(director/writer: Robert Clouse; screenwriter:based on the novel by Dave Fisher; cinematographer: Ralph Wolsley; editor: Peter Berger; music: Lee Holdridge; cast: Joe Don Baker (Jerry Preston), Richard B. Shull (Clyde Hardiman), Hope Alexander-Willis (Millie Preston), Richard O’Brien (Jim Dodge), Ned Wertimer (Harry Walker), Sherry Miles (Lois), Paul Wilson (Tommy Walker), Bibi Besch (Marge), R.G. Armstrong (Carl Cobb), Delos V. Smith Jr (Mr McMinnimee), Eric Knight (Guy Preston), Steve Lytle (Paul Preston), Steve Butts (Bobby); Runtime: 95; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: Paul Heller/Fred Weintraub; Warner Home Video; 1977)
“Though it reminds one of the Hitchcock classic The Birds (1963), it’s not as good or as scary.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Writer-director Robert Clouse (“Enter the Dragon”/”The Rats “) bases this exciting and effective survivalist horror thriller on the novel by David Fisher. Though it reminds one of the Hitchcock classic The Birds (1963), it’s not as good or as scary. Nevertheless it does create an atmosphere of terror, enough to keep me watching intently until the end.On the remote Seal Island, a summer resort, when a group of bankers go there for a fishing vacation, a pack of bloodthirsty abandoned pet tourist dogs go primal and begin attacking and killing the year-round islanders. Marine biologist Jerry Preston (Joe Don Baker) becomes the island leader and protector of his teacher wife Millie (Hope Alexander-Willis) and two young boys (Eric Knight & Steve Lytle). The island characters are all bland and forgettable, and their sub plots go no where. What catches our fancy is the ferociousness of the attacking dogs and how difficult it is to escape from them. The vicious dogs start killing them off one at a time until Jerry traps them all in his house and Dodge (Richard O’Brien ) torches the house.
REVIEWED ON 9/20/2016 GRADE: B-