Straw Dogs (2003) The maverick director Sam Peckinpah was a good 15 years older than many other revolutionaries of 1970s cinema, and oftentimes his movies were that much…
Movie on DVD Review

Straw Dogs (2003)

Susan George, Dustin Hoffman, ... | GONE TO THE 'DOGS' Hoffman and George love in a cruel world
Image credit: Straw Dogs: Kobal Collection
GONE TO THE 'DOGS' Hoffman and George love in a cruel world

Details Release Dates: Oct 19, 2004 and Mar 25, 2003; Release Dates: Oct 19, 2004 and Mar 25, 2003; Movie Rated: R; Genre: Drama; With: Dustin Hoffman and Susan George

The maverick director Sam Peckinpah was a good 15 years older than many other revolutionaries of 1970s cinema, and oftentimes his movies were that much more mature. Take Straw Dogs, whose blood-soaked climax nastily echoed the blindsiding Peckinpah unleashed on audiences with 1969's ''The Wild Bunch.'' As we're reminded in this two-disc set's rich supplements, viewers were polarized. One critic labeled ''Dogs'' ''misanthropic'' and ''a fascist classic'' -- and that was in a positive notice. Today it's as provocative as ever. (Much like the current jaw-dropper ''Irréversible,'' ''Dogs'' features a brutal eight-minute rape scene.) As it follows a passive American geek (Dustin Hoffman) who flees his nation's social upheaval by moving to the rural hometown of his comely English wife (Susan George), ''Dogs'' rapidly devolves into a fable with no moral, the story of an ordinary guy who doesn't have to dig far to summon a frightening primal vengeance when his home is viciously attacked. Three decades later, nothing could be more timely.

Originally posted Mar 25, 2003 Published in issue #702 Mar 28, 2003 Order article reprints