Man's Best Friend (1993) Poster

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7/10
Good "B" movie about a girl who befriends a research dog.
ElvesBrew21 November 2004
This is one of those movies that can entertain you as long as you don't get too critical. The basic premise of the story line is a good one but as with many low budget Sci-Fi films there are flaws in the telling.

The biggest flaw is in the title itself. Being as this dog befriends Ally Sheedy's character and basically snarls at all the men it come across the film probably should have been called "Woman's Best Friend" or better yet "M.A.X.".

Other than the title though the movie is basically a good film and you have to get pretty picky to find any real problems with it. It's not a great movie but it has some good scares, moments of comic relief, and some cool special effects.

I don't know why this film has gotten such a low over-all rating. I know that IMDb ratings tend to average a bit on the low side but still this movie deserves a lot better than a 4.4. I have given the film a 7 and feel this movie is good enough to add to any one's DVD library if found at budget prices.

Definitely worth a rental if you haven't already seen it.

EB
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8/10
Guilty pleasure of the highest order
slayrrr6661 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
"Man's Best Friend" is a decent enough killer dog film.

**SPOILERS**

Attempting to do a serious story, Lori Tanner, (Ally Sheedy) and her camerawoman Annie, (Trula M. Marcus) sneak into a testing facility and find a wealth of caged animals undergoing illegal treatments. Discovered by Dr. Jarrett, (Lance Henriksen) they flee the scene and inadvertently free a dog from the lab's testing area. Bonding with him despite what her boyfriend Perry, (Fredric Lehne) says, she refuses to part with him and decides to keep him. When he discovers what is missing, he goes after the dog when she realizes that he's a genetically-modified killer dog possessing the traits of several animal species mixed together into a perfect killing machine and is out on the loose, forcing them all to come together in a showdown to stop the dog's rampage.

The Good News: This one wasn't that bad and actually had some decent stuff to it. The fact that the silly premise is allowed to be so silly and entertaining is a true plus here. It's hard to really get more goofy than this premise, but the fact that the film never once feels dull or boring is a huge plus and is partly due to what all it includes within. The first issue is the attacks on display, which are really cool and really enjoyable. Though it's to be expected, the mailman encounter turns out incredibly well and satisfies due to the effective conclusion, the police chase away from the house is pretty thrilling, as it takes the place of a normal car chase complete with the crashing cars and the escape of the target away from them, and of course the encounter at the junkyard is great as it's a retribution murder that is nicely, and cruelly set-up well with the treatment of the dog that results in some admittedly-cool effects before the deadly resolution. The main one, though, is the sequence of attacks at the end, where it leads from a short but effective car chase to a cool crash and into a fun and incredibly tense stalking through the lab, and with the majority done through the dog's vision so that we're low to the ground, it adds a little more tension to it than it already has. The blood and gore isn't that spectacular, mostly concentrating on bites to tons of areas around the body, including the legs, crotch, throat and more, but there's also a decent-looking chest mauling, and a cool scene where it urinates acid on a guy's face and it melts away in a pretty nice effect, and it's an acceptable film in the gore department overall. The last good plus here is the fact that the film builds up to the dog's violent tendencies. It's going to be pretty obvious that the dog will be a raving maniac, but the way it's built up with the home-environment and it's different scenes showing off the dogs' abilities around the neighborhood illustrate the great build to how the killer's abilities come out. All of these here are what make the film enjoyable.

The Bad News: There wasn't a whole lot here that didn't work. The main issue is that there's not a lot of time in here dealing with the dog actually going out and killing, which is the main thing that a film like this is built upon. The beginning to this, where he terrorizes the neighborhoods' animals, including an admittedly cool scene where it climbs to the top of a tree and devours a fleeing cat, are just not that interesting or exciting and are diverts away from the shots of the dog going after it's victims. The film also clearly has no idea of what it is talking about when it gets to genetic engineering. It seems to regard chameleon-like skin-changing ability and tree-climbing as instant abilities that one can just snip from another animal and graft onto dog genes, when it's widely known that the musculature in their legs renders them unable to use that particular trait, and with the relative size of the dog, becomes just plain impossible. The enhanced intelligence and strength bits were done right, but unfortunately genetically enhancing animals to turn them into chameleons is just taking it too far, as it's impossible believe the fact that a dog can blend into the background, especially when the background is a garage full of boxes and rusty metal. It really takes the viewer right out of the scene. The first flaw here is the love-scene on display. As a terrible, though appropriately titled love-song blares across the scene, the two dogs perform a pathetic people-pantomime sequence, such as looking shy while laying back in the bed or a ludicrous chase where she leads him into the bedroom, which is just overall atrocious. Then, as a neighbor woman searches for her cat, we hear the sonic resonance of her orgasm blaring through the neighborhood. It's just a totally unnecessary scene and serves just so as to provide something that makes the film's twist ending believable. These are what work against the film.

The Final Verdict: Even though it's not exactly a bad film, nothing of real importance sticks out enough for it to be anything more than watchable. Give this a shot if it appeals to you or you find these kinds of films interesting, otherwise this one isn't all to special and won't be a big thing if it's skipped.

Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language and a clothed sex scene
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Doggone it!
lee_eisenberg7 October 2011
"Man's Best Friend", about a genetically altered dog that kills any perceived threat, is pretty much what you'd expect. Ally Sheedy really chews the scenery as the reporter investigating cruelty to animals and inadvertently releasing the bloodthirsty pooch. But no matter, the movie still is pretty fun to watch, with the full understanding that it's basically a totally dumb flick. Lance Henriksen, playing the scientist who created the murderous hound, lets his face do the acting.

Like I said, it's mostly just a fun movie to watch. Definitely nothing special about it. Although I should admit that I'd never heard of a Tibetan mastiff until I read a description of the movie.
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I want that dog!
Katie-3313 October 1999
I was highly disappointed to see that the dog who plays Max in this film is not credited anywhere on the IMDB page - and he was the best actor in the whole darn movie! The whole half-dog/half-human brain thing (at least I think that's what it was supposed to be) was pulled off incredibly well by this pooch. I mean, he had EXPRESSIONS! When he looked up at Ally Sheedy's boyfriend after he tried to slip him some spiked dog chow - that LOOK! GRRRR!!! It was great! That dog should get an Oscar! ;-)
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* *1/2 out of 4.
brandonsites19819 September 2002
Dog that has had genetic experiments conducted on it is saved by a news reporter investigating a sciene lab. However, the dogs genetics have been mixed with several other animals and it kills anything or anyone that gets in the way of him and his new owner. Fun premise with some creative moments goes down the path you would expect, but still is entertaining anyway. The cast is used to little effect as this is a showcase for the dog.

Rated R; Violence and Profanity.
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6/10
Not enough Henriksen is the biggest problem ...................
merklekranz14 March 2011
This mutated dog sci-fi/ horror / black comedy requires complete suspension of disbelief, and if you can live with that premise, you will find "Man's Best Friend" entertaining. Although Lance Henriksen receives second billing, his screen time is somewhat disappointing. The sci-fi element is never explored, giving way to "Cudjo"-like maulings and some moments of "dark comedy". There is a little too much cutesy stuff involving the genetically engineered dog, but overall other than the lack of Henriksen, this is a totally acceptable time waster. The dog is really the star, with the actors assuming a secondary role. - MERK
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9/10
Cujo meets Beethoven
bassett_latoya19 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
When I first saw the previews to this movie, I didn't expect anything like this. I mean I definitely realized that it would be something like Cujo, certainly a killer mad dog film for the nineties. However, I didn't know that this movie was about a highly advanced dog with the DNA of wild animals spliced into its blood and genetics. Because of this interesting concept in his breeding, Max, a gargantuan Tibetan Mastiff(in place of a possessed Rottweiler or a Saint Bernard with rabies) soon falls vulnerable to his bloodthirsty and wild instincts of the wild creatures mixed within him. Without the special tranquilizers to keep him level, Max fragments mentally and emotionally and becomes susceptible and suffers a psychotic transformation from charming pet to killer mad "mutt". If Cujo seemed too grim for your taste, you may just want to check out this movie. Different from Cujo, there is plenty of humor, not to mention an original and imaginative plot, and newly done special effects. Though the effects for Cujo aren't bad for its time in cinema. I like the part where Max is howling as he makes love to the neighbor's collie, Heidi. There are gory and graphic scenes, however. One being the scientist's guts discovered in a big trash roll around dumpster at the beginning of the movie. That aside, viewers will over all enjoy this whimsical horror/thriller. I give it a 9 out of ten!
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6/10
Watch out for the camouflage scene.
Fella_shibby24 May 2019
What we have here is a cute lovable dog taken as a pet into a house by a news reporter Lori (Ally Sheedy) after she rescues him from a genetic research facility, unaware that Joseph Mengele's brother Jarret (Lance Henriksen) has genetically altered the dog performing vivisection giving him enhanced strength, speed, and senses. The dog can climb trees, understand different languages, he enjoys being a peeping Tom when couples get intimate, ( but we dont get to see any nudity), the dog can copulate n produce multiple puppies n most of all it can camouflage itself. Watch out for the camouflage scene man. The film has some nasty kills but mostly offscreen n it lacked tension apart from the poor cat scene. The tag line ridiculed Cujo but they forgot that Cujo is filled with genuine tension n suspense.

I first saw this in the mid 90s on a vhs. Revisited it few days back.
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9/10
get this film
ox23821 October 2006
This film is great, its just a shame its so hard to get. its wickedly gory and some awesome ideas make this a classic. I'm a big horror fan and it takes a lot to please me, and believe me this film does it. Before i watched this i wanted a rot now i think i've changed my mind. This film is great and i think every one should see it, well adults anyway, this is definitely not for kids. some of the kill scenes are a bit far fetched but i think that adds to the fun. Ignore the others and listen to me you want this film. i only gave it a 9 because its so hard to get. Get this film it will make you laugh, cry, scream and go running for mommy.
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7/10
Here doggy!
gridoon31 October 2001
Entertaining horror thriller that gets pretty gruesome at times, but maintains a humorous edge, which helps us overlook some of its less-than-believable moments. This could be billed as a "lighter" version of "Cujo", and it's so fast-paced that it goes by very quickly. Nothing great, but no dog, either (if you'll excuse the crude pun). (**1/2)
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PETA Propaganda
mib_one19 April 2003
Ally Sheedy kidnaps an experimental dog from a research lab run by Lance Henriksen.The dog,"Max",is a genetic combination of different animals,designed to create the perfect animal.Max builds an attachment to Sheedy,"protecting" her from the harm he believes is befalling her.He gnaws away at her boyfriend's brake lines,and also kills a mailman and mugger.Henriksen,who has tried to explain Max to the police,just gets the runaround until they turn him into the bad guy.The plot itself begins to turn on Henriksen,making him into some lunatic rather than the victim of theft.By the tone of the movie,you're supposed to feel sorry for Sheedy,who's only trying to help.The movie ends with Sheedy cuddling a new puppy,rather than in jail for the dog's theft,which is why people died.But this movie blames it on Henriksen and his research rather Sheedy and her theft.The whole plot sounds like it was developed by a radical member of PETA.
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1/10
This one's a woofer !
Phroggy24 March 1999
"Beethoven" meets "Cujo" ? Anyway, this is one of the most manipulating movie I've seen in a long time. Since the producers doesn't want to alienate the "Beethoven" audience, of course, the dog kills only "bad guys", which is supposed to make everything alright ! The "cute" scenes and the "horror" scene never really mixed and, anyway, this one left me with the feeling of having been taken for a dope by the whole production. This one has got dog breath, and it stinks to high heaven.
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10/10
wow
shamokinduck3 July 2003
where can I get a dog like MAX ? this dog is totally amazing. the effects are decent, like the tree scene where he eats the cat & peeing acid lol, if you like big dogs you will love max, he is just so huggable. and his puppies are cute too,
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8/10
"Don't make this dog angry--you wouldn't like him when he's angry"
disdressed1231 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
this movie was better than i thought it would be.i thought it would be good,but it exceeded my expectations.the acting was fairly decent,but there was one standout--the dog.all the other characters were secondary.this dog was very well trained and had a personality-to boot.intelligent,lovable,sad and even romantic.there is a brief back story to the dog and how it came to be where it was.this is basically a very genetically enhanced animal,with all senses heightened,great strength,speed and intelligence.the story flowed very well and the dog(whose mane is Max) soon becomes endearing to the viewer the filmmakers even added a brief touch of whimsy,which i thought was a hint of brilliance.we feel pain when Max feels pain.Because this dog is such a highly developed character,it becomes very easy to sympathize with him.Even when Max slowly evolves from being a lovable "mutt" into a vicious killing machine we still feel for him.and that' because we are told early on that Max is not completely under his own control,and every second he is away from the"lab"his killing instincts exert themselves until he becomes psychotic.I was very entertained by this film,having also recently seen"Rottweiller" which is fairly similar,containing some-of the same subject matter but it takes a different tact than "Man's Best Friend" I give this movie an 8*/10
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okay but nothing special
callanvass19 August 2004
Warning: Spoilers
okay horror flick but nothing special that could have been a lot better if it wasn't for the uneven pacing and bland dog attacks the script isn't bad and it has some decent ideas but it' just isn't that thrilling. The acting is good Ally Sheedy is excellent here she's cute vulnerable and looks great with tears in her eyes Lance Henriksen is his usual solid self and delivers a good performance still i wish he would pick better projects Robert Costanzo is a disgrace to the acting profession (in my opinion) and i just wanted to beat him! Fredric Lehne is annoying and amusing at the same time he has his moments but he is off and on there SPOILERS!!!!! is a funny moment when the dog puts the steak tar tar in the toilet and flushes it overall nothing special what so ever only worth a watch if your really bored ** out of 5
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10/10
Wonderful movie
jyarza22 September 2000
Oh, I loved this movie from the beginning to the end! The dog was lovable! Before he became a killer, of course. I began hating him when he ate the cat because I love cats. The ending was very exciting... Well, actually, the whole movie was, but specially the ending.
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4/10
acid urine
punctate30 October 1999
A reporter is befriended by a genetically engineered dog that can deceive human minds and has acid urine; a bit silly. Scientist who wants him back keeps getting on the bad side of the police. The plot of the movie runs too slow during almost the first hour of the film, then it suddenly speeds up during the last 30 or 40 minutes of the movie. The 40 minutes are entertaining and fun it's too bad the beginning wasn't as strong. Its lighthearted horror doesn't work that well, the story is weakly executed. The scare scenes are not that scary at all and I thought they could have been made gory. The ending makes us sad that the killing dog bites the bullet. The ending leads open for a sequel.
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6/10
Don't make the dog mad! That's ALL you have to do!!!
tdrish21 January 2020
Man's Best Friend is about a genetically altered dog, undergoing a lab rat experiment, and winds up befriending one of the workers ( Ally Sheedy) From there, the dog winds up loose to the public, and, well, let's just say the dog is justifiable with its actions that it takes. Don't piss this dog off, that's all you have to do. Along the way, some vicious attacks take place. A kid hits the dog in the head with a newspaper, and a mailman sprays the dog for no reason at all. I can't say this little fur baby was out of line with anything....except what he did with the cat in the tree. That was WRONG! I don't even blame the dog for what it did to that bird, because that bird had a mouth for a beak! All in all, this was a great B rated film from writer director John Lafia ( Childs Play 2), and it kept the blood and slime to a minimum. My vote is 6 out of 10 stars. Remember....be nice to him. Pet the dog! Why couldn't anyone have just done that!
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8/10
Better than I thought it'd be
treakle_19785 October 2019
Ally Sheedy is terrific in this movie about a lab experiment gone wrong. It's funny and horrifying at the same time. Love max the dog and you'll notice a mighty duck in this film to. Definitely check it out.
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7/10
Who-jo?
lorddrewsus29 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
No offense to Stephen King or the folks that made it, but Max shows you how The Yellow Eyed Demon From Supernatural gets his yellow eyes. Max pisses right in 'em. Poor guy. This is not that movie, but it is very good. An all-star cast of great performances all the way down to the little kids haulin' ass when Max eats the cat in the tree. If you "no" vote this movie, good like finding a better dog one. Robert Costanzo's Dopey cop routine is also a highlight, all the way up until he got ate.
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7/10
Seven wagging tails out of 10.
Hey_Sweden19 April 2019
Ally Sheedy is fine as Lori Tanner, a reporter eager to move beyond fluff pieces, who then comes upon the biggest story of her career. With her trusty camerawoman in tow, she infiltrates the vivisection lab of mad scientist Dr. Jarret (Lance Henriksen) - and ends up with a steadfast companion, a genetically enhanced lab escapee named Max. Max seems sweet (and is helpful), but it's only a matter of time before the drugs used to put a lid on Max's most aggressive tendencies will wear off. Lori tries to care for Max, although this doesn't go well with her somewhat high-strung restaurateur boyfriend Perry (Fredric Lehne).

"Man's Best Friend" is an enjoyably preposterous sci-fi / horror / thriller that has a knowing sense of humour thanks to writer & director John Lafia ("Child's Play 2"). It takes various cliches associated with canines - mailmen, cats, dog catchers, etc. - and gives them some over the top flavour. Max, played wonderfully by a Tibetan Mastiff, is obviously extremely well trained, thanks to Clint Rowe, an old pro of an animal handler. It's quite amusing when we see him figure out doorknobs, climb a tree so he can make a meal out of a poor cat, and actually chew through a brake line in order to get the boyfriend out of the way.

The pacing is excellent, the violence (courtesy of Kevin Yagher) is quite effective, and "Man's Best Friend" moves along efficiently to the expected lively conclusion.

Henriksen is solid, as usual, playing a very unsubtle and dedicated villain. Robert Costanzo and John Cassini are okay as the pair of detectives faced with one of their stranger cases, and it's a delight as always to see the great character actor William Sanderson as a jerk junkyard owner whom you just KNOW is due for some comeuppance.

Overall, good fun for fans of the genre.

Seven out of 10.
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3/10
Man's Best Friend (1993)
fntstcplnt15 December 2019
Directed by John Lafia. Starring Lance Henriksen, Ally Sheedy, Fredric Lehne, Robert Costanzo, John Cassini, Trula M. Marcus, William Sanderson, J.D. Daniels. (R)

Clumsy reporter Sheedy breaks into an animal testing lab and emancipates a Tibetan mastiff, which turns out to be a very special canine. How special? He can open doors, flush toilets, headbutt windshields, outrun and jump over speeding cars, swallow cats whole, urinate acid, that sort of thing (in one throwaway scene, he even disappears into the background like a chameleon, but never again after that). Dopey comedy disguised as a killer-animal horror movie is neither unwatchable nor remotely gratifying. Chief misstep is letting the dog appear cute and cuddly until the final reel; the threat level is about even with an unchained Beethoven, not Cujo. Only Henriksen as the scientist who "created" the enhanced pooch seems to realize just how ridiculous it all is and acts accordingly. One of the taglines reads: "His bark isn't half as bad...as his bite!" Oh, it bites, all right...

31/100
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10/10
An experimental canine befriends a news reporter and changes her life forever.
thewolfpup5 June 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Overall, the film is action-packed and keeps the viewer's interest. It's full of suspense and kept me on-edge. The plot is in a science lab with, Lance Henriksen, the scientist, and his E-MAX Project. An investigation is conducted when an E-MAX employee goes missing and local news reporters infiltrate E-MAX and steal a test subject (MAX). The reporter and animal activist, Lori Tanner (Alley Sheedy), bites off more than she can chew when she gets to know the real MAX. In my opinion, this is a well written and well produced film. A friendly warning, there are some extremely heart- wrenching scenes but still a great movie.
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7/10
Very funny.I wished they made stuff like that today.
john_ferentinos7718 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Two female reporters from a known channel break into a macabre science lab where an obsessed psychotic scientist experiments on animals to take a video for the news,and adopt a huge cute dog(something looking like between a German shepherd and a rottweiler,I don't know the exact breed) that is genetically enhanced.This dog is the scientist's own masterpiece and pride,and in the right hands is a perfect guardian,but in the wrong hands a killing machine because his mind is a bit unstable.The film doesn't take itself seriously and this is enjoyable and really funny.Especially the scientist and his audacity in order to recover his dog together with his hilarious movie villain lines,makes it a great laugh.The dog turns from cute to an intelligent strong minded character and then a killer,as he tests and unfolds his powers and appetites,but except from a cat that it swallows whole most of the killings feel righteous from a certain comedy perspective.A bit of blood and gore is there so its not for kids but it is presented in a satirical comical way.All the animals in the movie deserve an Oscar.Especially the main dog character.I'm missing such movies today.No fake seriousness and ridiculous retarded affectation that shows from a mile,and no retarded educational conclusions for the viewers.The bad guys get all mauled,most of the good guys survive and cops sneak to drink chocolate from peoples' blenders in their kitchens while guarding the house without asking permission.Nowadays everything has to be serious...and stupid.Well done,but still not for kids.
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