We’re back with a couple of old ISCFC favourites – the misleading title and our old friends at The Asylum! “Battledogs” appears to not be a direct ripoff of any film, indicating a slight change from the mockbuster format, maybe, but will that improve the quality?
Haha, of course not! Are you lot mad? Donna Voorhees, a wildlife photographer, gets bitten by a wolf while in Canada. Rather than, I don’t know, going to hospital there, she flies to JFK Airport in New York (filmed in New York, just a different airport, I was surprised to learn), and the Lupine Virus in the wolf’s bite starts to kick in and transforms her in seconds into a giant wolf. That word is “wolf”, not “dog”. She tears through the airport, killing dozens and infecting many more, before the Army rolls up with gas and knocks them all out.
A nearby hangar becomes a quarantine zone for people suffering from the virus. People seem incredibly hostile about going into quarantine – they remember what just happened, right? – but luckily the army is on hand. Dennis Haysbert is the General in charge and 80s movie heart-throb Craig Sheffer is the Major with personal problems a-plenty. The General thinks it would be a good idea to figure out how to weaponise the wolves, but the Major, who apparently has the President’s number on his phone, realises the danger and tries to help them, along with a friendly doctor.
And that, pretty much, is the film. Sheffer takes a trip to the airport to view the security footage and resolve the mystery of who patient zero is (for potential antidote purposes), and runs into Ernie Hudson, who reveals an amazing hologram security camera thing which I want to see happen so badly. I know this will come as a shock to you all, but Haysbert’s plans don’t work and the wolves invade Manhattan – will the President (played by Bill Duke, who I remember from “Commando” but who is one of the all-time great “hey, it’s that guy!” actors) authorise the big bomb for Manhattan before Sheffer and pals can make an antidote? Will Haysbert kill Sheffer?
This film almost defies you to be interested in it. Character motivation is all over the place, and it’s so flat and dull. It reminds me of someone you don’t like all that much telling you a long story that you’re not really interested in…never even hinted at by the film is the phenomenal amount of guilt that Donna should be feeling – her stupidity causes the deaths of thousands and the destruction of a large chunk of New York.
Minor pluses – Bill Duke is always good to see, and it was apparently filmed in and around New York, which is a pleasant change.
Glancing round other review sites to see
if I could rip them off if there was something big I missed, I discovered an excellent review from “The Girl Who Loves Horror” – read her stuff here. Not sure why I’m linking you to better reviewers, but I love you ISCFC readers.