Released in 2002, DOG SOLDIERS mixes horror with action, a small squad of British soldiers are sent to the Scottish Highlands on what is termed as a routine night time mission, they are told to link up with a special operations unit, but on reaching the rendezvous point they find carnage and the remains of what was obviously the members of the unit. Amongst the bloody remains they find one survivor. The attackers return to inflict the same bloody and horrible death on the group of soldiers, but before they can do this the unit is rescued by a local zoologist Megan (Emma Cassidy) who tells them that they are being hunted by werewolves. The unit have no way of contacting anyone and are forced to seek refuge in a house which they have to defend until the dawn arrives. What ensues is a scary, gore filled and gruesome fight for survival as they battle to the death with the evil pack of werewolves. The movie is a real edge of the seat affair with so many twists and turns jumps and starts that I know you will reaching for the tranquilisers after the first 20 mins or so. Directed by Neil Marshall who also wrote the story and screenplay, the movie stars Sean Pertwee, Kevin Mc Kidd, Liam Cunnigham and Darren Morfitt.
The musical score is by Mark Thomas, and it too is an all action affair for the majority of its duration and with a storyline such as this it cannot be anything else too honest. If you missed the film and the score I am not that surprised I do not think that the film did that well initially, but has since gained a fair amount of recognition and even attaining something of a cult status amongst some. The score is certainly worth checking out, let us say if you like action music and also highly atmospheric cues then this is for you. It is a relentless and pulsating work that holds the listeners’ attention right through. The style employed by the composer for me is somewhat reminiscent of the late Roy Budd with gentle nods to Goldsmith and even a taste of the more traditional horror fare purveyed by the likes of James Bernard and Harry Robinson it being dramatic and symphonic but also containing some upbeat and synthetic attributes (Hammer meets Rambo if you like).
Brass stabs and percussive elements combine with the string section to create harrowing but at the same time memorable compositions that fit the action like the proverbial glove. Enhancing, supporting and heightening the action and sometimes graphic horrific events unfolding on screen. The score also contains a handful of albeit short but melodic moments, the composer employing strings, woodwind and also horns to evoke a mood of solitude, hopelessness and sheer desperation as the soldiers fight for survival against a powerful and what seems to be unbeatable foe who at every moment stops the defending soldiers in their tracks picking them off one by one. The soundtrack also includes CLAIR DE LUNE by Debussy which sort of rises out of nowhere as a calming interlude. This is a score that I would recommend you seek out, maybe it is deleted in its compact disc form or very expensive to buy, but it is still available on Spotify and I tunes.