“What’d he say?” “We’re gonna be killed if we stay.”
A top-secret experiment called Aesop used animal DNA in various experiments. The net result of these experiments was the creation of two life forms; AE73, a golden retriever dog named Einstein with an IQ of 175; and AE74, named The Outsider, a deformed monster that exists only to kill. The purpose of the duo is as a weapon. Einstein would infiltrate the enemy lines and the Outsider would home in on the dog and destroy the enemy.
When the Outsider escapes into the jungles of Central America, the government sends in Ferguson (Wings Hauser) and some ex-military convicts to catch the beast. They are told that if they complete this assignment they will have a full pardon and be free. They are told a Central American outpost was destroyed and they are given some lie about their mission. But in reality they are part of an experiment. The NSA is testing their new weapon and the convicts are the bait. They are test dummies and they are not expected to live. To make sure the test works the NSA is observing from a satellite up-link.
Ferguson is familiar with the project. He was assigned to it at one point. He had been told that the project had ended and The Outsider and the dog had been destroyed. This is when he had been sent to jail on a trumped-up charge.
“Watchers III” was released in 1994 and was directed by Jeremy Stanford and produced by Roger Corman. The monster is a little grosser looking. There is also more gore. Also, it’s not a sequel, just a new version of smart dog, nasty monster movie. The dog’s name in this movie is Alex. Three people played The Outsider. One other interesting thing, in the scene in the chopper, all you see is the blue screen outside the windows. It looks like someone forgot to put in the background footage.
This is not an easy book to try to make a movie of. The way Dean Koontz expresses the relationship between the dog and the hero is very believable. To transfer that to the screen, not so much. To see and hear Wings Hauser say “What is it Einstein?” to a dog, sounds a little silly. I’m sure Wings did the best he could with the part, but the dog’s only response can be one bark for no and two barks for yes. Makes for a rather one sided conversation.
So, if you’re expecting this movie to be anything like the book, forget it. The bare bones plot theme is the same, (smart dog, bad monster) other than that it’s your basic Roger Corman movie. It’s been compared to the first “Predator”. In some ways I suppose that is a valid observation. But it’s not as good as “Predator”. It’s a straight to video movie.
It’s fine for a regular, guy in a rubber suit, monster movie. Lots of action, characters that you don’t remember because they are only there as monster snacks. Bad, bad, NSA people that unfortunately do not get their come-upance. Toss in a cute dog and wordless waif and you have something that can be entertaining as long as you remember, it’s Roger Corman. Just like with “Carnosaur”, a sequel is just another way of saying the same story over and over again. Make that your mantra and you’ll be fine.