REVIEW: Savage Dog (2017) - ManlyMovie

REVIEW: Savage Dog (2017)

Run Time: 95 Mins
Rated: R
What To Expect: Old school action, extreme violence, an underrated movie

It’s sad to see this movie sitting at a 4.8 on the IMDb, with over 700 votes, even though it hasn’t been released yet.  I’m pretty sure those people weren’t shown the movie, but what I would guess is that, however they watched it, they abandoned it before the halfway mark then decided to bury the movie online.  That’s because the movie starts slow, but thoroughly enters Commando/John Wick (B-movie style) territory by the end.  I was surprised by this movie, you will be too.

Set in Indochina in 1959, the area is in statehood limbo and draws in gangsters, miscreants and fugitives from abroad seeking refuge.  One is Martin Tillman (Adkins), an IRA fugitive disillusioned with events at home (and fleeing a death sentence in Britain), he served with the Foreign Legion only to be expelled and jailed for fighting a superior officer.  But local corrupt people notice and like his fighting capability, and put him to work so that they can gamble on him.

Colonel Steiner (Vladimir Kulich), another European fugitive formerly of the SS, organizes Tillman’s fights.  Both earn good money together until Steiner’s henchmen (Cung Le and Marko Zaror) kill Tillman’s sole friends (Keith David and Juju Chan).  This of course makes Tillman snap, and a one man rampage follows with a body count probably worse than the war that follows there.

I expected the worst from this movie, especially with its slow and formulaic start.  The story is as you’d probably expect, bordering on atrocious and only existing to stitch together fighting and shoot outs. Since this is also a DTV/VOD movie it can be quite cheap looking, with CGI muzzle flashes and blood. But there is good news, because this movie knows its strengths and spends the majority of it playing to them and appeasing its audience.  All involved here know how to make a good action scene and they’re aware you can do that on a minimal budget, as long as you have passion and skill.

Like the good old days, it heads to a final boss battle, with Zaror

About halfway in, the film turns into a shockingly violent revenge yarn.  Keith David, who narrates the movie (he’s really good at that) informs the viewer that ‘revenge is pure, simple’ as Adkins’ rampage begins in earnest.  To set the altered tone, Adkins approaches a bar and hacks one of the two doormen to death with a machete.  The second doorman is beheaded, the head then carried inside and placed atop the bar, where the nut announces his intention to commit mass murder. It’s like something from Liveleak.

While there is hoaky CGI here and there, there seems to be more practical effects than not.  Geysers of real blood shoot towards ceilings, prosthetic heads get blown off with hand grenades, prosthetic hands get blown off with shotguns.  Squibs explode out of flying bodies.  All of this happens with a steady camera and considerate editing, like an old 1980’s action movie.  It’s also topped off with a great fight scene with henchman Cung Le, then the final battle with Marko Zaror.  Very good fight scenes and some nice rare weaponry (I don’t think you’ll ever see an MP44 outside a non-WW2 movie).

Hell I’m going to give this an 8/10, it’s one of Adkins’ best movies and the last half hour is fucking well crafted blast aimed directly at people like us.  Be sure to check it out this Friday.




  1. Saverio

    July 31, 2017 at 10:57 am

    I’m glad you addressed people probably abandoning it half way through because I was one of those people. I watched this a while back & I thought it was surprisingly decent but I just ran out of steam. I didn’t bury it but it was a little slow. I’ll give it another shot for sure.

    • The Night Rider

      July 31, 2017 at 11:49 am

      Yes, what’s important in a movie is how it ends, that’s what leaves the aftertaste.

  2. crocop97

    July 31, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    I gave it a rock solid 7, could have been better with a more skilled director

  3. dark destroyer

    July 31, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    This movie was bottom of the barrel direct to video garbage. Good fight scenes? Are you blind? Did you watch the movie sober?
    Everything was awful, the script, acting, editing, locations! The movie looked cheap as hell even for direct to video standards.
    The CGI was awful. 1/10!
    definitely shilling this crap didn’t this site have an exclusive clip for this movie! Says it all! Avoid at all costs!

    • Jacob Phillips

      July 31, 2017 at 8:26 pm

      All CGI is awful, it’s the practical stunts and blood squibs that count. After reading the review and watching the trailer i can’t wait to see this movie. It has a cool as fuck cast as well.

      • dark destroyer

        July 31, 2017 at 8:51 pm

        All CGI is awful? Are you a brain dead buffoon? There’s different quality levels of CGI. This movie’s CGI is on par with a playstation 1 cut scene. The fight choreography is awful some of the worse I’ve seen. If your so desperate to watch the movie its on youtube type savage dog and there you go saved you money.

        • Jacob Phillips

          July 31, 2017 at 9:44 pm

          Yeah, some cgi is good, Jurassic Park and Terminator 2 for example, but it’s so overused nowadays and no matter how good it is you know what you’re looking at isn’t real, might as well watch a cartoon.

    • Lt_Cobretti

      August 1, 2017 at 6:31 am

      Go fuck yourself, I’ll watch what I want to watch. And this movie barely had any CGI, I don’t know why you’re so caught up on what little there was not being very good.

  4. Goro

    August 1, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    I am surprised by this review and rating. I’ve been following Adkins for years and this movie is by far the worst one. It was so bad I could not watch it to the end. Whoever thinks this movie would have been big in 80s or 90s is greatly mistaken. Those classic action movies have characters, story and quality in them. Savage dog has none of it – it is outrageously cheap, terrible editing, very weak story. It has OK fight scenes but this alone can’t save the movie. I’d give one out of 10 just because of Adkins’ presence.

  5. Jacob Phillips

    August 5, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Flawed, but not bad. It does pick up in the second half and it has balls, that’s for sure.

  6. ColonelBobi

    August 20, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    This was OK in parts, weak in the story scenes as to be expected. Adkins excels in the hand to hand fight scenes and this was no different. I was surprised to see him pick up an MP40 and blast a guy midway through their fight scene. Adkins was losing that fight, why not have him comeback and defeat the guy? Shooting him was a pussy move.
    The effects were not bad for a low budget movie aside from that one soldier getting grenade causing his head to explode. That was straight up hilarious.
    Also wtf did Adkins really gut that guy and eat his kidney?? Fucking savage! That was nasty. 6/10.