Battledogs Movie Review
By Justin Hopkins:
I have been on a recent Werewolf kick as of late. They don’t get as move love as some of the rest of the monsters, despite having a great movie line-up, with the likes of Ginger Snaps, The Howling, and Cursed, and so much more. So, I trekked across a few platforms in search of more I haven’t seen, and stumbled across 2013’s Battledogs. Coming with a surprisingly strong cast of actors Dennis Haysbert, Ariana Richards, Ernie Hudson, and Bill Duke as The President. What more can one ask for; as it turns out, a better movie, cause this one missed the mark by a mile. Let me explain why.
This movie started out somewhat promising. With a woman, Donna Voorhees having an anxiety attack at JFK Airport, causing herself to turn into a werewolf and began to infect or flat out murder everyone in her path. Becoming pretty clear early on that they really didn’t care to much about the lore here. When they turned back to humans though, kind of had me curious on where this was going, but after a few minutes in the quarantine zone, you pretty much figure out where they are going and how this is going to end. Lt. General Christopher Monning and his men want to weaponize the wolves. Major Brian Hoffman and Doctor Gordon want to find cure, and Voorhees has the key to said cure. Mooning makes Hoffman untrustworthy in the eyes of superior and president. Send wolf and men to kill Hoffman. Wolves escape quarantine, and take Manhattan. President orders bombing of Manhattan. They find cure but not fast enough and barely survive the blast. Donna however did not survive, being the only surprise in this movie.
It really seemed like wanted to make a zombie movie, or had a script laying around and just decided to slap werewolves in here to try and be different, but couldn’t be bothered to even try and adapt for what werewolves are. You have a movie that takes place mostly in the day with werewolves that are dropped by numerous tranq darts, single bullet, or even a regular knife. Soldiers who constantly stresses out those infected knowing that will cause a transformation let acts shocked when they transform. They are in Manhattan let the streets are almost entirely empty at nearly every moment. Meanwhile this all could have been avoided had the Doctor, who is honestly there to help, listened to Donna instead of constantly cutting her off. No good reason to ignore her. Dr. Gordon was on the side of the cure and aiding the hero. Just did it because they needed it to happen. This had some potential to be good, but it just lazily written from start to end. Literally have centuries of Werewolf Lore to utilize. Had they taken a little bit of time to take the idea of a werewolf virus spreading across New York and applied some of the lore and used night time to hide the terrible CGI and bite wounds. This would have been drastically better.
I don’t go into a B-Movie expecting top notch special effect. Hammy effects can actually aide a B-Movie, but not in this case. There are times where you will see a group of White Wolves that are all the same wolf, just copy and pasted. They do this constantly. If you are not going to build wolves, at least get creative on the CG at least. They did have a good scene a sparse few times, but not nearly enough to make up for the bad.
This movie wasn’t even a so bad it’s fun. It’s just bad, and that is quite a shame. Dennis Haybert put in a great performance as a villain, and Ariana Richard’s played her role as sympathetic female lead pretty well. Ernie Hudson was fun in his role. Small part but he was fun. In the end, I wouldn’t suggest seeing Battledogs any time soon. I wasn’t expecting to see some awesome Werewolf movie, but I did expect a fun one, and they failed at even that. So, save your time and keep away from this one.
Thanks for reading.