Cujo (1983)
October 25, 2022 12:34 PM - Subscribe

In this tale of a killer canine, man's best friend turns into his worst enemy. When sweet St. Bernard Cujo is bitten by a bat, he starts behaving oddly and becomes very aggressive. As Cujo morphs into a dangerous beast, he goes on a rampage in a small town. Stay-at-home mom Donna (Dee Wallace) gets caught in Cujo's crosshairs on a fateful errand with her son, Tad (Danny Pintauro). Stuck in their tiny car, Donna and Tad have a frightening showdown with the crazed animal.

Directed by Lewis Teague. Screenplay by Don Carlos Dunaway and Lauren Currier, based on the novel by Stephen King. Cinematography by Jan de Bont. Score by Charles Bernstein.

60% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on AMC + and available for digital rental on multiple outlets. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (5 comments total)
That 60% feels about right, but I'd qualify that by saying that while the script never really makes it beyond "predicament" movie, Dee Wallace gives a wild and mesmerizing performance and Jan de Bont does a fantastic job of making endless shots of the same two humans in the same car look interesting. Good score, too.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:36 PM on October 25, 2022

Cujo was a great book and a disappointing movie. Could the movie have conveyed the feeling of this paragraph?

“Shortly following those mortal events in the Camber dooryard, Cujo's remains were cremated. The ashes went out with the trash and were disposed of at the Augusta waste treatment plant. It would perhaps not be amiss to point out out that he had always tried to be a good dog. He had tried to do the things his MAN and his WOMAN, and most of all his BOY, had asked or expected of him. He would have died for them, if that had been required. He had never wanted to kill anybody. He had been struck by something, possibly destiny, or fate, or only a degenerative nerve disease called rabies. Free will was not a factor.”

That was the whole point of the story: everyone undone by a simple twist of fate. Fate is the monster in the story that follows you after you close the book or leave the theater.
posted by SPrintF at 1:36 PM on October 25, 2022 [7 favorites]

Yup. “Cujo” might be the best novel King ever wrote; it was certainly the saddest. Poor doggo. :(
posted by Mr. Excellent at 3:42 PM on October 25, 2022 [1 favorite]

My mom worked as a rural carrier in Maine and she carried several jugs of water in her car from the day she saw this movie until the day she retired.
posted by ftm at 8:54 AM on October 26, 2022 [2 favorites]

Agreed that the book outshines the movie. It's probably reductionist to say that this book, like a lot of the stuff that King wrote in the eighties until he got clean and sober, was heavily influenced by his substance abuse, but King himself has said that he literally doesn't remember writing it, at all.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:09 AM on October 28, 2022

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