Jumping Dog - Independence Day (1996)
Aliens have blown up the White House. The human race is being systematically exterminated. Fighter pilot Will Smith’s missus is about to get blown up by a big fireball in a tunnel.
No, wait! She’s safe – in a little alcove. Hang on, though… What about the dog? “Boomer! BOOMER! JUMP, YOU IRONICALLY NAMED LITTLE BASTARD, JUMP!”
Dog fact: The US has the highest dog population in the world.
Man Dog - The Shaggy Dog (2006)
Tim Allen gets bitten by a radioactive dog from Tibet (really) and starts to behave like a dog - panting, crawling about on all fours, barking at postmen, taking fifteen minutes to meticulously lick his testicles clean...
At one point, he chases a cat around an alley. In a suit. We've all been there.
Dog fact: Dogs are mentioned in the Bible fourteen times.[page-break]
Handy Dog - Yojimbo (1961)
Yes, the Dog With Severed Hand In Its Mouth was also seen in Wild At Heart (1990) and a Series 3 episode of Lost, but this one is the doggy-daddy.
Kurosawa's Western-riffing Samurai classic marks its undercurrent of grim humour early on, when a dog crosses bodyguard hero Yojimbo's path, gnawing on a ragged cut of human anatomy. Clearly gagging for a film-geeky YouTube mash-up where a mutt nails Ash's Hand from Evil Dead 2 (1987).
Dog fact: The impression of a dog's nose is as unique as a human fingerprint.
Shitting Dog - Pink Flamingoes (1972)
"Filth are my politics! Filth is my life!" proclaimed Pink Flamingoes director John Waters' leading man-woman Divine before scooping up a fresh, warm dog-egg and, gut-spinningly, smearing it over his tongue - without gagging.
The plan was to film the mutt's bowel-voidance and swap the shite with a chunk of chocolate. But Waters changed his mind and asked Divine to chow on the real thing for effect ("Oh, sure...")
Dog fact: Dogs don't have an appendix.
Ace mini-doc on Divine (including Waters talking about the dogshit scene at 3:24) here...
Mutant Dog - Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978)
What? It's only a... dog, with the head of an old tramp man... THAT SCAMPERS UP AND LICKS ITS LIPS - as though it's simultaneously trying to scam 10p for a cup of tea while looking forward to eating your face. Nothing to see here...
Dog fact: A dog's heart beats around 120 times a minute - compared to the paltry 80 managed by a human heart.
Alien Dog - The Thing (1982)
Banged up in the research station dog-pound, the mutts are restless. That's because one of them isn't quite what he seems - he's a pretend dog, assimilated by our unfriendly, ice-neighbourhood shapeshifter.
Tired of his doggy form, Thing-Dog sprouts a squirming rack of tentacles from its head and splits apart, revealing a steaming nightmare of virulent viscera - the sort you really wouldn't want curled up at your feet as you read the paper.
Dog fact: Basset Hounds can't swim.
John Carpenter on The Thing ...
Rubbish Dog - Stand By Me (1986)
Fierce-named junkyard dog (Chopper) turns out to be a noisy but ground-pawing pussycat.
Sure, his owner's a bit unpleasant ("Chopper, sick 'em boy!") but, as anyone who's ever done a paper round will confirm, the 'Beware Of The Dog' sign often packs more power than the pooch itself. (Gordie: "It was my first lesson in the difference between myth and reality.")
Dog fact: Three dogs survived the sinking of the Titanic.
Badass Dog - There's Something About Mary (1998)
Aaand... the reverse of the above - the cute ickle doggy with the cosy name (Puffy) who turns out to be a cock-chewing hell-hound.
Puffy the Border Terrier has a fantastically choreographed slapstick fight with Ben Stiller - back in the days before Apatow, when the Farrelly Brothers had the monopoly on funny/filthy.
Joyously, the Farrellys don't bother trying to make the cutaways look real, so Stiller spends most of his time grappling and pounding and elbow-ramming a stuffed model.
Best bit: when Puffy sinks his teeth into Stiller's knob and Stiller spins him round, round like a rabid record (see the whole fight below).
Dog fact: The Basenji - a breed of African hunting dog - is the only type of dog that doesn't bark.
Determined Dog - No Country For Old Men (2008)
Javier Bardem might have snagged the Oscar for his the coin-flipping psycho, but the pit-bull set upon Josh Brolin's swag-snatching cowboy steals the show for sheer - dogged - determination alone.
He's a stinky-breathed T-1000, hunting down his quarry with an unswerving enthusiasm - following Brolin across a river with a demonic doggy-paddle, up and onto the bank, splashing and salivating as Josh jostles with his Glock... A final leap and - juuust in time - bang!
When we first saw this scene at Cannes 2007, there was a scattering of awed laughter and light applause - a weird sort of respect and sadness for the dog, not relief for Brolin.
Dog fact: Theobromine - a substance similar to caffeine found in chocolate - can make dogs violently ill.
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