Saturday, December 17, 2011

Rottweiler (2004)

Rottweiler is certainly a bad movie. But it has something wonderful in it. However, first the bad stuff...

The movie begins with a prisoner getting kicked and beaten. We don't know who he is, or what he's done. Later, on a chain gang, another prisoner is stung by a scorpion, which somehow allows this prisoner to escape. A metal dog chases him, but he manages to elude it. At least for a few minutes. Soon a bounty hunter who works for the prison catches up to him. The dog, apparently, is his, for he has the dog with him.

We then get a flashback of the prisoner - whose name is Dante - on a boat with his girlfriend. It appears to be a boat full of refugees, but Dante and the girl (named Ula and pronounced Oola and then later Ola), say they're infiltrating. No clue what they're infiltrating. But infiltrating all the same. But the boat is stopped, and they jump overboard.

Back to the present, Dante tricks the metal dog into looking at a rabbit, then kills the bounty hunter and the dog, and escapes. He takes the guy's boots. The next morning he sees a metal skeleton of a dog on a hill and shoots at it, but it's just an hallucination. This leads him to find some drug runners in a cave. They share their food and a Cheech & Chong-type joint with him, but when they ask for his boots in return, Dante says no.

Meanwhile the dog comes back to life because of a smoke machine (and possibly because of a scorpion). And the dead bounty hunter also comes back alive long enough to tell the dog, "Find him, kill him."

Anyway, Dante is trying to find his girlfriend. He shows a picture of her to the drug dealers, and then we get another flashback. The two of them swim to shore, where they're caught. They're immigrants with no papers. They explain that they're playing a game called "Infiltration." Yes, seriously. They describe it as roleplaying in the real world. The next morning when Dante wakes, the drug runners are gone, and so are his boots.

Moments later the dog kills the one with his boots, clearly mistaking him for Dante. But then he somehow gets on Dante's trail. Dante is swimming, and the dog goes after him. Dante taunts it, "I can outsmart you any day of the week, you fucking dog." And then he runs, naked, through the woods. Which gives us time for another flashback. Ula is being raped in a truck, and some blonde asks Dante for a light. That's the entire flashback.

Meanwhile a little girl is afraid of monsters in a cellar on a farm. Anyway, naked Dante arrives, and is given pants by the girl's mom, who then immediately takes them off and fucks him in the Jesus room. Seriously, check out the neon blue glowing cross - it looks like a beer sign - and the Jesus portrait over the bed. Who says Christians have no sense of humor?

The scene where the dog tears the mother apart in front of the daughter is great. The girl is in the cellar, looking up at her mother, whose blood drips down onto her. Wonderful.

But the best thing in this film (and one of the best things I've ever seen in any film, no exaggeration) is the rooster's reaction shot to the dog jumping out of the cellar. The rooster is by far the best actor in the film. This shot is amazing. Dante managed to get the dog into cellar (after getting the little girl out), and locks the door. But the dog is jumping up against the door, banging on it. The rooster looks over at it, curious and a bit nervous. Then the dog springs out of the cellar, and the rooster's reaction of terror is incredible. I can't stress this enough. It is one of my favorite moments in the history of cinema. Again, I am not exaggerating. It's worth owning this movie just for this moment. I watched this scene a dozen times, and it cracked me up every single time.

But eventually we had to let the movie continue. A shame, because we get another flashback, where his girlfriend is finished being raped. Dante tells her it sounded like she was enjoying it. So at that point we want Dante to be killed by the dog. What a bastard. He wanders into a graveyard, and a dead guy from the boat leads him to believe his girlfriend is dead. Suddenly Dante is in the red light district, trying to find Ula (now Ola). Anyway, more stuff happens. But who gives a shit? As soon as the movie was over, we went and watched the rooster a few more times. Amazing.

For those who don't want to sit through the first fifty-five minutes of the film to get to that moment, here is a link to the shot on You Tube: Rooster deserves Oscar.


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