Cujo (1983) UK Quad Poster
Based on the book Stephen King (who was in the throes of cocaine addition) says he doesn't remember writing. Unfairly neglected, possibly because the slim storyline is atypical of King’s work, it racks up the tension beautifully as a perfect storm of events; family troubles, adultery, and sudden absence, conspire to place a mother and child in a sun-baked immobile car, stalked by a rabid St Bernard. It also benefits from Dee Wallace’s finest, and most believable central performance.
Peter Medak was the original director, but after an ambitious crane shot linking the cemetery where the vampire bat lived to the fictional town of Castle Rock took too long to shoot, producer Dan Blatt fired him and his cinematographer Tony Richmond (Don’t Look Now, The Man Who Fell to Earth and Bad Timing for Nicholas Roeg). They were replaced by Lewis Teague (whose direction of Alligator (1980) King admired) and DoP Jan de Bont, who’d just come off Paul Verhoeven’s The Fourth Man (1983).
Condition: VERY FINE
Cast: Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro, Daniel Hugh Kelley, Christopher Stone, Ed Lauter, Mills Watson, Sandy Ward