Saturday, June 21, 2008

Cujo...The Reason Why Big Dogs Scare Me.

Remember that movie? Remember that dog? Look at him. Seriously, how scary is he?

Let's face it: big dogs are scary. well, at least to me they are. Nothing frightens me more (sharks aside) than a huge, giant, slobbery dog with huge teeth bounding towards me with bloodthirsty eyes and a loud, bellowing bark/growl/snarl.
Dogs are fast, some are very smart, and they eat meat. enough said for me.
give me a little foo-foo dog anyday over a huge monster (see above picture).
So Cujo, he's scary to begin with.
Then he gets rabies after biting a bat.
Then he traps his family in a car while awaiting to kill them all.

Stephen King knows how to scare me. Cujo was originally a novel, that was turned into a movie.
Now, I only saw the movie, but after reading the plot for the book, I'd say the book sounds even scarier!
Anyways, the movie (from 1983, by the way) really is based around this standoff between the woman, her son, and the dog. The mother and son are trapped in a brokedown car at their home, while the dog, covered in blood and dirt and horror paces and tries attacking them over and over again. It becomes almost agonizing to watch these poor people try to escape at the hand of this rabid giant dog.
But what really is at play here is not just the giant dog, it's also the dog's disease: rabies. We've seen in movies how sickness drives people into rages and they become crazed (Outbreak, 28 Days Later, etc). Rabies is pretty friggin scary. I remember reading the book about Louie Pasteur trying to find the cure because this little boy got by, you guessed it, a rabid dog.

The symptoms for rabies are also scary:
After a typical human infection by bite, the virus enters the peripheral nervous system. It then travels along the nerves towards the central nervous system. During this phase, the virus cannot be easily detected within the host, and vaccination may still confer cell-mediated immunity to prevent symptomatic rabies. Once the virus reaches the brain, it rapidly causes encephalitis. This is called the "prodromal" phase. At this time, treatment is useless. Then symptoms appear. Rabies may also inflame the spinal cord producing myelitis.
The period between infection and the first
flu-like symptoms is normally two to twelve weeks, but can be as long as two years. Soon after, the symptoms expand to slight or partial paralysis, cerebral dysfunction, anxiety, insomnia, confusion, agitation, abnormal behavior, paranoia, terror, hallucinations, progressing to delirium.[citation needed] The production of large quantities of saliva and tears coupled with an inability to speak or swallow are typical during the later stages of the disease; this can result in "hydrophobia", where the victim has difficulty swallowing because the throat and jaw become slowly paralyzed, shows panic when presented with liquids to drink, and cannot quench his or her thirst. The disease itself was also once commonly known as hydrophobia, from this characteristic symptom. The patient "foams at the mouth" because they cannot swallow their own saliva for days and it gathers in the mouth until it overflows.
Death almost invariably results two to ten days after the first symptoms; the few humans who are known to have survived the disease were all left with severe
brain damage, with the recent exception of Jeanna Giese (see below). It is neurotropic in nature.

Special thanks to Wikipedia on that one.

Anyway, back to Cujo...

Cujo strikes such a nerve of fear that people even made more movies about big scary mastiffs such as Man's Best Friend, which starred Ally Sheedy (prior to her fame in The Breakfast Club).
So, if you're thinking of getting that giant St. Bernard over that adorable little Yorkie...think about it...what if they get...RABIES?:


incitefulmama said...

My daughter is reading Cujo right now, which means a movie viewing is in the near future. I'm really not looking forward to it.Nope.

Monster Bash Blog said...

oooo tell me how the book is! it seems like the book is scarier than the movie...the movie definitely freaked me out about dogs and rabies!! let me know how you like it!

incitefulmama said...

I read it ages ago and can't remember a thing about it. I hate getting old! LOL Last night as she was going to bed,though she told me,"Cujo scares me.I think I might read something else for awhile."Hehe

Silla_Sophia_Sangria said...

i never read the book, but i did see the movie... i was disappointed in it. i know, i know. i'm a cujo hater. but there is the scene where he breaks through a window in the house and off to the side you see the trainer's hand pull him down. that part was pretty funny... along with all the graphics. given that the movie was made in the early 80's!