Sam Peckinpah's Controversial Straw Dogs On Blu-ray
The original Sam Peckinpah-directed and controversial Straw Dogs (20th Century Fox) is now out on Blu-ray. The remake starring James Marsden, Alexander Skarsgard and Kate Bosworth, wasn't half bad, but it couldn't have the same impact the original 1971 movie had. Dustin Hoffman stars as a geeky mathematician who moves in with his hot wife (Susan George) to a remote rural country village in England. Before long the thuggish locals are sniffing around, attack and rape the wife, and eventually Hoffman holds siege in a violent confrontation at the end where he goes homicidal to protect his home. There's a primal urgency about the original that caused a polarizing effect on audiences. I remember wild arguments outside movie theaters after it opened. But Peckinpah (The Wild Bunch) had an alchemy with film violence that lit a match to peoples emotions at the time.