Yes, This Movie Exists: Vampire Dog Starring Norm MacDonald
Posted 09.18.12 by Ryan
Poor Norm MacDonald. Or, better yet: why, Norm MacDonald?
From the outset of the trailer for Vampire Dog, its clear that neither a good story or quality acting are going to be the selling point for this live-action, talking dog movie, but there could be enough casual interest from thirteen-year-old boys with nothing to do on a weekend night to at least make back the movie's budget in rentals. But when the vampire dog speaks for the first time, and MacDonald's hard-to-miss nasal whine can be heard coming out of the dog's mouth, it's hard not to cry out to the heavens: "No!" — even if one is only a casual MacDonald fan.
So what's the plot? It's the usual "boy inherits vampire dog from Transylvanian grandfather" story with an added layer of ridiculousness that includes a "mad scientist" named Dr. Warhol who wants the dog's blood for her anti-aging cream. Intrigued? Of course you are!
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To be fair to MacDonald, there might be an explanation for this. We'll note that Bill Murray lent his voice to a Garfield movie (twice!), and Murray's post-SNL career has certainly been more prolific than MacDonald. The Canadian comedian has been busy, however, recently appearing in the Adam Sandler movie Jack and Jill and was blink-and-miss in Sandler's groan-inducing, SNL reunion Grown-Ups (which inexplicably is getting a sequel), while also sticking to stand-up and trying to get a TV show off the ground.
So why Vampire Dog? On first glance, it would seem like a "pay the bills" choice, but there might have been another reason for MacDonald to agree to the movie: director Geoff Anderson. Not exactly a household name, but Anderson's background is mostly in visual effects, having worked on the Air Bud movies starting with 2002's Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch and the subsequent Buddies spin-off series, which started with 2006's Air Buddies and has continued over several installments, the most recent being January's Treasure Buddies (yes, these movies also exist). With that kind of history, MacDonald may not have been expecting greatness per se, but had to think that the movie was at least in the hands of someone who, well, knew how to make a family talking-dog movie.
Besides, this isn't the first time MacDonald has supplied the voice to a talking canine, having been the voice of Lucky in the Dr. Dolittle movies, sticking it out even for the fifth installment, 2009's direct-to-DVD Dr. Dolittle: Million Dollar Mutts. Rent has to be paid!
Next Showing: Vampire Dog
will be released on DVD Sept. 25