Doghouse

GH1

Six friends decide to take a newly divorced member of their group on a trip out to the country in hopes of helping him get through his depression but run into aggressive, zombified women instead.

 

Zombified women huh? You living meatsacks leave nothing sacred do you? First of all, our women aren’t that aggressive, I mean yeah, they can be a little ornery at times, but you would be too if you were undead. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a zombie, but it can be frustrating at times, even more so when you’re always being portrayed as either an asshole or a bitch on screen all the time. Sure, there’s a reason stated later in this film why these women are so damn violently feisty, but it’s not stated until the end, and even then it doesn’t seem to explain everything. Seems to me that the filmmakers were just hoping everyone watching would assume zombie women were always that way. Trust me, they’re not quite as bad, sometimes close, I won’t lie, but not often. Just don’t try and hit on them if you’re among the living and you’ll be fine. That’s when they get pissed off. Then again, don’t worry about it, if you do, you’ll most likely be one of us soon enough anyways.

Our angry women turned zombie film begins with poor Vince getting a divorce and not dealing with it very well, so his buddies (arrogant Neil, fuck up Banksy, nerdy Matt, mellow Patrick, laid back Mikey, and sure of himself Graham) decide to take him on a trip out of the big city to a little town called Moodley. As the group begins gathering together and preparing for their trip we are shown a little bit of each life and how ultimately troubled and lost all of our characters are, not truly seeming to enjoy their lives. They all finally gather in a pub to enjoy a few drinks and wait for their private bus driver to take them all to Moodley. Once they arrive in the small town, they find it eerily deserted but not for long. Soon they are attacked by the town’s zombified women, who seem to have killed all the men for reasons unknown, save for one military man. The group initially beat the sergeant unconscious as they believe he is attacking a woman and they are saving her. Once they realize the truth of what’s happening they drag the sergeant’s body to the home of Mikey’s parents where they discover a nearly dead colonel hanging on a fence post. He warns them to stay out of the woods before one of the zombified women chops him in two. The group, including the still unconscious soldier they are dragging along, make a break toward the house, bursting in just before being chopped to bits. They not only have to come to terms with the unfortunate circumstances they find themselves in, but must formulate a plan to escape town before they join the other murdered men who have fallen victim to these deadly women.

GH2

{Hopeful is not a word I would use to describe this group}

The minute I heard about a movie featuring zombified women attacking a group of men that was called Doghouse I knew I was going to watch it. Lord knows I’ve spent a good chunk of my life and unlife in the proverbial doghouse. I have this problem where I just say the first thing that comes to mind and it gets me in more than a bit of trouble. You know that little part of your brain that tells you to shut the fuck up? Yeah, I don’t have that. I’m pretty sure it was damaged before I turned, but afterward the thing was just dead, so if it’s on my mind it comes out. On the plus side it means I never have to be asked what I’m thinking, if I’m thinking anything just wait a minute and it’ll come out. On the negative side of things it means I don’t always say the right thing, so I end up in the doghouse. Anyways, you didn’t come here to read about my problems in shutting the fuck up, you came here to find out if Doghouse was worth watching.

 GH5

{Little old zombie ladies are the one group of people I might shut up around, more so if they’re holding pruning shears}

I definitely think it was, but you’re going to have to look past the surface. This movie comes across as a misogynistic excuse for men to have a reason to blame women for their problems, problems that are front and center with a bunch of zombified, and sometimes scantily clad, women attacking our male protagonists. Every living character is a male while every zombie murder machine is a female, so I can easily see how this movie could be interpreted as misogynistic male fantasy and thrown to the way side, but you have to look a lot deeper. If you do you’ll see that this film, at least in my opinion, is a metaphor for a midlife crisis. Each of the characters are extremely jaded with their lives, trying to find some kind of solace in where they’ve ended up but ultimately coming up short in their failed attempts at either accepting their lot in life or trying to change it. The characters seem to represent the different things we all go through in a midlife crises. There’s the cocksure but ultimately empty Neil, the utterly depressed and lonely Vince who can’t fathom how he got to the point he’s at in life, poor Banksy who just can’t get it together, the stressed out Patrick who is only looking for some kind of peace, Matt who is stuck inside his own fantasy world, the seemingly happy Mikey who doesn’t take anything as seriously as he should, and the only one who has it mostly together but still finds himself unhappy, Graham. Those are all things people experiencing a midlife crisis go through, different stages one may or may not have to deal with. I think the zombie women simply represent not only the hurdles they need to overcome in order to get their lives where they want to be, but their inability to accept responsibility for where they’ve ended up in life as each one seems to be having women trouble, and would rather blame the female of the species than own up to what they’ve done to themselves. There’s even a great scene where Vince berates Neil and Mikey for mistreating the women in their lives, stating how assholes like them can get any girl but the good ones like him get thrown to the wayside. It was a very “woe is me” pity statement that in no way took into account how he might have acted but looked instead to blame someone else. Now, I could be reading too much into it and it’s just a movie about a bunch of assholes who won’t grow up, but I saw it as more than that. Maybe I just like scantily clad zombie women too much. Who knows?

GH3

{Golf clubs are a very clear statement for getting old}

Assuming I’m wrong and there’s nothing more to the movie than a group of friends wanting to get blitzed and party it up, there’s not much to the story. It’s definitely a different kind of story as you can read from the description, but still more or less fairly basic at the same time. It has some new elements but borrows heavily from older ones. Doghouse does still have a couple of things going for it. One is the acting talent. While you’ll wish these guys would get their shit together, and a couple of them are a bit dickish, they are still played likably enough to the point you don’t wish for their death but actually hope they make it. I think what helped this the most was in how well they all interacted with each other. It came across very natural, as if they really were old friends getting together for a weekend trip, and the dialogue between them was extremely entertaining. It could be crude at times, but it was funny none the less.

GH8

{This might be the one point at which Vince is not so cocksure}

The second thing that this film had was great effects…for the most part. The zombie women are great and their makeup was very well done. Each one looks just a bit different from the last and most have a different kind of weapon as well, whether it be scissors, swords, or an electric meat cutter. You can see a lot of Evil Dead’s Deadites in them too, something I’m sure the filmmakers were going for as, not only are they called Deadites at one point, but comic book store owner Matt begins his introduction to the film by discussing Deadites. I didn’t think they were complete copies of the Deadites but you could see the inspiration there. Most of the gore effects look amazing as well, and there are some truly gruesome deaths, but there are times when certain props look like they were purchased from a cheap Halloween store. Things like severed heads, dismembered limbs, and lost organs looked very fake and it was a real shame considering how well everything else was done. I’m not sure if they ran out of money or not but the cheap props put a dent in what could have been flawlessly executed effects.

GH7

{Not a good sight for anyone to see coming at them}

Many people aren’t going to like this movie and to be honest I wouldn’t blame them. It can very easily come across as misogynistic and exploitive, but I’d ask you to give it at least one chance anyways. If you don’t like it the worst thing that will happen is you won’t have to watch it again.

 

The Undead Review

 

Directed By: Jake West (Evil Aliens, Razor Blade Smile)

Starring: Danny Dyer (Devil’s Playground, Malice in Wonderland), Noel Clarke (Screwed, Heartless), Emil Marwa (East is East, Izzat), and Stephen Graham (This is England, Public Enemies)

Released By: Carnaby Film Productions and Vertigo Films

Release Year: 2009

Release Type: Theatrical Release

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

About The Undead Review

When I was alive I was an asshole and after I died remained pretty much the same, if not a little worse. You’d think becoming a member of the walking dead would mellow a person out, no more worrying about awkward small talk with people, no more having to be politically correct, and the entire world is your upright, bipedal buffet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun as hell to be a zombie, just somewhat irritating at times, especially those times you have to watch a lame movie or read a lame book. Thankfully, when I am forced to watch these films or read those books, I’ve got places like The Undead Review to bitch and moan to my heart’s content. {When he’s not devouring the living or sinking his teeth into a good film The Undead Review (Andy Taylor) spends his time writing his own stories or hunting down the paranormal. Oh, and did we mention his blind dog once saved the world?)
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