Cujo

“How’d the monster get out of my closet?”

Behind the scenes cujo 1983 1

There’s something truly terrifying about a lovable pet turning on you and attacking. Especially when that pet is a St. Bernard, one of the big dogs with a small barrel of brandy around its neck that’s supposed to rescue people lost in the snowy Alps. But that’s what makes for great horror, right? Turning something lovable into something horrible. And Stephen King did that perfectly in his novel “Cujo,” which was turned into a film in 1983. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we continue our King series with Lewis Teague’s great horror film “Cujo.” We talk about what the film means to us and why we both love it so much, whether it’s as a kid watching it for the first time or as a parent watching it later in life. We discuss the brilliant performances in the film, led by Dee Wallace and Danny Pintauro, and how they help ground the film in a reality that works incredibly well for this King tale that surprisingly remains free of supernatural elements. We chat about the production of the film, how Teague came into it late, the great cinematography of Jan De Bont, Charles Bernstein’s score and more. We contemplate why the critics at the time really didn’t like the film at all, and how it really hasn’t changed frustratingly. And we chat about the nature of working with animals, and how animal trainer Karl Miller managed to get all the various performances Teague needed to tell his story out of somewhere between 5 and 10 dogs, not to mention a man in a dog suit. It’s a film that is considered “rotten” on Rotten Tomatoes, but one that we both love. Watch the film and tune in!

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