APRIL MOVIE THON 2: Dogs of Hell (1983)

April 23: Regional Horror — A regional horror movie. Here’s a list if you need an idea.

I’m so obsessed and delighted by the movies of Earl Owensby, who produced 18 movies with his own studio, including the Elvis death cash-in starring his last girlfriend Ginger Alden Living Legend: The King of Rock and Roll, Christian slasher — yes, really — Day of Judgement, the anthology with a doubled up title Tales of the Third Dimension in 3-D and religious retribution movie Dark Sunday. Man, he even made Lady Gray, a movie with David Allen Coe as the star. He even loaned out his studio to other films, like The Order of the Black Eagle and The Abyss. He also had that Cannon idea down before they did: his E.O. Studios’ success was due to never spending more than a million dollars on a movie and never signing a distribution deal that made him less than eight million in profit.

Owensby made movies in Shelby, North Carolina and they played drive-ins in towns just like it. He knew his audience and what they wanted. And for this, well, they wanted 3-D dogs.

Also known as Rottweiler 3-D, this was the first of six movies from E.O. Studios that required special glasses to watch. The others — in case you’re like me and want to watch all of them — are Hot Heir, Chain GangHyperspaceHit the Road Running and Tales of the Third Dimension in 3-D.

Director Worth Keeter also made several movies for Owensby — how many times can I say Tales of the Third Dimension in 3-D in this — and went on to direct episodes of Power Rangers and Silk Stalkings. And the aforementioned The Order of the Black Eagle plus Sybil Danning in L.A. Bounty. Writer Thom McIntyre directed, well, you guessed it, Tales of the Third Dimension in 3-D, and wrote several of Owensby’s other movies under names like Lynelle Grey and Grey Lynellee.

Up at Fort Bragg, the military is trying to replace soldiers with dogs. As you can imagine, things get out of control. This is a welcome event, as the town of Lake Lure isn’t the most exciting place to be. Owensby plays the sheriff; the town has a vibrant mud wrestling scene; somehow fashion models show up there and get torn to pieces in the woods in 3-D by the dogs.

Released months after Cujo — that’s how you do it! — this has a dog’s head blow up real good, an effect created by Fred Olen Ray. I mean, the dogs are driven insane by the military-industrial complex, but I do hate to see dogs be the victims in movies.

I have no idea why Earl Owensby’s movies aren’t more available. Let’s make that happen, boutique labels.

You can download this from the Internet Archive.

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