Blu-ray Review: MAN’S BEST FRIEND

MAN’S BEST FRIEND was written and directed by John Lafia and stars Ally Sheedy, Fredric Lehne, Robert Costanzo, John Cassini, William Sanderson and Lance Henriksen.

When an ambitious news journalist (Sheedy) breaks into a genetic research facility, she uncovers the biggest story of her career and unleashes the lab’s most dangerous experiment: Max – a genetically enhanced guard dog with a vicious killer instinct. Superior sight, hearing, strength, and intelligence make him faster, stronger, and smarter than almost any other animal alive – and deadlier. Without the neuropathic drugs needed to curb his aggressive nature, his predatory urge runs out of control … and once he tastes blood, nothing can stop him.

Nature created him. Science perfected him. But no one can control him. This 1993 killer K9 thriller follows Lori Tanner (Ally Sheedy), an investigative reporter who sneaks into a top-secret lab where all kinds of animals are being experimented on by Dr. Jarret (Lance Henriksen). She nearly gets caught but when she finds a way to get out of the facility, robo-dog Max escapes with her. The dog hitches a ride with the snooping reporter who doesn’t know that Max is a hybrid of multiple species and that he’s a deadly killer. She just thinks Max is a cute dog that’s been abused.

What happens is, Dr. Jarret does some snooping of his own and ends up finding out who actually helped Max escape. So, not only is the dog going around and terrorizing the community when Lori isn’t looking but Dr. Jarret is searching for her in hopes that it’s not too late because she could be the killer dog’s next snack. There’s also a couple of goofy detectives who are on the case but they get in the way more than they help the situation. After Max makes a few select victims his bloody treat, Dr. Jarret confronts Lori about the K9 killer she’s trying to protect but it ultimately ends in an electrifying showdown between the beast and his creator.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features an image from the movie. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. Willard has been give a new 2K scan from the original film elements. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Man’s Best Friend is another movie that I hadn’t seen in a really long time and it’s another fun memory from the good ol’ video store days. Even though it’s completely different from Cujo, Man’s Best Friend still feels like a ripoff of the horror classic and it’s the first thing to pop up in my mind when I watch it. I guess we just haven’t gotten enough killer dog movies over the years. Maybe? There is this unforgettable scene where the big dog takes care of an annoying cat and that’s what stuck with me all these years. Anyway, this horror obscure entry from the New Line Cinema catalogue is a cheesy fun watch (for select viewers and cinephiles) plus it has Ally Sheedy and Lance Henriksen in it. It’s hard to picture Lance Henriksen as the mad scientist type but that’s exactly what he plays in the movie. All in all, I enjoyed revisiting this killer K9 thriller and glad it’s finally making its way to high-definition. Man’s Best Friend will make its Blu-ray debut on March 12th.

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 87 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English

Special Features: The extras include some new audio commentary, theatrical trailer, teaser trailer and two TV spots.

  • NEW Audio Commentary with writer/director John Lafia
  • Theatrical Trailer (01:32)
  • Teaser Trailer (01:06)
  • TV Spots (00:50)
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