Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cujo (1983)

As you can likely garner from this blog, I'm a huge Stephen King fan.  I'm a little skeptical of his more recent stuff, but I'm excited to see the miniseries they put together out of Under the Dome.  But that's a different post.

In terms of the book, Cujo is infamous for the fact that Stephen King barely remembers writing it.  He was so high and drunk the entire time that it was done before he knew it.  Interesting, considering it is one of his best works.  Make of that what you will.

Cujo, the movie, is also pretty awesome.  They have a great plot to start from, the effects are great for the early 80s, and there's actually some pretty solid acting here.  I didn't post the cover of this movie as the photo, because it honestly doesn't do justice to how goddamn real the dog looks in this thing.  For filming, they used five St. Bernards, a mechanical head, and a guy in a dog costume.  Seriously though, that shit looks real.

The story goes like this.  The (E.T. era super-foxy) Dee Wallace (Donna Trenton) is married to Vic Trenton.  But things aren't going well.  He's not keeping her satisfied in the bedroom and she's sought satisfaction in their furniture craftsman.  Vic finds out and shit goes down.  He leaves for a conference and Donna is left high and dry with a sort-of working car and a four-year old boy (Tad). 

Donna decides to bring the car up to Joe Camber's garage, which is sort of in the sticks and probably not the best place for her to go by herself.  But this is the 80s, remember?  Unfortunately, she has no idea of Joe Camber's plans.  His wife and kid have hopped on a bus to CT for the weekend and he's set on heading to Boston for some booze and strip clubs.

What have we forgotten in this mix?  Yeah, Cujo.  The formerly loveable St. Bernard has been acting a little weird lately.  You know, hiding from the sun, foaming at the mouth, not eating...nothing big, right?  Joe Camber dumps a bunch of food and water out and takes off.

Unfortunately for Donna and Tad, they're trapped.  The broken car decides to finally give up once they get to the Camber's and they're trapped by Cujo.  The next couple of days (in movie time) is intense and horrifying.  I love movies that don't need torture and blood and gore to give you the shivers.  A mother and her young child are literally trapped in a car in the middle of nowhere with no hope for rescue.

Any SK fans will pick up on the fact that the book ending is different than the movie ending.  I wish they had kept it, but you know movies...always going for the ending that's "easier" on the audience.  Definitely one of the best Stephen King flicks out there.

photo credit