This adaptation on a modest budget from Stephen King's bestseller about a rabid St Bernard is a pleasing illustration of the filmic simplicity at the heart of King's better writing. Any old pulp writer can trap heroine and child in a broken-down car menaced by a vicious dog, but it takes a King to spot the enormous advantage of keeping them there for two-thirds of the book. Fortunately Teague follows his lead, making considerable visual and narrative mileage out of the struggle between dog and car, as his actors scream and cry their way through the movie with commendably little shame. But for all its ingenuity, Cujo does lose an awful lot of ground from the fact that rabid St Bernards tend to evoke pity rather than terror. Perhaps that explains why the film's US earnings would buy few dog biscuits.
Cast and crew
Don Carlos Dunaway, Lauren Currier