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Man's Best Friend (1993)

A dog turns from man's best friend into man's worst nightmare as he attacks everything that moves.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lori Tanner
Detective Kovacs
Detective Bendetti
Trula M. Marcus ...
Robin Frates ...
Judy Sanders
Robert Arentz ...
EMAX Security Guard
Dog Catcher #1
Dog Catcher #2


A genetically mutated dog is stolen from the lab of mad scientist Dr. Jarret by news reporter/animal rights advocate Lori Tanner, who conceals it from the police in her home. The dog, Max, endowed with intelligence and other special abilities, is at first lovable, but also proves to be a ferocious, unstoppable killer. Written by Jeff Hole <jeffhole@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He'll bite the hand that feeds him...And then he'll eat the rest. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for terror and violence involving a household pet | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

19 November 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Tod kommt auf vier Pfoten  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)


$12,974,636 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The dog used to portray the DNA-altered dog is a Tibetan mastiff. See more »


Doctor Jarret: You see, Max is a clone; he's not you typical dog. He's a genetic cross breed.
Detective Kovacs: A mutt.
Doctor Jarret: No, I do not mean a mutt, sir. Look around you. Each animal has a specific desirable trait, which is dedicated to their survival. If You took the D.N.A. from each, and genetically spliced it into a breed of a dog, you would have a magnificent creature.
See more »


Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008) See more »


Puppy Love
Written by Paul Anka
Performed by Martin Blasick (as Marty Blasick)
See more »

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User Reviews

As Arte Johnson would say "Very interesting"
30 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

John Lafia puts his own stamp of original design on this piece about a genetically engineered dog.

It's part suspense, part horror, part comedy, part sci fi, part police investigation, part investigative reporting, part family life.

Lafia is careful not to emulate Verhoeven, which is why I think he shied away from the completely "in your face" style, but one gets the impression Lafia does this out of a desire to create his own style.

That isn't easy, but he does a nice job of it.

What makes this film work is that Lafia always makes sure he keeps the black comedy going.

However, I'd like to have seen more scenic shots than city streets. Most of us see cars and buildings all the time, and are bored by seeing them in the cinema. Most of the action takes place either in businesses, city streets, motor vehicles, or houses, probably the four dullest settings you can have for film.

Which is why the black comedy works so well.

We start off with two sides, the two main human characters. One is heavy in animal rights. The other is heavy into experimentation.

Unfortunately, the "experimenter" has more than a few screws loose, so this is one sided. Lafia is very clever in disguising this for a long time. I don't think he needed to. It probably would have worked just as well if the "heavy" was not insane.

The dog is sort of a Frankenstein's monster, and yet very much like any dog you would meet. One of the funniest things about this film is how many adults don't know how to react around the canine genus.

And that is probably the underlying theme here. Lafia is poking fun at the modern man who has lost touch with Nature. We can forgive the kids in the film for not knowing how to handle dogs, and yet even they seem to have more common sense than most of the adults.

Very interesting. Very lucky to be made in the nineties, perhaps the worst decade in film, so it looks even better when compared to movies of that decade.

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