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The Plague Dogs [DVD]

John Hurt , Christopher Benjamin , Martin Rosen    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: John Hurt, Christopher Benjamin, James Bolam, Nigel Hawthorne, Warren Mitchell
  • Directors: Martin Rosen
  • Writers: Martin Rosen, Richard Adams
  • Producers: Martin Rosen
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: 9 Sep 2002
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006JI1H
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 121,574 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Two dogs, Snitter and Rowf, escape from a research institute and go on the run. Both animals have been purposely infected with a deadly virus, and as such, pose a dangerous threat to the human population. As the authorities give chase, the two dogs do their best to find their original owner and dream of a place where they will no longer be harmed by the cruelty of mankind.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Anyone who has seen Richard Adams/Martin Rosen's adaptation of Watership Down will know what to expect from The Plague Dogs. You've got superb animation - even more polished and fluid in this case - great voice acting, and at the same time, an unrelenting and at times brutal story, which in The Plague Dogs focuses on the cruelty of mankind, as opposed to nature in Watership Down. This is not to say that it's sentimental: like Watership Down, The Plague Dogs presents its story objectively and lets the viewer make up their own mind.

Before I explain the story, I'll make one thing absolutely clear - this film is not for the faint-hearted. Children, animal-lovers and dog-owners alike will probably feel uncomfortable watching this film, for several reasons. And those who have read the book will find the story a couple of shades darker.
However, this is an excellent film and worth watching if you don't flinch from the storyline too much.

The Plague Dogs begins in an animal testing centre in the Lake District. The two protagonists, Rowf, a labrador-cross, and Snitter, a jack russell (voiced by John Hurt), are subjected to experiments out of human curiosity: Rowf is submerged in a tank for as long as he can remain conscious, in order to test canine lung capacity, and Snitter has had brain surgery to determine where the subjective and objective perception of the canine brain begins and ends.
One night, they both escape into the mountains.

This is purely about the animals - we follow Rowf and Snitter on their journey, where they take to attacking sheep to find food, and find friendship in "The Tod", a wily fox, all the while trying to escape from the "whitecoats".
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last... the UNCUT version 12 Mar 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is just a brief review to let buyers know that this edition contains the first UK DVD release of the FULL uncut version, which runs 99 minutes and contains 17 minutes of material which was removed for the film's US release in the early 80's. It also contains the 82-minute US cut which has been released on DVD before.

As with the Australian DVD release from a couple of years ago, the original full-length version of the film is in very poor shape; the sound and picture quality are, at best, on a par with my old VHS copy from 1983. This is apparently because only one print of the original version remains, and demand for the film is not high enough to justify a costly restoration job. If you want to see the whole film as it originally appeared in UK cinemas, this is probably as good as you'll ever get. The included 82-minute version is in markedly better condition.

Absurdly, the film still carries a PG certificate, despite being rated as a PG-13 (for the edited version) in the US and MA-15 in Australia. Any parents thinking of buying this for their children should be warned: this is a dark, disturbing tale that contains some highly upsetting scenes and is better suited for a teenage or adult audience.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just give them a good home! 23 April 2003
Plague Dogs is a depressing, powerful tale of Snitter and Rowf, two dogs who escape from a research lab after enduring horrific experiments. As a person who strongly disagrees with any form of animal testing, this film struck a chord with me. It's not a children's film and some scenes are pretty disturbing. It allows the viewer to see the world through the eyes of a laboratory animal and you share the dogs' suffering. Think of the real life Snitters and Rowfs out there and the film is even more powerful.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brave, poignant, important - a must-see film 8 May 2004
'the plague dogs' must rank as the most depressing animation every produced. the story concerns two dogs who escape from the laboratory where they are undergoing experimentation, only to discover that the outside world is no less horrific.
as a previous reviewer has noted, the ending - which is different from the novel's - is an improvement. in the novel, the two dogs come to their journey's end, chased into the sea by the army who have been sent to kill them, and are plucked from certain death by the most unlikely of deus ex machinae. in the film the ending is more ambiguous, and all the more poignant for it. if you don't shed a tear at this point you are made of stone.
this is a very brave, serious film. don't think you'll be two cute getting wise-cracking disney dogs. but it IS an important movie. i urge you to watch it. if nothing else it will make you think, and in these cynical days that's something worthwhile.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a kiddie flick. 13 Feb 2006
By A Customer
Plague Dogs is an animated film. But not every animated film is intended for children. This film pushes its PG rating to the max, and has actually had a scene cut due to it being too horrifying, such as a man shown to be eaten by the dogs. The full film is only available on DVD in Australia I believe.
From the same creators of Watership Down, this is a dark, thought-provoking story of two dogs named Rowf (a labrador) and Snitter (a fox terrier) who are being used in invasive and inhumane animal testing research. The two dogs escape the laboratory, but their problems have only begun. They try to survive in the wild with a help of the "tod" (fox), but find themselves being hunted down by man after killing a sheep for food. The dogs are also said to be carrying to be carrying the plague.
The film could be found to be too preachy and biased about the animal testing debate as it only shows horrific and appalling abuse of the animals, but the original book goes into far more detail about the evils of it, as the film was intended to be more of an adventure story.
Overall, this is not a film for the kids. The PG rating appears harmless, but there is some truly shocking content here that's enough to upset even the hardest of adults. It is a very good film, not as great as Watership Down I found, but still good. Just don't pop it into your child's video player before bedtime.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent - i cried at the
excellent - i cried at the end
Published 21 days ago by Laura Wills
5.0 out of 5 stars A must watch
A must watch for any animal lover, that is, if you can stomach it. Really horrific at times, very bleak- no sugar coating like all these Disney films. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Ellie
1.0 out of 5 stars Good book but DVD wasn't a patch on it - different ending!!
Not a good thing to watch after reading the book - not recommended. Why can't films follow the original book (I like happy endings and this was not one of those).
Published 9 months ago by Dorothy Taylor
1.0 out of 5 stars Doesnt work on any of my disc players
I have tried to play this disc on five different players but no joy.
I have now given up on it.
Published 9 months ago by popmaster
5.0 out of 5 stars Very moving
I really enjoyed this film, it's very moving and sad but moves along at a good pace .If you have not seen this film buy it now but be warned the subject matter is not really for... Read more
Published 9 months ago by mal
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
A sad and moving film experience would describe this film -After reading the book - i found this film- I wont go over the plot again, as that has been covered,in depth, by others (... Read more
Published 15 months ago by chris
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Film
I remember watching this when I was a kid and the story always stuck with me. It's a scary and daunting tale, and seemingly a lost classic (to me).
Published 17 months ago by blobs2
2.0 out of 5 stars Not much like Watership Down and a rather negative viewing experience
The message comes over loud and clear - Man is evil and wants to destroy everything to do with Nature. Read more
Published 17 months ago by LORD BEAU
4.0 out of 5 stars Warning: you will need at least 5 Disney movies afterwards
This, as many have stated, is a film for the older audience. Many recall it for it's cruel scenes of animal testing, especially as this is set before the Animal Scientific... Read more
Published on 3 Aug 2012 by Victoria Wood (no not that one)
5.0 out of 5 stars Misery in a box
This film is full of sadness and will make your children cry. Think Watership down with no seagull and extra suffering.
Published on 21 Mar 2012 by DJR Jones
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