Brian Yuzna is one of the few filmmakers from the 1980s still active in the exploitation genre, usually working with a decent budget, and generally delivering the right mix of violence, nudity, and mordant wit. Society (1989) - still one of his best - is arguably his opening, and perhaps definitive statement on a preferred brand of organic, surreal gore.
Rottweiler is less reliant on surreal, 'wet' sequences, as the story involves a corrupt prison chief (played in a small but memorable role by Paul Naschy), a defiled love, and a Terminator-styled dog that enjoys devouring its target after the hunt is over. The combined use of a real pooch ("Zeus") and several animatronic and puppet heads works extremely well during the film's nasty attacks, and animal lovers may find the robot dog's physical trauma a bit too gruesome.
The DVD contains a fair mix of EPK extras, mostly designed for Spanish media outlets, and with the exception of the animatronic whiz, all of the interviews are in Spanish, and come with optional English subtitles. The cast interviews are the standard Q&A sessions, and the sudden fades cover generic questions of working with director Yuzna, the physical challenges of the role, and familiar observations on one's character.
The Cinematographer's interview is fairly negligible, as Javier Salmones has a scant few minutes to talk about lighting a large outdoor set. The on set featurette is generic shots of cast and crew at work, with the dog interacting between actors and his trainers. (The featurette is perhaps extra insurance that real a dog wasn't beaten and blown to heck during production).
The Dolby 5.1 is pretty punchy, and the score by Mark Thomas (Dog Soldiers) delivers the right balance of tender, melodic guitar themes, and synth-pounding action music.
Written Miguel Tejada-Flores (2002's Darkness), Rottweiler isn't one of Yuzna's best, but it's a suitable B-flick with a solid mean streak.
© 2006 Mark R. Hasan
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