While last year's "Ginger Snaps" resurrected the werewolf movie for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer teen audience, "Dog Soldiers" returns to the kind of lycanthrope comedy-horror that hasn't been seen since John Landis' "An American Werewolf in London".
Ripping the conventions of the werewolf genre to shreds, "Dog Soldiers" trades shock horror for gross out humour and the result - full of bloody entrails, jokes about Little Red Riding Hood and references to classic genre movies like "Wolfen" - is a rip-roaring comedy action fest that'll put hairs on your chest.
When a British Army platoon led by Wells (Pertwee) stumbles across a stack of bloody bodies (the remains of a top-secret special services unit) out in the middle of the Scottish Highlands, it's obvious that there's something very strange going on. Their suspicions are confirmed when they find a civilian zoologist wandering through the woods looking for evidence of some very shaggy beasts. Before they have a chance to say "silver bullets", the platoon's holed up in an abandoned farm house fighting off a bunch of attackers who all look like they need a good short back 'n' sides.
Wisely deciding to keep the creatures hidden for as long as possible (perhaps because they all bear an uncanny resemblance to Peter Stringfellow), director Neil Marshall ratchets up the tension nicely, but decides ultimately to shoot for outrageous comedy, playing up the script's deliriously silly elements and throwing ketchup all over the screen.
As the perfect Friday night movie, "Dog Soldiers" is full of boisterous energy, some really disgusting moments (Pertwee's cry of "sausages!" is unforgettable), and some clever-clever genre in-jokes. Clearly low budget British horror is alive and well - if a little sick.