, the trailer, and a still gallery featuring production and promo stills round the disc out.
The Verdict
Rottweiler is much more of an action movie with a few ghostly scenes. It plays like it wants to be a merging of sequels, Terminator 4: Rise of the Judgement Dog and Man's Best Friend 2. The only real reason to watch Rottweiler for horror fans is Naschy, and he doesn't do much. Regardless of your tastes, turn the film off before the terrible pun that marks the climax.
Movie Score
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