Movie Released: 2009 | DVD Release Date: October 12, 2010
In Doghouse (2009), Vince (Stephen Graham) is recently divorced and on a downward spiral. Vince’s closest friends, Neil (Danny Dyer), Mikey (Noel Clarke), Graham (Emil Marwa), Matt (Lee Ingleby), Patrick (Keith-Lee Castle) and Banksy (Neil Maskell), take him on an out-of-town boys weekend to a remote town where Neil promises the women are plentiful, hot and easy. On first blush, Moodley looks like a town where everyone suddenly walked away but what lurks behind closed doors will take the best the men have to stay alive.
Doghouse is a film that embraces its campy nature. The visitors to Moodley are men with the lone exception of the minibus driver played with a cheeky spark by Christina Cole. Each man experiences conflict with a partner before leaving his home with the exception of the divorced Vince and Banksy (the latter of whom has a series of misadventures causing him to lag behind the other men). When they arrive in the Moodley they see a soldier (Terry Stone) attacking a hooded teen girl. They come to the girl’s aid and knock out the soldier before they realize that a virus has turned the girl into a man-eating zombie. There are hints in the movie that the zombies are, to a point, aware. Neil, the standout misogynist of the piece, is captured by a plus-sized zombie who seductively licks frosting from severed fingers and seems to invite Neil to join her in a sexual sense. As the story unfolds, there are several slapstick encounters that seem to take jabs at the firms and shows of the genre in a reverent way.
Unlike many works of the genre, the masterminds of the zombie plan had built in a failsafe that the ragtag band of men is sure to mismanage. The women seem less interested in eating brains or flesh than simply causing the most pain possible to the men. While there surely have been male casualties, it’s unclear what happened to most of the male population of the town. In one scene the band of men makes their way to the house of Mikey’s grandmother and find a soldier with his entrails tumbling from his body, pinned to the fence and still alive. The soldier gives the men an ominous warning. There is no shortage of blood and gore in Doghouse. It is a brutal movie and it does seem one of those movies where there are no survivors at the end. Not that I’m telling.
Many reviewers have likened Doghouse to another famous British zombie movie, Shaun of the Dead. I adore Shaun of the Dead; it’s one of my favorite movies. Simon Pegg’s zombie outing is smart and a commentary on our world of the moment. Doghouse is more a comedy romp of blokes vs. birds. It’s sexist and plays to male fantasy … and female fantasy if yours is a fantasy of disemboweling men that only see women as a pair of breasts and worthwhile for only a quick romp in the hay.
What initially attracted me to Doghouse was the actor playing Mikey. Those of you who read this blog, know that I’m a Whovian and if you are as well, you’ll recognize Noel Clarke as the actor that played Mickey Smith from 2005 – 2010 on Doctor Who. A BAFTA-winning actor. Doghouse is not likely to be the work he’s most proud of though he was a standout in the cast. The film could be given credit for an insight into male and female relations, but I think it was simply meant to be entertaining and play off of the usual “you’re different, let’s laugh at you” jokes (goth teen, fat women with wild libido, womanizing loser, new age hipster).
If you’re looking for something unique to watch this holiday weekend and are not easily offended, give Doghouse a shot.
Doghouse is available as a DVD, Blu-Ray and on Amazon Instant Video
|Danny Dyer, Stephen Graham
|1 hour and 29 minutes
|December 12, 2010