A group of prisoners are being transported between prisons. They stop to exchange buses in the middle of the desert, and a scorpion bites one. This gives two other convicts an opportunity to escape on foot amid the hiatus.

Dante (William Miller) and his black comrade are chained together in THE DEFIANT ONES style. But not for long. They manage to evade the armed guards chasing them, and scarper into the cover of tall trees. But it's here that they run into a ferocious rottweiler (Zeus) which proceeds to tear the black convict to pieces.

Dante manages to remove the dead man's severed arm from the chain around his own wrist and runs for his life. Unfortunately the dog now has the scent of Dante's blood

The following morning Dante climbs up the forest's vast mountains and finds an old bridge to crawl under for rest. He gets cosy and drifts into a dream which serves as a flashback, giving us the first glimpses of the reason he's in this current predicament. It's all starts with a moonlit boat ride with his true love Ula (Irene Montala) and a load of illegal immigrants

The dream ends abruptly as Dante is woken by the rottweiler and it's owner Borg (Lluis Homar).

Borg chains Dante to the dog then settles down to eat in front of the pair of them, the black man's severed head in his bag. Dante waits for Borg to fall asleep then steals his gun. He shoots Borg several times and blasts the rottweiler away, then blows a hole in the chain linking him to it.

Taking a shine to Borg's boots, Dante steals them then takes off into the night. After a while he stumbles across three Spanish outlaws enjoying a spit roast (no, not that type) under a bridge. He spends the night drinking with them and is perturbed the following morning to discover they've gone - and so have his boots.

The boots don't get far though. Because, you see, the rottweiler is no ordinary dog. He's been scientifically modified which means he's smart and he's far too strong to let a bullet shot at close range do him any harm. The dog, acting on Borg's dying request to "find him and kill him", sets off through the hills in search of Dante and finds an unlucky Spaniard in familiar-looking boots instead.

It's not long after this particularly ugly episode that the titular beast catches up with Dante - amusingly, while he's bathing naked in the river. Dante manages to outwit the dog (only just, mind) and races up the hills looking for a safe distance. Eventually he stumbles across a remote house where a young girl and her horny mother live in fear of the local "monster". As you can imagine, it's only a matter of time (mere minutes, in fact) before the rottweiler turns up.

Padding out the running time are occasional returns to the flashbacks detailing how Dante got separated from his beloved Ula and how the sinister Kufard (Paul Naschy) has a hand in it all.

Just the film title and the cover art should be enough to give a good idea of how ludicrous this film is. The above synopsis has no doubt reinforced that opinion. And this Spanish/UK co-production from 2003 is indeed a ridiculous film.

From the opening chase scene, through the dodgy CGI utilised in close-up scenes of the dog's gnashers, right down to the unbelievable finale that weirdly echoes THE TERMINATOR, this is cheap and trashy hokum.

The acting is bad. Everyone, even the usually reliable Homar, struggles to convince with the cheesy dialogue they've been saddled with. And as for Miller, he's impossible to take seriously as an action lead: the girlish hair, under-developed physique and complete inability to exude any level of "hardness" make him about as likely to fight a rottweiler as I am likely to star in gay porn.

His portrayal of Dante is perhaps best described as unintentionally camp. And that pretty much sums up the film as a whole.

However, dumb and cheesy as it is, I can't deny that I was entertained by ROTTWEILER. It made me laugh, certainly. For all the wrong reasons. But it also held my attention and never once bored me. The stunning European exteriors make it frequently beautiful to look at, and director Brian Yuzna keeps the pace unrelentingly brisk.

All that's required to enjoy ROTTWEILER is an acceptance that it is not striving for high art. It's not even striving to pass as intelligent entertainment. It's just brainless, gory fun aimed at people who occasionally feel the need to switch off and chill in front of something so-bad-it's-good while slowly getting drunk. And what's wrong with that?! The disc from DNC Entertainment offers ROTTWEILER uncut in a gorgeous anamorphic 1.78:1 transfer. Colours are rich and vivid, while images are sharp and detailed. The polished visual style of the film comes across amazingly well in this pristine DVD transfer, with no grain and minimal motion blurring. It's a great job.

English audio is presented in 2.0 and 5.1 mixes. I focused on the former and it was a solid, well-balanced offering. Optional English subtitles are also available.

Static menu pages do not include a scene-selection menu, although the film does boast 6 chapters.

The only extras on the disc are a 1-minute trailer for ROTTWEILER, plus trailers for four more DNC titles: THE MECHANIK, THE KOVAK BOX, THE ENTRANCE and BREATHING ROOM.

If you were still in doubt about whether or not this film is for you, may I remind you that Brian Yuzna directs. That should close the deal, either way. I may never find the time to watch this film again, but I have to admit I found it bizarrely enjoyable.

Review by Stuart Willis

Released by Dnc Entertainment
Region 2 - PAL
Rated 18
Extras :
see main review