Trends and waves have appeared vastly in the horror genre throughout all decades. And by the time the second half of the 70′s came around, it were the animals who had built up an unstoppable reign of terror in horror cinema.
Click play to listen to radio broadcast, the crazy cat (!) & endcredits
Contrary to popular beliefs, it didn’t all start with Spielberg’sfrom 1976. Nope, already in ’72 our charming little green friends, the , plotted against humanity, collaborating with all kinds of vermin to craft attacks on unsuspecting victims. And surely, this wasn’t an isolated event in horror history (one of the most popular examples just might be Hitchcock’s , from 1963). Fact is, not one other decade was as crowded with horrific (and less horrific) animals, as the 70′s horror decade.
Naturally, man’s best friend could not escape this transformation to on-screen terror. For 1976 saw the release of DOGS. Lack of time to do proper research, for the moment, makes me unable to confirm this, but I do have a hunch that this movie might not have been the first one about killer-dogs… I mean, I can imagine it took Jeff Lieberman up until ’76 to come up with the idea of killer-worms — the normal kind you find in every garden (!) — but killer-dogs not surfacing until that same year? Hard to believe they didn’t. Well, nevermind…
We’re not here to discuss the history of “animals-run-amok” flicks or the whole movement of “eco-horror” features. And we can as easily dismiss the whole plot of DOGS, as the movie goes a little something like this: A pack of dogs goes on a killing spree. So now we can just skip towards what matters: The last frame of this movie. And man, this frozen shock ending really is a winner!
You see, the whole movie we have insane dogs on a rampage. Barking left. Growling right. Jumping up. Crouching down. And basically killing all humans. Then, at the end of the movie, our heroic couple manages to escape in a car. While they’re driving through the countryside, witnessing the mayhem left after the revolt of the dogs, a newsreporter is talking on the radio. We learn that throughout the whole state of California, dogs are going berserk. One can only hope this nation-wide threat can be contained. Our survivors drive off by car, the camera pans to the right, zooms in on the verge of the road, and then this happens:
A cute little cat appears, the camera zooms in (up until the point the blown-up image becomes blurry). The darn thing even goes “mrriiiaaauw” on the moment the frame freezes in an utmost forboding (or maybe not — it’s just a frickin’ cat!) manner:
I can tell you, that cat turned a grin on my face that lasted throughout the remaining credits. And what made it even more hilarious is the fact that the sound the cat made, clearly sounds like a human imitating it. Just click on the audio-sample above, and then tell me it really is a cat you’re hearing. Dubbing this terrifying beast by the voice of a woman while the thing clearly isn’t interested in acting menacing in any way…? Best ending of a movie I’ve seen in a long time…