Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 119: Man’s Best Fiend – Horror Pets

HMP Horror Pets Art
This is HORROR MOVIE PODCAST Episode 119, an interesting themed entry, wherein Jay of the Dead, Dr. Shock and Wolfman Josh discuss the concept of Horror Pets to find out what happens when animals attack! We start with a themed discussion before bringing you Feature Reviews of killer cat movie The Corpse Grinders (1971) and murder monkey movie Monkey Shines (1988). Wolfman also brings you a mini review of Australian feral dog film The Pack (2016). And for the main event, Jay of the Dead brings you a Feature Review of the ALPHA of all killer dog movies, Cujo (1983). Sit, stay, and heel or you may just end up playing dead!

Horror Movie Podcast is a bi-weekly show that’s released every other Friday. If you’d like to support our show, please subscribe to our podcast free in iTunes, and leave us a review! And remember, we love getting your voicemails, so call in with more recommendations and comments at this number: (801) 382-8789 Thanks for listening to Horror Movie Podcast where we’re Dead Serious About Horror Movies!


I. Introduction

[ 0:02:36 ] II. Theme Discussion: MAN’S BEST FIEND – HORROR PETS
The gang discusses the trope of killer pets in horror cinema.

[ 0:19:58 ] III. Feature Review: THE CORPSE GRINDERS (1971)
Dr. Shock = 5.5 ( Low-priority Rental )

[ 0:35:53 ] IV. Feature Review: MONKEY SHINES (1988)
Jay of the Dead = 6 ( Rental )
Wolfman Josh = 6 ( Rental )

[ 0:49:59 ] V. Mini Review: THE PACK (2017)
Wolfman Josh = 6 ( Rental / Stream )

[ 1:06:10 ] VI. Feature Review: CUJO (1983)
Jay of the Dead = 10 ( Must-See / Buy It! )
Wolfman Josh = 7 ( Must-See Rental )

Cujo Commentary by the hosts of Movie Podcast Weekly

VII. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending
— Armored Foe stickers
HMP Armored Foe 2
HMP Armored Foe 1

JOIN US A WEEK FROM NEXT: For another Horror Movie Podcast Frankensteinian show, Episode 120, when we’ll be discussing “Colossal,” “Uninvited” (1988) and more — with special guest Patrick the Prowler!

Wikipedia’s Natural Horrors Page

Blumhouse’s Apocalypse Meow: Nine Unforgettable Killer Cat Movies by William Bibbiani

Catch up with Armored Foe: Follow on Instagram: @ArmoredFoe and Armored Foe’s Etsy Shop

NOTE FOR NEWCOMERS: If you love this podcast, there are 36 episodes of two other great podcasts that precede this one. Just scroll back through our archives, or use the links in the sidebar on the right.

Leave a comment or e-mail us here: HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com


Check out Armored Foe’s work by following him on Instagram: @ArmoredFoe or pop over to Armored Foe’s Etsy Shop, where you can buy his stickers we’ve been talking about.

Special thanks goes out to singer-songwriter Frederick Ingram for the use of his music for the original Horror Movie Podcast theme and composer Kagan Breitenbach for the use of his classical arrangement of Fred’s song for our updated theme.

Jay of the Dead’s links:
Follow Jay of the Dead and Horror Movie Podcast Official Twitter
Horror Movie Podcast Official Facebook
Jay of the Dead covers new releases in theaters on Movie Podcast Weekly
And if you’d like to e-mail Jay of the Dead with a good Beastly Freaks recommendation: BeastlyFreaks@gmail.com

Wolfman Josh’s links:
Follow Josh on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @IcarusArts
Horror Movie Podcast Official Instagram @HorrorMovieCast
Josh covers the Monsters Universe, new and classic, on UniversalMonstersCast.com
Follow UMC on Twitter @MonstersCast
Josh covers streaming online movies on MovieStreamCast.com
Follow MSC on Twitter @MovieStreamCast
Like MSC on Facebook

Dr. Shock’s links:
Dave writes daily movie review on DVDinfatuation.com
Follow Dave on Twitter @DVDinfatuation
Like Dave’s DVD Infatuation, now on Facebook
Dave cover the Monsters Universe, new and classic, on UniversalMonstersCast.com
Dr. Shock also appears on another horror podcast: Land of the Creeps

Dr. Walking Dead’s links:
Order Kyle’s new book! How Zombies Conquered Popular Culture: The Multifarious Walking Dead in the 21st Century
Order Kyle’s previous books American Zombie Gothic and Triumph of The Walking Dead
Follow Kyle on Twitter @DrWalkingDead

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Thanks for listening, and join us again Friday after next for HORROR MOVIE PODCAST!

48 thoughts on “Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 119: Man’s Best Fiend – Horror Pets

  1. @Wolfman Josh—
    Yep, I remembered why you and I thought “Monkey Shines” was a Stephen King property… My dad was a big fan and had all of King’s books, so I saw “Skeleton Crew” lying around my house:

    Killer Monkeys

    —Jay of the Dead

    • I was about to post the same thing. Ha. Like you two, I always thought Monkey Shines was a King. I had to dig out my Skeleton Crew book in my basement just to check.

    • And I would add that in terms of the chicken or the egg… “Skeleton Crew” was published in June 1985 (32 years ago this month), and “Monkey Shines” was released in July 1988, only three years afterward. So, this is mere speculation, but judging by how derivative this artwork seems to be, it’s possible that some strategic marketers and artist(s) were trying to conjure some Horror imagery that had already been established as such.
      -Jay of the Dead

      • Since Monkey Shines is based on a book that was released in 1983, two years before Skeleton Crew, I had to search out how the cover originally looked and any other cover I could find prior to the release of Skeleton Crew. Below is the original cover:


        I also went and looked at the various covers for Skeleton Crew to ensure monkey on the cover was the original and not something that was added after 1988 for reprints and it seems as if the original 1985 cover did have the monkey.

        To wrap up this whole mystery, it seems like a very safe assumption that the marketing behind the Monkey Shines film decided to ignore all of the book covers and instead just steal a well known Stephen King book cover.

  2. Hey guys, currently about halfway through the latest episode. On the topic of cats stealing babies’ breath – there is actually a pretty interesting segment of the Cat’s Eye anthology which addresses that very topic. It infuses the idea with a bit of a fantasy element (an evil troll is heavily featured). Thanks in part to some very impressive practical effects and a great cat actor, this segment has always had a special place in my heart. If anyone hasn’t seen it I think it’s worth checking out. It definitely provided a heavy dose of nightmare fuel for my 8 year old self back in the day.

    Thanks for always doing such a great job recording and producing the podcast! It’s always a highlight of my week.

    • Ha! I just heard that and was about to come on and post about this as well. I believe the cat is essentially being framed, but it’s been a minute since I’ve seen it. ‘Cat’s Eye’ is a lot of fun.

    • Thanks, Jason and Jonathan (and everyone else who wrote in about Cat’s Eye). Had Dave been on that part of the show he’s have remembered. This is why I love our listenership.

  3. I don’t know if this is the answer to my own question, but as I was just re-listening to this episode, I thought of Patricia Highsmith’s novel, and later Alfred Hitchcock’s 1951 movie, Strangers on a Train, as maybe the earliest example of a story where a killer is carrying out the unthinkable acts of our subconscious in a way similar to Ella in Monkey Shines and Milo in Bad Milo. Also, wasn’t the more recent film Stoker kind of along those lines? I feel like we’ve seen this a lot in films where a delusional, crazy crush is killing for their love interest, but I’m having trouble putting my finger on it. It’s definitely a common device in thrillers and horror films. Can you guys think of any others–especially any earlier examples? This might be a fun topic to flesh out on a themed episode in the future.

    • Strangers on a Train is a great example. From what you described, an early one I was thinking of was Double Indemnity? The plot of a fed up, attractive, gold digger planting the seeds of murder to a gullible, young lover seemed like a winning formula back then. On a more subconscious level I think of the Manchurian Candidate, Where a person is being used as a vessel for evil, much like Jason Voorhees many years later.

  4. When it comes to betrayal and movies with an animal attacking, the one that always springs to my mind first, even more so than Cujo, was from The Beyond.


    Even though the scene doesn’t really affect the plot much and thus it’s not actually a killer pets movie, the scene with the blind man being attacked by his own seeing eye dog still freaks me out years after first seeing it. Not only is it man’s best friend, but it’s literally a dog that is designed to help out this handicapped man. It remains one of the creepier moments I can remember seeing in a horror movie.

      • I have no idea why, but I always think it’s The Beyond and I’m not sure why. It’s not even an Argento film. Maybe it’s because there is a blind person in the Beyond? Idk

        But yeah, I’m referring to Suspiria.

    • Great scene, Sal and good catch, Andrew. “AnDread the Blind” knows his blind guy movies. Don’t mess around, Sal. Great pull. Sadly overlooked.

      The one I wish we’d mentioned that I thought of later (during my Mummy review on UMC) is the crazy cat attack in Let the Right One In. It’s my least favorite scene in the film bc I think it looks so fake, but it’s still insane and a very creepy concept.

  5. Great episode as usual. I honestly was a little afraid to listen, because I thought maybe you guys had gone off the rails (more than usual), and the episode would have been about horror-themed pets, like people who named their dogs Cujo or their cats Elvira, or dressed them in mini-Dracula capes or something. I don’t know, maybe I’VE gone off the rails.

    I know that many in this subgenre are bad, but I love “nature-gone-amok” or “nature’s revenge” movies, whether it’s domestic animals, wild animals, or mutated animals. (Thus, “horror pets” seems like a sub-subgenre.)

    Cujo is not necessarily one of my favorites, but it’s definitely one of the more decent horror Stephen King adaptations. And I think all the character and betrayal stuff (good job picking all those out, Jay) raises it above the simple “good dog gone bad” premise.

    Definitely need to see The Pack and Monkey Shines. Corpse Grinders, maybe if I”m doing an MST3K-style session with friends.

    “Strays” is a pretty bad movie, but I remember loving it as a kid. They showed it on USA all the time. And I actually kinda love the premise, as silly as it is.

    It doesn’t really fit the “pets” category strictly, but I love Day of the Animals, in which ozone layer depletion (?!) causes animals to turn murderous towards humans. I remember mostly wild animals but there may be some pet action in there as well. It’s a fun little B movie with Leslie Nielsen playing a real creep and (SPOILERS) getting his comeuppance by a grizzly bear!

    • There is also the Zoo (not a movie) but another good example of animals turning on people…watched the first few episodes and it wasn’t bad

  6. Great episode guys! We watched Old Yeller in school too, which is weird. But, it’s not out of character for Disney to kill off characters in their films (Bambi, as an early example).

    One of my favorite horror pet stories is the short segment from the ABC’s of Death, “D is for Dogfight.” Often it is abuse from humans that turn dogs or other animals violent.

  7. Hey! Loved the talk about animal attacks. When I was 17 our german shepherd went nuts and attacked me, bit into my arm, and I had to defend myself with a 2×4 until my stepdad could run out with his .38 and put it down, so those movies really resonate with me.
    Anyway, great show! carry on.

  8. Hey Gents,

    Haven’t got a chance to listen to the new episode yet. Saving it for work tomorrow. Just wanted to throw out two recommendations that I don’t think have been brought up yet. Sorry if I missed them and am re-posting.

    The Hallow -Score 7.5- A family who moved into a remote mill house in Ireland finds themselves in a fight for survival with demonic creatures living in the woods. (Smart little creature feature with based on Irish folklore)

    SAVAGELAND -Score 7- When a small town near the Arizona-Mexico border is wiped out overnight, suspicion falls on the lone survivor. But a roll of photos the survivor took that night tells a different story.
    (Shot like a documentary with interviews and news footage…my wife is so gullible she actually tried to google the actual events :)

  9. Still haven’t listened to the episode, but will get to it today.
    Had 2 solid recommendations. Both are streaming.

    When a small town near the Arizona-Mexico border is wiped out overnight, suspicion falls on the lone survivor. But a roll of photos the survivor took that night tells a different story.
    (Shot documentary style with news reports and interviews)

    A family who moved into a remote mill house in Ireland finds themselves in a fight for survival with demonic creatures living in the woods
    (Great creature feature)

  10. Sorry for the double post. I got up to read new comments this morning and my original post wasn’t visible.

  11. Still listening, but wanted to post a thought. I think one more betrayal would have been the boys health. May be a stretch, but I think being in a situation like that and your own body giving up on you would probably be the absolute worst.

    • ALSO, seeing as it is Father’s Day and all, I’d be remiss not to say that being an abusive husband / father, the reason for the mom “running out,” is a major betrayal.

  12. Hey guys loving what your doing here I’m new here but I love every episode I’ve heard I was wondering if you guy have tee shirts or something I would really love to represent the you guys and the podcast

    • Cool. Thanks so much for listening, Grimm.

      What size t-shirt do you wear? We are almost completely sold out of our last run of shirt, but we have 1 or 2 stragglers left.

      Or, if you promise to keep listening, we’re going to have a few new shirts very soon, I’m hoping by the end of the Summer for our meet-up.

  13. I have nothing to add to this discussion. It was an excellent episode, but me and a few other listeners on Twitter were discussing thoughts on a little creature episode… Basically, exploring the themes of little creatures attacking.

    Gremlins, critters, ghoulies, don’t be afraid of the dark, Munchies, puppet Master, etc etc. And maybe get those out there as a theme idea.

  14. Pingback: Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 244: The Mummy (2017) and It Comes at Night (2017) and The Bottom 5 Worst Movie Titles Ever (Part 2 of 3) |

  15. Watched It Comes At Night this past weekend. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who goes and sees it, but I was very underwhelmed. I’ll wait until it’s reviewed on the show, but I plan on leaving a lengthy explanation on why I disliked it. Maybe it just wasn’t my cup of tea, or maybe I’m just not smart enough to get it, but it is a major avoid for me.

  16. Thanks for the pingback…listened to the episode and posted a review. Definitely a counter review to everything I’ve seen. I don’t suggest reading unless you want spoilers.

    You guys are ruining my life…I now have HMP, Universal Monster Cast, Movie Podcast Weekly, The SCI-FI podcast, and Land of the Creeps…how am I supposed to find time to actually work at work :)

  17. Just got back from watching 47 Meters Down and I was impressed! The acting wasn’t that great but, I loved the cinematography. Some of the scenes were really intense with genuine scares. The movie is about two sisters who go cage diving in a cage in mexico… with sharks. they see their first shark and one of the sisters (Lisa) gets uncomfortable and wants to come back up. They go up and the crane breaks. they fall to the bottom and are stuck in a cage, 47 meters down and, yes, with sharks.


    I loved the ending when Lisa was in the cage and laughing because of nitrogen intoxication. I was really disappointed when the coast guards came to save her. I thought that it really damped the scare of that could-have-been-great scene.


    It was an overall very enjoyable movie and I would give it a 7/10

    • I absolutely adored 47 Meters Down, liked it more than The Shallows last year which was in my 2016 top ten. I liked the realistic actions of both the sharks and humans. Plus the tone had a good claustrophobic feeling and it became gripping at the end. The flare scene from the trailer was quite laughable but I liked it. Would’ve loved more shark gore but what was shown had realism. Go see it in theaters, it’s a good shark flick! 7.5/10

  18. Pingback: Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 124: The Horror Movies of Stephen King – Part 1 (1976 – 1996) |

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