By rights, Dog Soldiers should be a complete mutt. A low-budget horror featuring Brit soldiers battling a pack of werewolves in the Scottish highlands? With men-in-suits as monsters? Starring Sean bleedin’ Pertwee?
Amazingly, the energetic debut of director Neil Marshall gives an old formula a good shake, cannily cross-breeding zombie home-invasion Romero rumbles with lunar-tic lycanthrope action to groom a real winner. Heck, even Pertwee comes up trumps, his wry, gutsy Sergeant Wells delivering joyfully snappy lines as he tries to avoid becoming a dog’s dinner. But Kevin McKidd’s Private Cooper is the real hero of the piece, his military gusto meaning he’s determined to keep his men together – even if it means stuffing their intestines back in.
There are, inevitably, one or two worrying excursions into B-movie dialogue and overwrought acting. But none of that detracts from a fun flick boasting a distinctly British sense of humour.
Don’t dismiss Dog Soldiers as dumb splatter for teen gorehounds. It’s a monstrous treat for everyone.