The shot where Ryan washes his face and tilts his head when looking at his reflection in the bathroom mirror, similar to how dogs tilt their heads when they notice something curiously, the first physical sign that he is turning into a werewolf.
There is very little CGI used in the movie because the people involved in the filming believed that CGI was being over-used at the time and that it would take viewers out of the movie because they would be focused on how the special effects looked rather than the story, thus the werewolves are animatronics and body suits with stilts.
In the scene where Wells asks Cooper to knock him out, Kevin McKidd (Cooper) throws a stage punch the first time, but misjudges the distance of the second and catches Sean Pertwee (Wells) on the nose. Pertwee didn't feel the punch however as he really was drunk for that scene.
When the squad first lands from the helicopter, Sgt. Wells tells Cooper "Get a position and bearing. I want to be on the move in three minutes." He gives the command for the squad to move out exactly 3 minutes later.
One of the soldiers in this movie is called Bruce Campbell, a reference to The Evil Dead (1981) (Bruce Campbell is the actor who portrayed its hero Ash and the film seems to have partially inspired the plot of Dog Soldiers (2002)).
Neil Marshall chose to use dancers as the werewolves instead of the typical stuntmen in order to highlight their grace and elegant movements. The set was also designed size-wise to force the creatures to have to bend a bit upon entering thereby highlighting their statuesque physiques.
Chris Robson (Joe Kirkley) made a confession to Neil Marshall on the night they were set to shoot the scene where his character runs to the barn and drives the jeep back up to the house. He couldn't drive. Marshall punished his tardy admission by making him attempt it anyways for the first take. "He did it and ran off the road."
The piece that Megan plays on the piano halfway through the film is Debussy's "Clair de Lune", roughly translatable as "moonbeam". The link is obvious, but is possibly also a nod to An American Werewolf in London (1981), the soundtrack of which consisted purely of songs with "moon" in the title.
The script originally called for the dog to pull at the wounded soldiers exposed intestines, but Neil Marshall changed it to pulling the bandage instead. "But the reaction is that people ether think it's the intestines anyway or they think that the bandage is bad enough and they're still grossed out."
The insurance did not cover the actors jumping out of the helicopter early in the film. As most of the crew were ex-army they jumped out of it instead. The crew also doubled up as Sgt Well's soldiers for some of the tabbing shots.
Neil Marshall stated in an audio commentary for Dog Soldiers, that the moment in the film when Megan cuts her hand on a shard of glass was meant to be a setup for a second sequel about werewolf DNA, which would complete a planned trilogy. However, he added that the planned sequels will "probably amount to nothing now."
The film makes several references to Zulu (1964). There's the choral music featured in Zulu when Spoon is talking about Rorkes drift, and "Dog Soldiers'" Sgt. Well's paraphrases "Zulu's" Colour Sgt. Bourne's "be quiet now will you, there's a good gentleman, you'll upset the lads" when talking to Ryan.
Director/screenwriter Neil Marshall aimed for authenticity with his "squaddies" in part because his father and grandfather were both in the military. He says most of that comes through in the gallows humor they display.
The super-glue scene is referenced in Small Favor (Dresden files) a book by Jim Butcher. A female character is disembowelled and talks about super-glue being invented in the Vietnam war in order to stick wounded soldiers back together but then says she saw it in a movie about werewolves.
This film was developed under the working title of The Last Stand which is false Neil Marshall says he'd never heard that before and that it was always called "Dog Soldiers" from the very beginning. One of the producers lobbied for a title change to "Night of the Werewolves", but Marshall and others fought against it.
The barn explosion left Neil Marshall reeling from the shock wave, and he burst out laughing. "I kind of forgot we were running the cameras. Luckily it wasn't sound dependent, but I just thought it was awesome."
Sean Pertwee asked Neil Marshall if he could have a few drinks before shooting the scene where his character, Sgt. Wells, gets drunk and bandaged up, and the director said yes. "I don't know how many 'a few' was, but it's way more authentic drunk acting than you often get in movies, so I was happy with that."
Neil Marshall was understandably disappointed that the film didn't receive a theatrical release in the U.S. and instead premiered on The Sci-Fi Channel. (This was before the name change to Syfy.) "I think that was partly a lack of courage on the part of the producers that they took the first deal that was offered to them." Marshall says it did get a one-week run at L.A.'s Egyptian Theater, and he's happily run into several people who actually saw it there.
Director Neil Marshall says this new Blu-ray almost didn't happen as they struggled and failed to find original film materials in all of the usual places-lab, distributors, etc- before finally lucking out with someone at Pathé who sent him two prints. "Unlike the studios in L.A. that have libraries and look after their content, these things don't exist for independent features, and there is a really good chance that unless stuff is archived or transferred to HD as soon as possible that it may be lost forever".
Another reference/homage to Zulu (1964) is when Cooper's character is trapped in the bathroom upstairs and he begins tunneling through the wall to get to Wells. The two then proceed to break through the wall to the bedroom, mirroring the scene in Zulu when Hook is in the Hospital as the Zulus break in.
The budget was £2.3 million which at the time was a low budget film, but Marshall thinks these days that description wouldn't apply. "Now obviously you can shoot on digital and edit on your home computer, things can be done a lot cheaper."
Kevin McKidd cracked a rib in the first few days of shooting, but he hid it from Marshall for fear of being replaced. He eventually decided the pain was too much and revealed the injury at which point Marshall replaced him with Jason Statham who turned it down due to his commitment and scheduling conflicts with Ghosts of Mars (2001), McKidd was rehired after his injury healed up.
Neil Marshall is constantly asked about a sequel, but "I think I can fairly safely say that there's never going to be a sequel now." He had a whole trilogy planned, but he says it was never up to him anyway as the rights don't belong to him. His own sequel plans alternated between Cooper (McKidd) battling more werewolves or facing off against other supernatural creatures instead. He jokes that it'll probably end up getting remade before it gets a sequel. "Probably as a found footage movie or something."
How they went about the werewolf transformation there were two choices, the transformation effects from An American Werewolf in London (1981) which was impossible as they didn't have the time or resources to do it and the other lesser option was CGI which at that point CG effects were not all great, some were great as it was post Jurassic Park (1993), Neil Marshall explained he didn't want to do some "cheesy morph" so he went back to some old school techniques, having them hide behind the furniture and pop up as the werewolf.
The offscreen werewolf transformation fitted the tone of the film well as it wasn't a straight face film but very tongue-in cheek as one of Neil Marshalls favorite horror films as a kid wasn't a horror film at all called Carry on Screaming, "it's meant as a comedy but it's shot using alot of the same sets and very much the same style as Hammer films so it's really rich with atompsphere and the sets and production values are beautiful but are played for laughs."
The squad initially starts out with SA-80s in the early scenes of the film while they are still on an exercise, and then after they liberate equipment from the Special Ops Camp, the weapons are: (1) MP5s - used by Cooper, Sgt. Wells, Bruce and initially Terry; Most of the MP5s are fitted with surefire weaponlights, some have dual magazines clamped together, and several seem to have mid-range scopes installed. (2) Mossberg 500 shotgun - used by Joe; and (3) Heckler & Koch HK41-used initially by Spoon, who later trades with Terry after they are rendered stranded at the farmhouse, the weapon is later lost when Terry is dragged away by the werewolves. The flash hider was removed from the gun, a slimline handguard was fitted, and a block was attached to the receiver behind the ejection port, possibly to act as a brass deflector. The weapon can be identified as an HK41 by its lack of a paddle magazine release lever, and its two position fire selector. All sidearms in the film are 9mm Browning HPs.
The film is a motif of the classic fairytales Little Red Riding Hood - Sgt Wells name drops her, Bruce strays from the beaten path and immediately gets killed, Megan turns out to be a werewolf disguised as a human. Goldilocks & The Three Bears - the soldiers find food on the stove and help themselves, and Cooper mockingly compares the werewolves to the three bears later on. Fittingly Cooper is the only blond in the group as well. The Three Little Pigs - the soldiers barricade themselves in a house to protect from the big bad wolves. The house gets literally blown down in the climax.
Terry's capture by the werewolves while standing with his back to the window shouldn't come as much of a surprise when his disregard for basic training is shown in the slapdash way he has almost the entire contents of his bergen unpacked around the campfire.
There is a specific reference to an H.G.Wells work in the dialog near the beginning. Spoon forgets to bring a watch, so Sargent Wells (also an H.G.Wells) gives him his own, to which spoon asks: "What about you, sarge?" to which Wells States: "Well, I'll count, won't l?" - Wells is a "time machine."
When Cooper is telling his squad mates the story of the missing campers, he mentions that the disappearances have been blamed on "an escaped lunatic". This is another nod to An American Werewolf in London (1981), in which the villagers used the exact same phrase to describe Jack and David's attacker.
Two of the Sergeants soldiers are using they're standard issue SA-80 rifles left handed, this is not accurate as the reciprocating charging handle on the right side of the weapon will break a soldiers jaw whilst using the weapon left handed
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Being Scottish, Kevin McKidd who plays Cooper spotted that there is nowhere in Scotland that is a four hour drive from anywhere as mentioned by Megan in the film, but chose not to say anything. This line can be taken as an example of "unreliable narrator" since we later find out that she is also lying about where she is from and how close the next house is.
Originally Spoon's on screen death was being ripped in two by the werewolves but it was cut to what we see in the film because Neil Marshall didn't think that audiences would be able to handle such a graphic death to such a well loved character even Marshall felt that seeing him torn in half with his innards spilling out across the floor would have killed the high of his punchline ("I hope I give you the shits.")
Megan was not, as many assume, a member of the werewolf family. Not an original member anyway. She states that she came to the woods to "become one with nature" which is probably when she met the family and became friends with them. Either they decided to make her a werewolf because she was their friend or she was turned by accident. She was ashamed of being a werewolf and hoped the soldiers would be her way out (there is a popular belief in werewolf lore that killing the original werewolf will cure anyone who has been bitten by them) because she figured they were working with Captain Ryan. She had met Captain Ryan before and probably assumed he was there to help administer some sort of cure. But once Ryan confesses the real reason behind his presence was to bring the werewolves back to be used as weapons rather than being cured, she realizes that she will never be able to cease being a werewolf ("There is no out. There never was."). However, she still feels loyal to the family. Once Cooper realizes that the farmers are in fact the werewolves and decides to kill them, she chooses the family. She gets the soldiers to blow up the landrover, their only chance of escape, and only then does she give in to transformation.
The backstory between Megan and Captain Ryan was added at the behest of producers David E. Allen and Brian Patrick O'Toole. On the DVD audio commentary on which he is featured, Neil Marshall states his dislike for it, saying that it does not make sense.
Terry getting captured by the werewolves while standing with his back to the window shouldn't come as much of a surprise when his disregard for basic training is shown in the slapdash way he has almost the entire contents of his bergen unpacked around the campfire.
The significance of Megan cutting her hand on a piece of broken window glass, originally meant to establish that the werewolves were not immortal when in human form and were just as susceptible to injuries and death as normal humans (this would also tie in with Cooper's plan to kill the family in the morning). This would've payed off when Sgt. Wells shoots Megan through the eye, and since her wounds would not heal "magically", it would mean that she was truly killed at that moment. It could also be a clue to her identity as whilst she does cut her hand, we don't see the wound at any other point of the film--indicating that it healed quickly. However, this idea must've been changed sometime during shooting, as the werewolf that knocks the lighter out of Wells' hand at the end only has one eye and, according to the DVD Commentary, is indeed supposed to be Megan. But the footage of Megan cutting her hand had already been filmed and the scene was not re-shot, probably due to the constrained budget, so Megan cutting her hand remained in the final cut of the film.
Originally, Bruce was not to die by being impaled by a tree but was to be flung over cliff or precipice, However this scene was too difficult to do, so his death was changed to the one seen in the finished film.
While working to stop Wells' squad from escaping the werewolves, Megan appeared to communicate with the werewolves outside when she was alone. With them apparently telling her to trick them into destroying the barn.
The werewolf who snarls at Sam is visibly not one of the ones eating Spoon, but a sixth individual. It also seems to lack one eye, as the transformed Megan does, and is also the same individual who knocks the lighter out of Wells hand, Director Neil Marshall confirms that it was indeed Megan.
One example of Pvt. Terry's insubordination occurs in the scene in which the soldiers first enter the farm house. Cooper gives him a direct order to "keep an eye out front", of which Terry ignores otherwise he would have seen the werewolves approaching and proceed to rip the engine out of Megan's van parked out front.