When man’s best friend enters the world of horror the results can be truly unsettling. Dogs are some of the most loved and the most feared animals to appear on the big screen – and they always make their mark.
To celebrate the release of Lionsgate’s scary new horror The Lazarus Effect (and its freaky pooch), we delve back through the decades to revisit some of the genre’s best and most wicked canine companions.
Let’s get started 40 years ago…
A Boy and His Dog (1975)
Vic and his talking dog Blood scavenge the post-apocalyptic earth hunting for food and sex, looting whenever they can and avoiding the threat of savages. But when a girl comes between the two, and Vic is lured to an uncertain fate, the message is clear – Vic should have stayed with his loyal companion all along. While the future of this pair hangs in the balance, it’s shown that both Vic and Blood need each other to survive.
The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
In Wes Craven’s genre classic, cannibals set upon a family after they break down in the desert, leaving their two German shepherds, Beauty and Beast, to defend them. Without spoiling the outcome, Beast plays a pivotal role in exacting revenge on the lunatic cannibals and proves that dogs really do have the best instincts.
In this great example of claustrophobic horror, a bloodthirsty and rabid St Bernard turns killer and terrorises a mother and son, showcasing one of the most famous examples of man’s best friend gone bad. When the big, friendly St Bernard contracts rabies after being bitten on the snout by a bat, the animal begins a terrifying progression of the disease in one of cinema’s scariest transformations, from lovable canine to savage animal. A true masterpiece.
The Lost Boys (1985)
In this 80’s classic, Sam, along with his brother, Mum and Nanook the dog, move to the town of Santa Carla to stay with their Grandpa, but it’s not long before his brother is bitten and turns into a half-vampire. With help from the Frog brothers, and the ever-loyal Nanook, the group must defeat evil vampires preying on the town and save his brother. Proving to be a loyal ally, Nanook is always aware of danger and defends his family at any cost.
The Lazarus Effect (2015)
In a modern day Frankenstein story, a group of researchers led by Frank and his fiancée Zoe achieve the unimaginable – bringing the dead back to life. After a successful, yet unsanctioned, trial on a newly deceased dog, Rocky, the team is ready to unveil their breakthrough to the world. But something is wrong with the animal, and when Zoe also suffers a fatal accident in the lab, a grief-stricken Frank brings her back to life too, setting a disastrous chain of events into motion.
The Lazarus Effect is out now on EST and Blu-ray & DVD from 19th October from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.
Pre-order from Amazon.