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Cujo (1983)

Reviewed on 2011 October 25

This Stephen King movie isn’t as freaky as The Shining and doesn’t pull you in like The Stand, but it’s effective in its own way, because this isn’t about ghouls or the undead. Something like this could happen if some idiot didn’t bring their dog in for his rabies shots.

Cujo (played by several dogs, including a Rottweiler going incognito) is a cartoonishly huge St. Bernard, and apparently a loving pet until he contracts rabies from a bat chomp one fateful day. His laconic owners, the Camber family, don’t notice there’s something wrong with their dog until he looks like he ate a whole pack of Mentos® with a soda chaser.

Meanwhile, while Cujo is slowly deteriorating, a couple is trying to deal with a fractured marriage. Donna Trenton (Dee Wallace) and her husband Vic (Daniel Hugh Kelly) are reeling from her affair, and from a crisis at Vic’s work. While Vic goes to put out some corporate fires, Donna and her son Tad (Danny Pintauro) go to the Camber house to get her twitchy Pinto repaired, where they meet the family pet…

There are some weak spots, like Cujo’s owners not knowing he’s rabid or something’s wrong until he starts eating people. The acting was good from Stone and Pintauro, and of course, the dogs. Since King normally writes about the supernatural, it was interesting to see him take a normally docile critter and use it to scare us. My friend had a St. Bernard and the only thing it endangered was her floor, because he was such a drooler. Cujo is a viral scud missile. This wasn’t my favorite horror movie, but for this time of year, it works.

Two chocolate morsels and some cereal with no red dye.


morsel morsel

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