The Breed (2006)
By: Devon B. on October 30, 2012 | Comments
MRA | Region 4, PAL | 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced) | English DD 5.1 | 87 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: Nick Mastandrea
Starring: Michelle Rodriguez, Oliver Hudson, Taryn Manning
Screenplay: Peter Wortmann, Robert Conte
Country: Germany, South Africa, USA
External Links
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In The Pack, er, sorry, in The Breed, a group of college kids fly to secluded island for some good times. Two guys in the group know the island a bit because it belonged to their recently deceased uncle, but they don't know that it has been taken over by feral dogs. The characters claim they're oversized dogs, but they didn't look particularly large to me. Larger than usual or not, there's definitely something wrong with the dogs because when one person gets bitten she goes loopy. The incident is brushed off, using horror movie logic to keep the characters from immediately leaving, so eventually the homosapian cast of The Breed find themselves in a spot of bother. Serves 'em right because they seem like total idiots, completely unaware of basic facts about canines like that they live in packs.

German Shepherds often get killed in horror movies, and I think I did a list of films that included Alsatian slaughter in another review, but as a refresher there's The Hills Have Eyes, The Unholy, Braindead, Halloween and probably a whole bunch more that I've forgotten. Because I grew up with a German Shepherd lookin' dog as the family pet, I've always been fond of that breed so it's nice to see it get its own back. That's one of the few positive things I can say about The Breed.

Most of The Breed is in that murky area between so-bad-it's-good and just plain bad, and the movie offers further proof that Wes craven really will put his name on any old shit. The idea of killer dogs is not a new one, nor is the idea of having them on an island which was already done in Humongous, but The Breed also borrows ideas from a lot of other movies like Deep Blue Sea, Cliffhanger, Night of the Living Dead, Jurassic Park II and Cujo, though that last one shouldn't be much of a surprise. The acting from the people is pretty bad, including the performance from the ever so unsubtle Michelle Rodriguez, and given the film was shot in South Africa I wonder if that isn't due to people struggling to mask their normal accents. Which, naturally, re-raises the question: Why not just set the movie in the location it's filmed in? If it was a bunch of Seth Efrikans getting chewed up at least it would be a bit more novel. Instead the characters are more formulaic "hip" youths. I usually don't mind having cliché victims in a horror movie, but I don't like it when the humour is try hard like it is here. The grating jokes make the viewer keener to see the characters slaughtered, but this presents a problem since it's nearly 20 minutes into the movie before there's a dog on screen. I'd spent too long with these ass clowns by then. There're very few intentional laughs caused by these "funny" characters, but there are quite a few unintentional laughs in the movie. My biggest chuckle came from a scene where our heroes flee in terror from dogs…that are swimming. The most awkward swimming stroke in the world is called the dog paddle for a reason; it just seems inconceivable to me that anyone would buy the idea that a soggy doggy is a threat.

For all its faults, and they are many, The Breed does have a few points of merit, mostly in the stunt category. There're a few good dog stunts in the movie, and while there're a few dog stunts that look fake, most of the time these bits look good and convincing. The human cast also seem to have been allowed to do a few of their own stunts, and while none of it looks terribly dangerous, at least the actual actors got to do these bits themselves. The movie also has a few stylish moments, and occasionally has a blackly comedic element that works well when it hits its target.

Those few positive moments aren't enough to save The Breed. It looks like a TV movie and feels like what it is, a low-rent knock off. It's not abysmal, but there are way better animal attack movies out there.
Video
The Breed looks a bit oversaturated at the start, but the colours stabilise a little ways in. The print is clean, and handles the film's darker elements well. There is a bit of edge enhancement, but the for the most part the transfer is good, unlike the movie itself.
Audio
Audio is available in a passable 2.0 track or a lacklustre 5.1 track. The 5.1 is okay, but really could've made more efficient use of the surround sound given it's a movie about a group of people surrounded by dogs. The surrounds are used to create wind and thunder and a few other things, but the mix could've been better.
Extra Features
The trailer and trailers for Mr Fix It and Irish Jam.
The Verdict
The human dog food lives too long in The Breed, and the film doesn't have much to offer in the way of originality. The presentation of the film is okay on this DVD, but the lack of any real extras makes the whole package seem as lacklustre as the film itself.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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