It was 34 years ago, in 1983, that we were first terrified by Stephen King’s rabid Saint Bernard on the big screen. Cujo was released to theaters on August 12th, 1983.
Based on the 1981 Stephen King novel of the same name, Cujo is about a friendly Saint Bernard who gets bitten by a bat and is infected with rabies. As the disease progresses, the animal becomes more aggressive, attacking neighbors before finally cornering Donna Trenton and her son Tad in their broken down car. Not only do they have to escape the giant, bloodthirsty beast, but they have to do it before they succumb to the heat and dehydration of the summer sun.
Reviews are mixed, with the movie only having a score of 60% on rottentomatoes.com. Yet, it remains one of the better Horror movies based on King’s work, up there with 1976’s Carrie and 1990’s Misery. Even Stephen himself, one of the harshest critics of adaptations of his books gave the movie its props.
“Cujo is a terrific picture. You know, that one often gets overlooked. If I have a resentment, it’s that Dee Wallace [Stone] never got nominated for an Academy Award. She did a terrific job as the woman who gets stuck out there with the rabid dog who’s menacing them.” — Stephen King on ABC’s Nightline, November 2007
The movie was good enough to not only get the attention of noted film historian Lee Gambin, but it was good enough to inspire him to write a book about the making of it. Just back in April, one of our iHorror writers, David Grove, had the opportunity to interview Gambin about the book. Check out the entire interview here.
In the meantime, we have news of a remake in the pipes from Sunn Classic Pictures, being written and directed by Lang Elliot. While it seems to be in movie purgatory right now, here’s hoping it comes through as strong as the original.