Today: April 12, 2024

Dog Pound DVD/Blu-ray

A youth correctional facility drama that, while
familiar, still manages to harrow with its portrayal of violence and loss of
control.

With its grainy
look and drained colour pallet Dog Pound makes no qualms about being a gritty
prison film. Within the opening few scenes this is a film that looks at young
men, teens, even boys in some eyes, who find themselves outside of the normal
law. A film about kids, but certainly
not for them, Dog Pound strives to show boys, pimples and all, as testosterone
fueled balls of rage who, if allowed to slip into violence, need taming.

The film sees
Butch (Butcher), Davis (Kippel) and Angel (Morales) arrive at a youth correctional center. While they all
might feel the big men in the outside world they are soon put into their place
inside. However, as Butch and Davis are subjected to acts of violence the three
form a bond and Butch takes the fight to those who would try to bully them.

Unlike many
Hollywood prison dramas Dog Pound does not, in any way, try to glamorize the
world or the troubles the inmates face. It
is often brutal but in a way that makes you grimace rather than revel.
As
Butch is pushed beyond his breaking point he sets about taking the power from
those who would use it against him. His use of a table tennis bat and a tin cup
are testament to the ingenuity these boys have in inflicting violence upon each
other.

Writer, director Kim Chapiron lets events unfold
gradually never forcing the issue. The
story, like his camera, gently glides around the center taking in the different
characters within
. The overall message seems to hint that in an environment
of this nature these boys are never going to be rehabilitated. Yes there is the
authoritarian father figure, in the form of guard Goodyear, but once he has let
them down the film rapidly loses direction and focus.

From then on the
film descends, rapidly, into anarchy. The characters are never given a chance
to find any form of resolution. Even
Butch, played to repressed rage brilliance by Butcher, finds himself no
different from when he entered the facility
. Without any form of concrete
conclusion for the protagonist we are left with a deflated, albeit bleak,
ending.

When the masters fail these dogs they form a pack and
bite back. Dog Pound packs a nasty bite early on but is let off its leash and,
come the end, runs off into the distance leaving us heading to the shelter to
find a new pup to play with.

Marcia Degia - Publisher

Marcia Degia, who has worked in the media industry for more than 20 years, is the Publishing Editor of KOL Social Magazine. See website: thekolsocial.com

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