Friday, May 20, 2016

Night of the Wild – Dogs Be Crazy

Runtime: 99 minutes
Release Date: October 1, 2015
Rating: NR
Director: Eric Red

Rosalyn is one of those stereotypical teenage characters that you see in made for television movies. She lives with her dad Dave, her stepmother Sara, and her little sister. Meteors struck the earth the night before, but no one seems to act like this is much of a deal. Rosalyn only cares about going on a camping trip with her two best friends and taking her blind and deaf older dog because she worries that if she leaves the dog behind, Sara will get rid of it just like she did everything else that belonged to her mom.

While on their way to the woods, they almost hit a dog. The dog flips out and attacks her older dog, but she manages to pull them apart. Once they get to the woods though, her friends keep talking about her behind her back and acting like typical teen girls. When one of the friends gets attacked by a wild dog, the other runs off in fear. Rosalyn gets her friend to relative safety, only to get attacked by yet another dog.

This mimics the exact same thing happening all over their small town. Dave just barely manages to save one of the woman picking fruit in the orchard where he works, and Sara sees a seeing eye dog attack his owner. It seems like there is something about the meteors that made all the dogs go crazy. Rosalyn, still dragging her poor unaffected dog around with her, suddenly realizes that her stepmother isn't actually that terrible and decides to find her and her sister while her father and stepmom are on the hunt for their families too.

Between watching Northern Exposure as a kid and watching the entire run of Numbers on Netflix, I'm not sure that there is anything Rob Morrow is in that I won't watch. After seeing that he received top billing in this one, I kept waiting for him to show up, but he's really only in a few key scenes and then randomly shows up again towards the end. It also has Kelly Rutherford in it, who I still love from the old Melrose Place days.

There were a few things that drove me nuts about this movie. The first is Shep, the poor old dog. The dog's first scene shows him running around like crazy and acting like a puppy. Five seconds later she starts talking about how he's old, can barely see, and can hardly hear. Yet somehow this dog who is near death's door and supposedly may die by the end of the night has no problem following her around and coming whenever she calls its name.

Then we have the issue with her mom. Rosalyn keeps acting like her mom died but then says that she can ask her mother for help paying for college. Which is it, is she dead or just a deadbeat who apparently never talks to her daughter?

As for special effects, it's about what you would expect for a made for television movie on SyFy. We get a lot of moments where a dog runs towards a person, the camera pans away, and then it goes back to show someone laying mangled on the floor or the ground. I do have to give it up though for the mean spirited neighbor getting eaten by his tiny little yappy dog while old Shep makes it through to the very end. Though I have a fondness for bad made for TV movies, Night of the Wild was almost too bad for me.

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