Mar 222012

Cujo Stephen King 1983Director: Lewis Teague


Running Time:1hr 33min 

Release Date: 8/12/83


CastDonna Trenton (Dee Wallace), Tad Trenton (Danny Pintauro), Vic Trenton (Daniel Hugh-Kelly), Steve Kemp (Christopher Stone)

SynopsisBased on an early Stephen King novel of the same name. Cujo is about a rabid dog named Cujo. As his disease gets worse he attacks several people and eventually terrorizes Donna Trenton (Dee Wallace) and her son, Tad (Danny Pintauro), while they are trapped in a stalled car miles away from help.

Analysis: I can remember seeing previews of this movie when I was younger and they are probably the origin of my dislike and fear of big dogs. Over the years, I am pretty sure that I have seen almost every film based directly on Stephen King novels, but I couldn’t remember seeing Cujo. Once I started watching it, I realized that I had.

The problem is that film doesn’t create a lasting impression, no memorable lines, no great acting, and is jus 2 hours of a dog slobbering and people screaming in a car. According to some sources, they had to strap down Cujo’s tail to his leg because he though he was playing during attack scenes and his tail would wag. I wish that I could have found something about this movie that would have provoked strong emotions like that for me.


  • Cujo’s slow decent into rabidness and psychotic insanity.
  • Tad (Danny Pintauro), looked so scared at time that it the audience want tho project him.
  • There is a really good camera shots of sunrise and moving shadows


  • Takes place during summer, but there are bare trees everywhere and sometimes the actors look cold because filming occurred late in the year.
  • There is a Spinning camera shot in the car that is really annoying.
  • Some of the dialogue from the book does not sound good when spoken.
  • The ending was abrupt.

Conclusion: During a few short years during the mid 1980s, Hollywood attempted to cash in on Stephen King’s rising popularity. Some of them were pretty good movies like The Dead Zone and Stand By Me. Others were rushed out the door and into theaters as quickly as possible, and Cujo is one of these. Stephen King has admitted several times that he was so into his alcohol addiction at the time that he does not remember writing the book. I wonder if anyone involved with this film feels the same way? Don’t bother with this one, if you need to fill you Stephen King fix, see The Shining or Carrie.


Frank’s Ratings






Special Effects


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