First off, I’m a big fan of these types of films. I believe , I’ll say firmly believe even, that B-Movies are the purest form of fan-boy/girl film making. They take the craziest ideas, smallest budgets and entertain us. That being said Night Of The Wild still isn’t very good, but not for lack of effort.
The plot is straight forward: a meteor falls from the sky, breaking up over any town fly-over state USA. The shattered remnants of the space rock glow green and omit are high frequency turning man’s best friend into a savage primal killer. Standard stuff, ya know.
Personally, I feel this is pretty plausible. I base this off the undisputed truth that all dogs are inherently evil and any time I’ve seen a meteor fall to earth in a film it’s out to get us. They killed the dinosaurs people, case closed.
Back to the film…
With the basics of the plot set up in the first minute, were introduced to the heroines and a hero, portrayed by fresh face Tristin Mays, Gossip Girl alum Kelly Rutherford, and Northern Exposure and Elements lead Rob Morrow. Mays commands most of the screen time as Morrow’s rebel-yell dog expert’s daughter, who, isn’t n the best of terms with stepmom Rutherford. Most of their tension lies in the issue of Old Yellering Mays’ bestie the family dog. Do I smell for shadowing???
Wild’s action kicks off when May’s and her friends go camping without tent or supplies and attacked by K-9 seeking din-din. Being the only teenage girls in America without an iPhone glued to their palm, they are unable to phone for help and Mays friends are mauled down. Only after May escape does she remember she is 17 and has a celly, LOL. While this is happening, we discover the dog attacks are throughout the small town.
Morrow is noticing is apple picking (his character is an apple picker) bosses dog isn’t quite his self. Back at home, the family’s other do strangely locked in a small cage out in a filed barks wildly at a hunk of glowing space rock. At a dog salon, the normally docile pets are biting. For reals, everyone in this town owns a pooch. Everyone takes them everywhere. The cops, the fire department, every kid, women, and man have a dog. Telling ya’ this meteor knew where to aim.
I won’t give any other plot points away, you’ll have to figure it out on your own.
I’ve always like Rob Morrow, good actor, good lead, but I’m just not sure what’s he’s doing in this. Look a paycheck a a paycheck, it’s not that. It’s just Morrow despite his charms isn’t a ham it up guy, he can’t do camp very well in my opinion. I’ll step back…Maybe it’s not his performance I have issues with it’s the direction. This is a SyFy, Asylum production…the people that gave us the gift Sharknado which I’ll be forever grateful for. Nights problem is doesn’t appear to want to embrace this heritage. The film is at war with itself, one moment it feels horror, the next camp. The last quarter is especially this way. It’s a bit of a mess. We’re introduced to some town folk, while the main cast just kinda stands around to watch them get eaten. I think they were trying to pile on the gore, which I appreciate. Kudos also for going practical for the blood guys! Still, the pacing is really wonky. Bad edits, no continuity, really rough.
Night Of The Wild is best when it’s over the top and being fun. I dug the set up, the premise, some good gore that makes you laugh—that’s what the entire ride should’ve been. Sadly, it gets sloppy and felt light the filmmakers didn’t know what direction they wanted to go in.
Of course I say all this having watched in straight through, no bathroom breaks (at my age), and LOL’ed several times—so what do I know.
Night of the Wild, like all dogs, even when it’s farting and chewing up your sofa, is kinda charming, even if it’s a complete and total mess.
Premiering Saturday night on th SyFy channel.