Cujo

"Good"

Cujo Review


It's been 24 years since 1983, and it's time to ask... is Cujo deserving of a "Special Edition" DVD?

Inexplicably marketed as a 25th Anniversary Edition (close enough, I guess), Cujo tells the now-often-imitated story of a vicious animal/monster and couple of people trapped by it. In this case, the animal is a once-super-happy St. Bernard bitten by a rabid bat, and the people are mom Donna (Dee Wallace) and her son Tad (Danny Pintauro).

There's plenty going on before that happens: Mom turns out to be having an affair despite her boyish looks, and Dad (Daniel Hugh Kelly) leaves on business for 10 days as part of an attempt to fix a marketing campaign for cereal that's making kids sick. That's an awful lot of character development for a movie about a rabid dog, and you'll be hard-pressed to remember any of it the minute Cujo takes his first big snack by eating some dude's face. This movie is all about Donna and Tad, trapped in their crappy Pinto in the middle of nowhere, while a vicious dog tries to wiggle into the car to eat their faces off too. (Then again, that's only about a 30-minute movie...)

As thrilling and scary as Cujo can be, it's dreadful for long stretches. This is a Stephen King story, after all. The first half hour is complete drivel, and Pintauro's Tad is the most useless kid in the history of movies. Tad spends most of the time having panic attacks whenever the two have a chance to escape, only to die later in the film. Don't worry: Mom knows CPR. Pintauro of course would later go on to star in the show Who's the Boss?, strangely also playing the most useless kid in the history of TV.

The film is memorable enough in the end, and there's a legacy here, of course. Since the movie's appearance, the name "Cujo" can no longer be used for any animal unless you want people crossing to the other side of the street when they see you. It's a little like the name Damian for kids.

DVD extras include a commentary track from the director, and a three-part making-of documentary.



Cujo

Facts and Figures

Run time: 93 mins

In Theaters: Friday 12th August 1983

Budget: $5M

Production compaines: Sunn Classic Pictures, TAFT Entertainment Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 59%
Fresh: 17 Rotten: 12

IMDB: 5.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Lewis Teague

Producer: Daniel H. Blatt,

Starring: Dee Wallace as Donna Trenton, Danny Pintauro as Tad Trenton, as Vic Trenton, as Steve Kemp, as Joe Camber, Kaiulani Lee as Charity Camber, Billy Jayne as Brett Camber (as Billy Jacoby), Mills Watson as Gary Pervier, Sandy Ward as Bannerman, as Masen, Merritt Olsen as Professor

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