Monday, October 1, 2012

Night 1 of the Attack of the 31 Nights of Halloween

Welcome to night 1 of the second annual Attack of the 31 Nights of Halloween. Make sure to stop by our Giveaway Post and enter to win a goodie bag full of frightfully good treats from 12 different shops! Tonight we have the first movie review off our Halloween Movie List. Follow along for an extra 25 entries in the giveaway. But first lets get to our featured item of the night from Laughing Vixen Lounge.

Purchase any item(s) from Laughing Vixen Lounge through October 31st and get 10% off your order. Use code OTOBER10 at checkout.

Attack of the 31 Nights of Halloween Movie List.
Follow along with us for a month full of classic and fun spooky movies. Each night there will be a movie review of the next movie on our Halloween Movie List. Leave a comment on each post with your opinion of that movie. On the last day you will find the magic phrase you will use to unlock the entry worth 25 entries in the giveaway. You must comment on each post.

Night 1 - Cujo

Tagline - Now there's a new name for terror
              Unleash the terror

Directed by Lewis Teague (Alligator and The Jewel of the Nile) and released on August 12, 1983 by Warner Brothers Pictures (Rated R). Donna (Dee Wallace) is married to Vic (Daniel Hugh Kelly) but having an affair with Steve (Christopher Stone). Tad (Danny Pintauro) is Donna and Vic's son who is very afraid of the monsters and the dark. Vic goes out of town on business and Donna and Tad take the family car, a Ford Pinto that's on it's last leg, out to the Camber farm to get it fixed.

Earlier that week, the Camber's dog Cujo was happily chasing a bunny rabbit until it ran down a hole. Unfortunately for Cujo the hole was a cave filled with rabid bite-happy bats that chomp on his nose. Cujo's owners are a sad sack of losers that are too preoccupied with their sad lives that no one notices that their dog is becoming an ooey gooey angry mess. Donna and Tad are about to find out just how unhappy Cujo really is!

I grew up with a mom who read lots of Stephen King books so I suppose that is where my interest in his stories started. While a lot of his stories started to get a bit silly the older ones are still much fun. Cujo may not be the scariest but it's a good one.

It's a bit hard for me to hate the villain here because it's just a poor puppy who nobody loved enough to see he was sick. I find it kind of sad. On the other hand, he does make for a big scary mass of yellow and red slimy goo covered moose of a dog! There are spots in the showdown between him and the Pinto that really are suspenseful. I'll admit it did get me once and made me jump.

It all works because it's back in a time with no cell phones. If you got stuck out in scary land there really was no way to contact anyone for help. And well, they still had Pintos. Enough said. 8)

Take a look at the original trailer...

Some trivia about the movie...
1. To make the St. Bernard's attack the car, animal trainers put the dog's favorite toys inside the car so the dogs would try to get them.
2. The foam around Cujo's mouth was made of a concoction of egg whites and sugar. The dogs caused problems on the set by constantly licking the tasty stuff off.
3. After the film Dee Wallace went on record saying she hoped she'd never see another Pinto in her life.
4. Five St. Bernards were used, one mechanical head, and a guy in a dog costume.
5. A rumor has circulated that "Cujo" is an ancient Indian word meaning "unstoppable force." In reality, Stephen King made it up himself when writing the novel.
6. Stephen King contributed substantially to the script but eventually declined Writer's Guild credit   
7. A Rottweiler was used for some of the scenes because they couldn't get the St. Bernard to look mean enough.   
8. The dogs featured in the film would often have their tails tied down to their legs because the dogs would be enjoying themselves so much that they would wag their tails during filming.   
9. The story was inspired to Stephen King when he met his mechanic's intimidating dog while having his motorcycle repaired one day.
10. Shot in the same Mendocino, California community as the film Dead & Buried. In fact in one shot the Pinto can be seen driving past the same church, with the 'reaper' shaped steeple, that's featured in Dead & Buried.
11. The scenes where Donna and Tad are trapped by Cujo are suppose to be sweltering hot and appear that way on film. Yet the conditions were actually very cold during filming. At one point it got so cold inside the car that heaters were placed inside to keep the actors warm, but they would have to be turned off for shooting to prevent their sound from interfering.   
12. The exterior of the Trenton house was a facade.
13. The fog in the scene where Brett encounters a sick Cujo was created by a naval fog machine. The smoke brought out the local fire department who feared the woods were burning.   
14. A number of cars were used for the filming, each was disassembled for specific camera shots.   
15. The original novel was a sequel of sorts following The Dead Zone. Since killer Frank Dodd was killed he became a kind of bogeyman in Castle Rock and supposedly haunted Tad. It is hinted that Dodd possessed Cujo. Sheriff George Bannerman, played by Sandy Ward here, makes specific references to Dead Zone hero Johnny Smith. Both this movie and The Dead Zone were developed at the same time, with this film released two months before, by different studios so the references were removed.   
16. Stephen King has admitted several times that he was so into his alcohol addiction at the time that he does not remember writing the book.   
17. In the original Stephen King novel, Tad Trenton dies of dehydration while Donna contracts rabies from her fight with Cujo.


  1. We once adopted a dog named CUJO. he was just like the movie dog, MEAN. He attacked everyone at random times, unfortunately we had to give him back to the shelter where we got him. Pretty dog but not pet material, makes you wonder what the people that had him did to make him so mean.

  2. It is damn near impossible to make a St.Bernard look mean. I can't watch this movie for the same reason I can't watch Old Yeller...too sad for the dog!

  3. Read the book. Didn't want to see the movie.

  4. I have got to see this one!!


  5. How has this escaped me??


  6. I started watching this but I had already read the book so it didn't do anything for me.
    dustykattc @

  7. I read the book and saw the movie... loved both! I am a big fan of Stephen King.

  8. sheila musselman askinsOctober 2, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    This is actually my least favorite King movie..and i still like it..that make sense? lol The scenes where Dee Wallace and her son are trapped in the pinto were heart wrenching and the scenes sucked you in so that you did feel the anxiety, the heat..and the desperation. Its strange but whenever I see a St Bernard i call it Cujo *most dont get the*

    btw this is so cool!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE horror movies thank you for doing this! momma2100 at live dot com

  9. Oh God... have I actually lived long enough that people don't know what "Cujo" is? Now THAT'S scary :O eeeek

  10. Talk about an old movie...I remember watching this for the first time ages ago! Classic Stephen King weirdness at its best (much better in print however...:).

  11. Book was much better, but the movie was great.

    RC: Amanda D.

  12. LOL..."they couldn't get the St. Bernard to look mean enough". I never met a St. Bernard that wasn't the epitome of silly and slap-happy! I can see how they'd have trouble making one look like a crazy murdering canine.
    The film was scary but that book was so way scarier. King knows suspense like no other...great choice!

  13. I have seen this a kid...and it scared the crap outta me!


  14. I've seen this before but had almost forgotten it. Sounds really interesting the way you describe it :) I also loved the trivia you posted. I had no idea Steven King didn't remember writing the book. But I do like this movie. It's such a creative and original story. Thanks for the review!

    -Rachael Henzman

  15. Dee Wallace is one of my fave actresses, she is brilliant in this film

  16. It is the first time I hear about this movie. Great trivia, I will try to find it.

  17. i liked the book so much more than the movie-- but i love the trivia tidbits you posted!

  18. I did not like this movie. I started to watch it but could not finish it. I don`t like movies that use dogs as the villians.

  19. Wow! Old School. But why that breed? Like wouldnt a pit or mastiff been scarier?

  20. I have seen this movie...and its okay but not really my style..

  21. OK - I work St Bernard rescue. And either my dogs gets called Beethoven or Cujo!
    I always feel so bad for the poor puppy.

    I learned a lot about dog makeup from this movie.