For many, the enduring image they have of Christopher Walken is of his performance as Nick in Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter. Whilst the distinctive actor has been working consistently since 1969, you’ve probably never heard of half the films he’s been in. Often, to be honest, with good cause. Back in 1980, he starred in The Dogs of War. A film which ends with a bang.
Jamie Shannon (Walken) is a mercenary for hire who struggles to cope with the everyday life back home, as do the men who served with him. When he’s approached with an offer from a British businessman (Hugh Millais) to carry out reconnaissance in an African dictatorship, it’s too good to turn down. Zangaro is ruled over by the brutal and bloodthirsty General Kimba. Shannon arrives in the capital on the pretence of being interested in ornithology. Only to find a city under the yoke of authoritarianism.
The Dogs of War delves deep into the Cold War and America’s international politics of the time. Set in the post-Vietnam world of PTSD and trauma, John Irvin’s film is a mix of social commentary and political corruption. Whilst the plot slightly meanders as Jamie returns to America, the end is pure ‘80s action entertainment. Tom Berenger also stars in a film which pulls no punches.
- Two versions of the film, the International Cut (118 mins) and the American Cut (104 mins) both presented in 1080p
- Uncompressed LPCM audio
- Optional English SDH subtitles
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- Limited Edition Collector’s booklet featuring a reprint of Pauline Kael’s original review of the film
The Dogs of War is released on Blu-ray by Eureka Classics on 14 October.