Cujo Special Edition on Blu-ray – The DVDfever Review

Cujo… There, there, nice doggie!

Yes, just watch this movie about the St Bernard who contracts rabies, and you’ll never see those Beethoven films in the same light ever again, as the Stephen King classic comes to Blu-ray in a Special Edition containing more than seven hours of extras, which is almost enough time for the animal to calm down a bit.

Young Tad (Danny Pintauro) is having nightmares after seeing something nasty eminating from his closet, but with Michael Jackson nowhere to be found, what could it be?

Mum Donna (Dee Wallace E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial) has been playing away, hubby is not best pleased when he finds out, but the main problem with Cujo is that it’s around 43 minutes into the proceedings before the canine actually sinks his claws into someone. However, the tension is there once it kicks in. After that point, it mostly spends the rest of the film terrorising Donna and Tad while they’re trapped in their car, whilst composer Charles Bernstein goes into overdrive…

All that said, it does set up a relatively interesting story, and when the animal is letting rip, this does turn out a great film for that part. However, it does seem rather daft that the better-equipped you are with firearms, the less chance you have against him. Plus, Cujo looks like he’s being consistently coated with godknowswhat to make him look more manic than ever.

Also involved in this movie is cinematographer Jan De Bont, who also worked on films you might’ve hard of like Die Hard, Flatliners and Basic Instinct, as well as directing Speed, Speed 2: Cruise Control (yes, I still enjoyed it) and Twister, which was such a loud film that even when I saw it in the cinema, and I knew the two idiots behind me were talking regularly throughout… I didn’t hear them speak at all.

Dee Wallace as Donna

As I mentioned earlier, there are over SEVEN HOURS OF EXTRAS, and at the time of posting this, I’m struggling to work through them all quickly, and I probably won’t watch every last minute of them all, and will just watch selected ones:

  • Interviews: All of these are a Q (caption card) followed by the A (spoken by the interviewee to someone just off-camera, from whom we never here). There are no chapters:

    • Dee Wallace: What a Tour De Force Part for a woman (41:34)
    • Charles Bernstein: A Composer really can’t ask for any more (35:37)
    • Gary Morgan (stuntman): I Did the things that the dog was too smart to do (26:10)
    • Jean Coulter (stuntwoman): It was all just a game (21:09)
    • Marcia Ross (casting director): The circus leaves town (20:03)
    • Kathie Lawrence (visual effects artist): The passion was presented to me (13:55)
    • Robert Clark (special effects designer): A Dog on a Dolly (12:50)
    • Teresa Miller (dog trainer): Inside the Dog’s Head (28:14)

  • Trailers and TV Spots: One trailer (1:49), and two TV spots (0:30, 1:29), all in 4:3.
  • Dog Days: The Making of Cujo (42:48): an archival documentary on the film’s production, and broken up into 3 parts, including how the ending differs from the book, which I wasn’t aware of, and I won’t spoil it here, so you can look it up if you want to.
  • Dee Wallace Q&A (1:40:53): At Cinemaniacs & Monster Fest 2015, and broken up into 6 chapters.
  • Kim Newman on Cujo (27:03), including how there were a lot of Stephen King films around in the late ’70s and early ’80s, and how they felt like rather a conveyor belt.
  • Audio commentary: by Lee Gambin, author of Nope, Nothing Wrong Here: The Making of Cujo.

Also, when you buy this special edition, of which only 4000 are being made, you also get:

  • Hardbound Slipcase, featuring newly commissioned artwork by iconic British illustrator Graham Humphreys.
  • Reversible sleeve featuring artwork by Justin Osbourn and original poster artwork
  • A Limited Edition 60-page Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Lee Gambin, author Scott Harrison, and Craig Ian Mann, and it’s illustrated with archival imagery from the film’s production.

For a film that’s 36 years old, the print is superb. I can’t see anything out of place that you wouldn’t expect from a film of tha age. There’s both a 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack, as well as a LPCM Mono one, but I didn’t hear anything particularly spellbinding in the former.

The menu is static with a picture echoing the poster which shows Cujo’s name splattered in blood on the house’s fence. Subtitles are in English and there are just 9 chapters. What an odd number. Why not a decent amount, like in this case, 19, since the film is 93 minutes long?

Cujo: Special Edition is released tomorrow on 2-Disc Blu-ray Special Edition and it’s also available on Amazon Video.

Looks like someone got into the tomato ketchup again…


Detailed specs:

Running time: 93 minutes
Year: 1983
Cat no.: EKA70336
Distributor: Eureka
Released: April 29th 2019
Chapters: 9
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio, LPCM Mono
Languages: English
Subtitles: English SDH
Widescreen: 1.85:1 (35mm)
Disc Format: 2*BD50

Director: Lewis Teague
Producers: Daniel H Blatt, Robert Singer
Novel: Stephen King
Screenplay: Don Carlos Dunaway, Lauren Currier
Cinematographer: Jan De Bont
Music: Charles Bernstein

Donna Trenton: Dee Wallace
Tad Trenton: Danny Pintauro
Vic Trenton: Daniel Hugh Kelly
Steve Kemp: Christopher Stone
Joe Camber: Ed Lauter
Charity Camber: Kaiulani Lee
Brett Camber: Billy Jayne (as Billy Jacoby)
Gary Pervier: Mills Watson
Bannerman: Sandy Ward
Masen: Jerry Hardin
Professor: Merritt Olsen
Roger Breakstone: Arthur Rosenberg