Man's Best Friend

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2 1/2

A TV news reporter looking for a scoop, Lori (Ally Sheedy), and her camera lady sneak into a genetic research lab. Rumored animal cruelty is confirmed as they videotape the caged animals subjected to gory and cruel vivisection experiments. Discovered by workers, the pair make their get-away, only to find the guard-dog Max has come along for the ride. Genetically-engineered, Max has almost-human intelligence, along with the hunting and climbing skills of a tiger. The lab director, Dr. Jarret (Lance Henricksen), realizes that Max is a deadly weapon in the wrong hands. So, the hunt is on - for Max and for the incriminating videotape. As the tranquilizing drugs wear off, Max becomes more and more vicious and blood thirsty. Yet Max remains fiercely loyal to Lori, and only she can stop his savage attacks. It's a race against time to the very end. This stalker movie-with-a-twist is a gripping drama with good acting, but the animals really steal the show.

The gore and violence seem unnecessary and out of character with the rest of the movie. There are eight bloody murders, of which at least six are done by the dog. Max kills a parrot off screen, with feathers flying, and he swallows a cat whole in front of two young boys. Max is also beaten and burned with a welding torch. At the lab, animals are kept in cages with open wounds and dead animals lie rotting in the garbage. While not condoned, the extreme cruelty depicted is not for those with queasy stomachs. Twice the camera pans in on Max urinating, once directly into a man's face. Max is shown jumping into bed with a collie, with canine intercourse implied. Lori and her boyfriend are shown in bed, with intercourse suggested twice. Objectionable language includes many crudities and obscenities, along with a parrot that screeches obscenities. The film has a clever plot and scene-stealing animals, but spoils the effect with excessive gore and violence.

Preview Reviewer: Alice Anderson
New Line Cinema, 888 7th Ave., NY, NY 10106

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (11) times; Mild 5; Moderate 6

Obscene Language: Many (19) times (f-word 1, s-word 9, other 9)

Profanity: Exclamatory - Several (9) times

Violence: Many times - Moderate and Severe(bloody animals and beating; 8 murders, including gory closeups of blood spurting, body parts chewed, cat swallowed whole, dog's face burned)

Sex: Implied twice (no nudity)

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: Cruelty to animals, parrot screeching obscenities

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Older teens and adults

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