Your tax dollars at work.

An explosion at a classified research laboratory allows the escape of two research subjects. One a monster known as OXCOM #7 (Outside Experimental Combat Mammal). The other a golden retriever. The monster is a weapon. The dog and the monster are telepathically linked. The dog is a homing devise that allows the monster to track it. The object of the project is for the dog to wander into a village unobserved. The OXCOM would then home in on the dog telepathically and kill both the dog and whoever is with it. Now they are both loose. Lem Johnson (Michael Ironside) is sent to track both the dog and OXCOM 7 before anyone finds out that they exist and that they are loose.

Travis Cornell (Corey Haim) meets his girlfriend Tracey (Lala Sloatman) in a barn. They hear a noise. Travis leaves so as not to get caught by Tracey’s father. When Tracey sees the monster she screams. Her father comes running and is killed by the monster. As the police are investigating, the dog, who had been hiding in the barn, is now hiding in Travis’s truck. Travis finds the dog and quickly becomes attached to it. Then is realizes how smart the dog is. He calls him “Fur Face”. He talks his mother (Barbara Williams) into letting him keep the dog.

The next day agent Johnson stops by Travis' house wanting to ask some questions. The dog sees him and hides. He then tracks Travis down at school in computer class. He types 'D ANG ER N S O' on a computer.

In the meantime the OXCOM is roaming the countryside looking for the dog. It is killing everyone that crosses its path. A man who lives in the woods and 3 of Travis' friends are murdered. It traces the dog to the school and kills a teacher and a janitor. The janitor manages to call the police. When the sheriff and his partner get there the monster kills the deputy. When the sheriff confronts Agent Johnson he tells the sheriff the truth regarding the OXCOM and the project. He then brutally murders the sheriff making it look like the OXCOM did it.

Travis and the dog find out that agent Johnson had been to the house. They sneak out and are stopped outside by Travis’s mother. Inside the house the monster kills a family friend who is fixing the washing machine. Travis, his mother and fur face the dog, manage to escape OXCOM. Now they are on the run from OXCOM and the NSO.

“Watchers” was released in 1988 and was directed by Jon Hess. It is loosely based on a book by Dean Koontz. The Characters are different but the main plot idea is the same. The experiment, the monster and the dog. I love Dean Koontz. His stories are actually downright scary. I realize a lot of his fans had problems with the movie because it doesn’t follow a lot of stuff in the book. I didn’t mind. I found the movie to be compelling enough on its own. After all, it is still his idea that makes the story compelling. As for the book, Koontz is a master storyteller and his books are full of great characters and plots. There is no way a movie could cover everything so I gave it a break. Also, with Roger Corman involved things will change. If you’ve ever seen what he’s done to Edgar Allan Poe you’ll understand. Apparently Roger liked it cause he did three sequels (so far). Try one of the other 3 Watchers movies. Koontz was involved with the screenplay with those.

Michael Ironside is wonderful as the NSO agent mercilessly hunting his quarry. When he smiles, it doesn’t reach his eyes. The golden retriever’s name was Sandy.