Dogs. Doggies. Doggos. Canines, mongrels, and doggy style. What are they? Where did they come from? How did they become our best friend? We may never know the answers. Even now, As I correspond with a friend, Alexander, a dog absently stares in my direction as I know another one stares at him. Like any friend, what do they want in return of their friendship?
If only they could talk. Like the titular Marley in the 2011 prequel Marley and Me: The Puppy Years. Then, in an inane venn diagram, the cultural osmosis of pets and movies comes together. Why are there so many dog movies, and could they alleviate our concerns?
So now Alexander and I are delving into the glut of canine cinema to research and develop the prefect character study. A film that strives for more than family friendly entertainment but an existential and educational expose. Against our best instincts, we must make another dog movie.
I helped make this monster, now I have to teach it how to not kill things.
Alexander: Remember the Marley And Me¹ sequel which had talking puppies?
[¹The Sixth Sense of dog films; even hinting at the ending can drive animal lovers insane.]
Devon: Wait… So the dog is still dead in the sequel?
Alexander: I can’t remember too well, I think it’s an origin story¹ so Marley is a puppy and he talks. It’s basically like an Air Buddies² movie.
[¹Used largely in superhero films and horror prequels to avoid the core premise and instead focus on less interesting stuff.]
[²The Sixth Sense of basketball films.]
Devon: oh, that’s… cheap. I’m still waiting for War Buds; Inglourious Basterds but with pups.
Alexander: “Okay boys, I want me 15 Nazi tails!!”
Devon: I like that idea that it’s dogs V dogs¹. Humans don’t equate in their battles at all.
[¹Used to indicate versus, much like the cinematic battle between Batman and Superman, I felt it important to emphasise the legality of the matter.]
Alexander: Exactly! Humans just let them get on with it, they’re too scared to get involved. This is a full dog war.
Devon: Dog the Bounty Hunter¹ plays Col. Landa.
[¹Not an actual dog, requires further investigation as to what exactly this figure is.]
Alexander: And it’s actually directed by Quentin Tarantino¹. It’s his best and last ever film.
[¹Famed foot fetishist, expected to be twice as excited by directing quadrupeds.]
Devon: QT is one dumb conversation away from actually making a dog film. Rodriguez¹ shows him a copy of Snow Dogs² on 72mm³ which inspires him.
[¹One man film crew, known for Spy Kids, Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over, and Spy Kids 4: All The Time in the World.]
[²One of Oscar-winner James Coburn’s last films, somehow not one of Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding Jr.’s last films.]
[³In the modern age of digital cinema, continue to apply these measurements to imply artistic significance.]
Alexander: Rodriguez steps on board to do all the weird Spy Kids style CGI¹. And yes, there’s a Machete³ Dog.
[¹Reports figure that 90% of modern movies use computer generated imagery. That other 10% is the mystery that drives the entire industry.]
[³Machete enthusiasts looking for a detailed account of their rise in popularity in the Latin American agricultural scene will be sorely disappointed.]
Devon: How has RR not done Spy Dogs? He really doesn’t seem above it, honestly.
Alexander: The closest he got was the talking dog in Spy Kids 3¹ voiced by Ricky Gervais². Which was somehow funny in how absurd it was.
[¹Usually I would correct mistakes like this in editing but since I’m an idiot later on I’m dragging my friend down with me.]
[²British comedian known for taking the piss. Note to US readers, Mr. Gervais is not out to siphon your urine for his own illicit purposes.]
Devon: He almost had that backdoor pilot¹ sealed. Machete Dog would be the oldest, most grizzled mutt ever.
[¹An episode of a running show that serves to introduce a spin-off. Kelsey Grammar would engineer his own pirate radio broadcast on the set of Cheers to raise interest for Frasier.]
Alexander: The joke would be that he doesn’t have the fight after getting his bollocks cut off.
Devon: This shit writes itself. Honestly, we could bang out a treatment¹ in an afternoon. Probably get a draft² done in a weekend.
[¹Plot of proposed film in prose form. The Terminator was forty eight pages, Terminator Genisys, presumably less.]
[²Like Ted Nugent, Terminator Genisys probably avoided the draft.]
Alexander: We actually could. Shop it around a few studios and get it filmed by June. Premiere in July.
Devon: The only challenge being people generally don’t like dogs dying in films. How do we do a war film?
Alexander: We would have to write some really hate-filled dogs. The audience will have to WANT the dogs dead.
Devon: The Omaha beach in Saving Pvt. Ryan¹ would be the most banned scene in cinema history.
[¹Remember how Vin Diesel is in this film?]
Alexander: Dog in low shutter speed¹ looking around for his paw.
[¹Faster shutter speeds result in crisper exposure on frames with less to no blur. Tom Sizemore was recovering from heroin abuse during production so probably similar to his vision at that time.]
Devon: Christ, the absurdity of it is hilarious but we would only know if it translates to screen after shooting.
Alexander: Very true, and unfortunately some dogs are going to have to get this tested out on them. Hopefully there are some good stunt dogs who’d be up for it.
Devon: Well, A Dogs Purpose¹ made it out to the screen and a bunch of dogs died during that shoot.
[¹According to further investigation, apparently no dogs were harmed. Let this be a primer in my misunderstanding of information.]
Alexander: Oh my god, no! That’s so bad. War Buds cancelled! Let’s just make one about retired dogs.
Devon: NO. We can’t do Actual Old Dogs¹.
[¹A 107 minute R-rated comedy cut down nineteen minutes by Disney and released for children. It shows.]
Alexander: I’m thinking Last Vegas¹, but with dogs. Old Dogs might confuse some people. Angry John Travolta fans turning up to the screenings.
[¹Much like Old Dogs, the continued trend of light entertainment starring old people is another unhealthy obsession by Alexander and myself.]
Devon: What about an 80’s slasher throw-back but with dogs? The next Friday the 13th¹ has a pound open at Crystal Lake².
[¹Fun fact, Sean S. Cunningham publicly promoted his film with nothing but the title. We figure as long as we put the word dog in our title then we can’t go wrong.]
[²There may or may not be room for a pound given the fifty or so summer camps surrounding the lake.]
Alexander: Yes! And it’s Jason’s dog who’s terrorising them all.
Devon: NEW LORE! He becomes a cyborg¹ dog too.
[¹Paying tribute to the franchise, the dog will not become enhanced until the last ten minutes and then not use said enhancements in any fashion, promptly dying anyway.]
Alexander: Eventually meets Freddy’s dog, who has very long claws instead of a glove. He’s the bad boy of the dog monster world. The bastard son of a thousand bitches.
Devon: That’s the trailer last line where everyone in the theatre cheers.
Alexander: That’s when it clicks, people realise then it’s the new Elm Street movie.
Devon: So we don’t even put a clever Elm St. pun in the title? Even sneakier than that Blair Witch¹ sequel.
[¹The stealth strategy of Blair Witch was to be marketed as the inconspicuous The Woods, followed by the title reveal, and then everyone forgetting that movie happened.]
Alexander: Oh shit, I think it has to have a pun really, doesn’t it?
Devon: Elm St. Bernard.
Alexander: Love it. Can’t wait for the third one where a group of gifted yet troubled teen dogs team up together to stop him.
Devon: So, not only is a sequel spin-off, but also a reboot remake of the original series? This was a Friday sequel, then a weird versus movie, leading to a full franchise of Nightmare dog movies. We felt the franchise was already went off the rails…
Alexander: It’s go big or go home with this one. All or nothing. I think with this new series, it’s so off the rails, it’s onto a completely separate bunch of rails that nobody can understand.
Devon: Our film’s the Prometheus¹ of the series; good, uh, I guess, but how is it related? This is how Lindelof strayed so far so easily.
[¹The oxymoron of this high-concept comparison being that it will in no way shape or form give us any answers to where dogs from.]
Alexander: People want answers? Get fucked guys! We explain nothing! Poor old dude just wants to make his cryptic puzzles in peace.
Devon: Well, once we go nuts with these films, we get to make an amazing show about dogs getting raptured.
Alexander: The Left-Rovers.¹ Can’t wait to see all that dog jogging.
[¹In equal measure, the dogs will also be crying in most scenes with somber piano accompaniment.]
Devon: If I had one wish, I would relish us being renown as the dog dudes of Hollywood. Just making all genre films with dog casts.
Alexander: That’s our destiny. Making weirdly good dog films.
Devon: That is a script I could dive right into, try to make it legitimate at every level, the puns just write themselves. Then those other guys can make Not Another Dog Movie.¹
[¹Not Another Teen Movie of course being the Prometheus of teenagers.]
Alexander: Honestly, I could imagine you doing a really good job. It could be such a blast.
Devon: I’m back tomorrow, I am throwing something together. A spec script that, even if it never gets made, is so fucking absurd and ballsy, people would have to read it.
Alexander: Please let me see whatever you end up writing!
Devon: Hey, hey, now. You are a part of this too. You brought up Marley and Me.
Alexander: I helped make this monster, now I have to teach it how to not kill things.