Straw Dogs - Cult Laboratories

Every man has a breaking point…

Devastating consequences

The JACK JONES FILM BLOG packs some great observations about the movie in their succinct review:

"Sam Peckinpah’s reputation as a director with a penchant for extreme violence has somewhat overshadowed his ability to construct scenes of psychological torment. Straw Dogs’ violent scenes are only as affective because of the confrontations between David and Amy that lead up to the film’s denouement. In fact, David’s neurosis enhances tensions between himself and his wife, not excluding the villagers, to quite devastating consequences."


Straw Dogs: The Remake

With the new remake of Peckinpah's classic home invasion thriller now showing in UK cinemas it's time to address the new version of the movie. After all, the criticism of what can sometimes appear to be cynical rehashing of cult cinemas troubled past for an audience with little need for any subtext or content beyond the purely visceral can blind critics to the actual film unspooling before their eyes.

If nothing else, a money driven remake can cast a welcome spotlight on a classic. In the case of Straw Dogs, the oxygen of renewed publicity can help to promote a new edition which will hopefully reach new fans schooled in the current version who are looking for the source material.

Although it has to be said that the new remake hasn't had the smoothest ride from film lovers online, it could be argued that, with the glut of cinema updates hitting screens reaching an epidemic, movie goers have developed a wariness for new versions of cult classics.

LITTLE WHITE LIES offers a fairer assessment:

“There was a danger that a Hollywood remake of Straw Dogs could’ve been a simple, tasteless, exploitative exercise. At very least, Lurie’s film emerges as something much more serious than it might have done.”


TOTAL FILM: "Nihilism leaches from every frame"

As the STRAW DOGS remake hits UK Screens today, TOTAL FILM looks back at the original controversial classic:

“…Nihilism leaches from every frame Peckinpah’s Cornwall resembles the Old West reimagined as Hammer horror. The editing remains a textbook of escalating tension, discomforting long before David snaps. And, as a portrait of a marriage, this is corrosive stuff: Hoffman and George’s newlyweds are a cauldron of resentment and rage”


Does Straw Dogs Still Shock?

Find out the answer at RHYTHM CIRCUS:

“It’s 2011 and Straw Dogs, the most controversial film in the directorial career of Sam Peckinpah, has turned 40 years old. With the release of a remake around the corner, it’s an appropriate time to assess how well the original movie is settling into middle-age. Does Straw Dogs’ brutality and questionable morality still shock?”


Coinciding with its 40th anniversary and with the forthcoming theatrical release (on 4th November 2011) of the remake directed by Rod Lurie and starring James Marsden, Kate Bosworth, Alexander Skarsgard and James Woods, director Sam Peckinpah’s notorious thriller Straw Dogs has been carefully restored and remastered for release on two-disc DVD and for the first time ever as a features-packed Special Edition Blu-ray on 24th October 2011.

Based on Gordon M. Williams's novel The Siege Of Trencher's Farm, and starring Dustin Hoffman and Susan George, Straw Dogs marked Peckinpah's first directorial step outside the Western genre and into a contemporary (and uniquely British) setting. The result is an unflinching and uncompromising study of primal, barbaric brutality that is generally regarded as one of the strongest statements about violence ever put on screen.

Quiet American mathematician David Sumner (Dustin Hoffman) and his British-born wife Amy (Susan George) relocate to Amy's rural English hometown in an attempt to flee the violent social unrest brewing in the US. When David hires some locals, including a former boyfriend of Amy's, to repair his barn, the couple find themselves being subtly harassed and bullied by the workmen. The more the pacifist David ignores the problem, the more the harassment intensifies, leading to terrifying consequences as he ultimately finds himself forced to defend his home and his life, discovering a frighteningly vicious side to himself as events escalate towards a bloody climax.

Boasting outstanding performances from the two leads (particularly Hoffman), a brilliant support cast, and Jerry Fielding's superb Oscar-nominated score, Straw Dogs, in the 40 years since its original release, has lost none of its intense, visceral power to thrill and shock in equal measure. Undisputedly a director ahead of his time, Sam Peckinpah's uncompromising approach often saw him being reviled and vilified in some quarters while being hailed in others. Nonetheless, in Straw Dogs he displays a cinematic artistry very few filmmakers have touched upon before or since.

Straw Dogs (cert. 18) will be released on Blu-ray (£17.99) and two-disc DVD (£15.99) by FremantleMedia Enterprises on 24th October 2011.

Please install the latest version of Flash.
FremantleMedia International
Release date:
24th October, 2011
Running time:
113 minutes Uncut
£15.99 (DVD), £17.99
Region 2

Special Features include: audio commentary by Katy Haber (Dialogue Director and Peckinpah's associate, close friend and PA); audio commentary by Peckinpah biographers Garner Simmons, David Weddle and Paul Seydor; isolated Oscar nominated score by Jerry Fielding; 2.0 Stereo audio; optional English subtitles for the hearing impaired interviews with actress Susan George, producer Dan Melnick and Garner Simmons (author of “Peckinpah: A Portrait In Montage); stills galleries; original US theatrical trailer; TV and radio spots; 1971 on location documentary; Before and After restoration comparisons; Straw Dogs and the Censors; The Peckinpah-Pinter Letters; Sam and Dan correspondence; Why Call The Film Straw Dogs?; The Dan Melnick-BBFC Letters; the Times review and critic outrage; New York Times articles; 1972 BBFC defence against local authority banning; 1999 BBFC Home Video Statement; 2002 BBFC Home Video Statement; 2001 Uncut magazine feature; Consider This A Bad Review; the deleted Pub Scene; film facts and trivia.

Sam Peckipah
  • Dustin Hoffman
  • Susan George
  • David Warner


FremantleMedia International
Release date:
24th October, 2011
Sam Peckipah

Straw Dogs Live on the Web


blog comments powered by Disqus
Content provided by Fetch Publicity © 2013, all rights reserved.
Systems powered by Stallic © 2013, all rights reserved.