Dog Soldiers is a 2002 British horror comedy film written and directed by Neil Marshall, and starring Kevin McKidd, Sean Pertwee and Darren Morfitt. A British production, set in the highlands of Scotland, it was filmed almost entirely in Luxembourg. In the US, it premiered as a Sci Fi Pictures telefilm on the Sci Fi Channel.
The plot begins with a couple camping in the Scottish Highlands. The woman gives the man a silver letter opener as a present; shortly afterwards they are killed in their tent by an unseen assailant. Meanwhile, Private Cooper is seen running through a forest in North Wales. He attacks his pursuers, but is overwhelmed and wrestled to the ground. It turns out Cooper was trying to join a special forces unit, but fails when he refuses to shoot a dog in cold blood. He is returned to his unit by Captain Richard Ryan. Four weeks later a squad of six regular British Army soldiers, including Cooper, is dropped into the Scottish Highlands. Expecting to carry out a training mission against an SAS unit, they only find their savaged remains. The single, badly-wounded, survivor, Captain Ryan, makes cryptic references to what attacked them. Unseen predators make their presence known as they attack the troops. While retreating, Bruce is impaled on a tree branch and Sergeant Wells is attacked. He is rescued by Cooper and carried to a rural roadside where the group encounters Megan, a zoologist who takes them to a lonely house, belonging to an unknown family. The soldiers who remain are Wells, Cooper, Spoon, Joe, and Terry. As darkness arrives, the house is surrounded by the attackers: to the soldiers' incredulity, these are revealed to be werewolves.
They go to get in the car, but it has been destroyed by the werewolves. The soldiers maintain a desperate defence against the werewolves, believing that, if they can make it to sunrise, the werewolves will revert to human form. Cooper and Megan then treat Wells' wounds. After Terry is abducted and ammunition runs short, they realise that they will not last, and decide to try to escape. Spoon creates a distraction while Joe steals a Land Rover from the garage. When he gets into the car, he sees Terry in the garage being eaten alive by a werewolf, which rips off Terry's head and throws it at the windscreen. Joe drives up to the house door, but then realizes that a werewolf is hiding in the back seat. He is killed after he attacks the werewolf.
Under interrogation, Ryan then reveals that the government had sent him on a mission to capture a live werewolf so that it can be investigated and weaponized, and that Cooper's squad was to be the bait, enraging the soldiers. After a fight ensues, Ryan transforms into a werewolf, due to his wounds, and escapes, running off into the forest. It is then revealed that the unknown family of the house are in fact the werewolves. The soldiers try blowing up the barn where Megan tells them the werewolves must be hiding, with petrol, gas canisters, matches, and the Land Rover. Once it's been destroyed, Megan reveals that not only were there no werewolves in the barn, but she also told them that to destroy their only means of transportation; she is a werewolf as well, and had been suppressing the transformation, but now gives in. She also reveals that she unlocked the back door to the house, allowing the werewolves inside. Before she fully transforms, Wells runs in to the room just in time and shoots her in the head, killing her.
He and Cooper run upstairs and Spoon runs to the kitchen, blocking the door. The werewolf breaks in and Spoon runs out of ammo. He fights the werewolf and gains the upper hand, but is killed by a second. Meanwhile, Wells and Cooper shoot through the floor upstairs to escape the werewolves, dropping into the kitchen. Wells cuts a gas line and blows up the house, while Cooper hides below in the cellar. However, before Cooper can leave, Ryan, who had also hidden in the cellar and is still a werewolf, confronts him. Cooper kills him with the silver letter opener and shoots him in the head. He and Megan's dog, Sam, walk off into the woods.
As the credits roll a newspaper appears showing the football result (England 5 Germany 1), with a smaller headline showing a small picture of Cooper and the headline "Werewolves ate my platoon."
- Kevin McKidd as Private Cooper
- Sean Pertwee as Sergeant Harry G. Wells
- Emma Cleasby as Megan
- Liam Cunningham as Captain Richard Ryan
- Thomas Lockyer as Corporal Bruce Campbell
- Darren Morfitt as Private "Spoon" Witherspoon
- Chris Robson as Private Joe Kirkley
- Leslie Simpson as Private Terry Milburn
Production and release Edit
Dog Soldiers was produced by the Kismet Entertainment Group with the working title of "The Last Stand" according to producer Rob Newton, the Noel Gay Motion Picture Company, the Victor Film Company, and the Carousel Picture Company with the support of the Luxembourg Film Fund. In addition to the credits in the infobox, the costume designer is Uli Simon, the casting directors are Jeremy Zimmerman and Andrea Clarke, the special makeup, animatronic and digital visual effects are by the company Image FX, and the physical-effects supervisor and stunt coordinator is Harry Wiessenhaan.
A British production, set in the highlands of Scotland, it was filmed almost entirely in Luxembourg. In the United States, it premiered as a Sci-Fi Pictures telefilm on the Sci-Fi Channel. The film contains homages to H. G. Wells as well as the films The Evil Dead, Zulu, Aliens, The Matrix and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
On the film-critics aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, Dog Soldiers scored 77% based on 30 reviews.
A sequel Dog Soldiers: Fresh Meat was planned and it was said that the story would pick up from the end of the first film. Neil Marshall was not involved with the production and neither was cinematographer Sam McCurdy, production designer Simon Bowles or any of the original cast, aside from Liam Cunningham. Rob Green was pencilled in for directing duties.
Although it was announced that filming would commence in April 2006, by 12 August 2008 information about the film had been removed from various web resources and there was no news of its production status.