Thursday, October 2, 2014

Nice doggy...CHOMP!

Rottweiler  (aka Dogs of Hell)  (EO Corporation, 1982)

The poster LIES. It's 10 dogs loose - not 12. Nice inaccurate hyperbole, poster dudes.

Before the Camera:

Earl Owensby  (Buckstone County Prison)
Bill Gribble  (Cannibal Apocalypse)
Robert Bloodworth  (Brainstorm)
Ed Lillard  (The Hudsucker Proxy)
Regan Forman  (TV's American Gothic)
Kathy Hasty  (only film!)
Jerry Rushing  (The Georgia Peaches)

Behind the Camera:

Directed by Worth Keeter

Produced by Earl Owensby

Written by Thom McIntyre

    By 1982 North Carolina entrepeneur Earl Owensby had been in the movie business for eight years. He'd produced nine movies that were mostly shown at drive-ins in the Southeast, though a couple of his movies did get some play north of the Mason/Dixon Line. He decided to branch out in his filmmaking that year and got ahold of a 3-D camera system. His first offering with the third dimension attached - directed by Worth Keeter - was this thriller.
     The military, in its infinite wisdom in movies like this, develops a new super soldier for the ongoing war effort against the world's villains: genetically enhanced Rottweiler dogs - bred to be smarter, stronger, faster, and meaner than the average dog - or the average soldier. Ten dogs have been modified, and they are ready to be moved to a new training area. Their transport is a tractor trailer, and their route takes them through scenic North Carolina - and the fictional resort are of Lake Lure.

Crappy cellphone pic of producer/star Earl Owensby.

    I probably will not surprise you when I tell you the truck crashes - and all ten dogs survive and are released into the surrounding countryside. Lake Lure Sheriff Hank Willis (Owensby - always producer Owensby's favorite leading man) investigates the crash - but the military hides what escaped the truck in the hopes of recovering the canine corps on their own.
    Epic fail! The dogs promptly make their way to a late night fashion photo shoot out in the woods and eat one of the models. While Sheriff Hank and his pals try to figure out who or what killed the girl, the dogs waste no time splitting up and attacking anyone they see. Shady military scientist Adam Fletcher (Gribble) hangs around town trying to get a line on his precious pooches, but even he can't stop the critters for long. The Dogs of Hell have come to Lake Lure. Who will survive and what will be left of them?


By this time in his production career - nearly ten years in - the films coming out of EO Studios in Shelby, NC were competent low budget flicks. The early movies are much rougher - ragged around the edges and reflecting people learning how to do the job while on the job. That may be part of the reason why the EO movies of the 80's were easier to find on VHS up north - they were simply better made movies. I think Rottweiler was the first of these better made movies (at least of the ones I've seen.)

Mauled...by a ROTTWEILER!!!

Starting off - it's always awesome to watch an 80's 3-D movie - even in 2-D. Sure enough, there are lots of long props stuck into the camera in the first hour or so. The last forty minutes or so use this feature much less, but it's cool while it's happening. The movie is an hour and forty minutes - at least in the widescreen VHS (!) version we watched - and that might normally be a bit long - these movies usually work best in the 80-90 minute range - but it worked out well in the group viewing we had. During the talkier scenes that pad the movie a bit - the group had some great talkbacks to the movie - then everyone was pretty quiet during the dog attack and suspenseful scenes.


Director Keeter keeps the action moving pretty well - and while as usual for EO movies there is no nudity or rating affecting profanity - there are some bloody and gory aftermath death scenes. (This blog's buddy - makeup artist Jeff Goodwin - worked on those scenes - some of his very first film work.) There are also some great prosthetic dog heads for the scenes where the humans score against the critters - though Jeff G did not work on those. The acting is usual - some of the actors are a little more polished than others - with lead actor Owensby sticking to his strengths as the laconic sheriff. It's always nice to see Jerry Rushing  - the inspiration for The Dukes of Hazzard TV show - in one of his patented "good ol' boy" performances. It's also funny to see Regan Forman - who later worked on and acted in the TV series American Gothic with me - showing up here briefly at about the age of 9 as Sheriff Willis's smartass daughter.

It's a solid "Nature Runs Amok" flick - or as I like to call them - a solid "Chew 'Em Up and Spit 'Em Out" movie - for those so inclined.

Let's Get Out of Here ?

At roughly 53:50 one of the campers realizes genetically enhanced rottweilers are loose in the camp.

Eye Candy ?

Regan Forman grew up to be a beautiful woman, and would qualify today - but she was only 9 here. Some of the other ladies are cute, but they're not showcased well enough to make the list. Sorry ladies.

Buddha Man Sez:

"Rottweiler is pretty good - definitely not a dog of a movie!"

Thanks Mr. Man! Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!


  1. Excellent write up Craig. I've seen a few of Owensby's films and have been wanting to delve in a bit further. I drove by his studios once when I was out that way.

    1. Thanks, Dick! I like the EO movies - DIY filmmaking at its finest. I actually spent an hour in the man's office with him in 1992 - maybe I'll write that up in full and post it in November.

  2. Never seen that one, but I remember a somewhat similar flick from the 90s called "Man's Best Friend". That was fun! :)

    1. I remember Man's Best Friend - Ally Sheedy and Lance Henriksen - one enhanced dog taken in as a family pet - kind of liked that one too!

  3. Definitely one to watch by the sound of it. Thank you :)

    1. You're welcome! Let us know if you check it out!

  4. Still loving the poster for this one! it's a shame we can't get to see these in the way they were intended - in full 3D! I feel like we are missing out on so much more entertainment wise. I remember doing a Friday the 13th marathon with some friends on the big screen in my house, and I had picked up the R1 DVD of part 3. Some of the 3D was excellent, some of it was brain melting, but that was just down to the scanning and reproduction of a very different type of technology. Some day I hope they all get 'modern' 3D conversions, that would be excellent.

    Back to the film at hand, it sounds entertaining at least. Agreed with you on running times - for me, 85 minutes is the golden number for this kind of genre entry. But still, I'll do my best to see this one, though it probably didn't get much of a release over this way.

    1. I would love to see this remastered as a full on 3-D Blu-Ray. Earl Owensby's organization seems to cycle between putting the films out on the web on DVD and withdrawing back. Right now they're on a downswing - so it's hard to find the movies - even the ones they have already remastered to disc.