"Instead of remaking properties that have already been done (like SPIDER MAN and FANTASTIC FOUR) how about you man-up Hollywood and tackle this freaking badass!- John "The Arrow" Fallon
When I was a younger horror fiend, I was huge into comics and one day while browsing in a comic book shop, I passed by WILD DOG ISSUE #1 (created by Max Allan Collins and Terry Beatty, first published in September 1987). The cover sported a dude wearing a hockey mask (which reminded me of Jason Voorhees of course) and holding up a f*cking machine gun. Yup! That got my attention! It had my name written all over it! So I bought the thing, read it, loved it and went on to get the whole mini series (all four issues) and that was the end of my gun-affair with WILD DOG.
Am glad I still own these...
But that wasn't the end of his trek. The character went on to appear in Action Comics Weekly, Wild Dog Special #1, Lobo, Infinite Crisis and Booster Gold; but I sadly never got to those. Recently, I was looking for something in some old boxes and I came upon the four WILD DOG issues. Man was I happy that I still had them (I sold most of comics eons ago)! So I sat my ass down on the floor and devoured them one after the other. Once done, this thought popped into my head: Why the hell isn't this a movie yet??? Man, if I had the coin, I would option the comic off DC and do it myself, but alas, I'm not that rich yet. So, all I got left is telling you WHY this comic would make for a boss movie! Lock, load, kill!
Granted the story behind WILD DOG is simple vigilante stuff. Dude's dame got whacked due to her mob ties. Dude loses it, suits up and starts doing the human laundry. But hey, sometimes simple is better (although I wish the peeps behind The Punisher movies would finally “get that” and give us a Punisher movie worthy of the comics, but that's another article). With that, this man out for revenge opus did come with two twists, that in the right hands, could whoop hard on film.
1- It's a whodunit as you only find out WHO the man behind the mask is in the last issue of the comic. There are four suspects: Lou Godder (a reporter), Lt. Andy Flint (a cop) Jack Wheeler (a mechanic) and Graham Gault (a government suit). The tie between the four gents is that they all played football for their university team, named the Red Dogs. And of course Wild Dog wears their football jersey. Pretty unique angle; following the hero around while NOT knowing who he is. I liked that!
NOTE: There's also a characater called Susan King ( she's a TV reporter) who basically acts as the audience point of view in terms of the story. She chases down the Dog in the name of ratings and hopefully uncovering who he truly is.
2- As opposed to most vigilnate flicks which take place in an urban setting; WILD DOG cleaned the streets of the suburbs (within 5 different cities known as the Quad Cities area, which of course exist in real life) against home grown terrorists (who call themsleves Committee for Social Change... yeah...cute); which lets face it, is fairly unique within the subgenre.
The Wild Dog character & his violent ways!
You gotta love this out of control mofo on a rampage! Not only does he wear a hockey mask to hide his indenty, echoing one of the most famous mass murderes around, he also put good old Voorhees to shame in the bodycount department. That was personally one angle that I loved about the comic; it's 80's action movie-ish approach to its violence i.e. lots of guns, a relentlessly violent streak and a sky high bodycount. Wild Dog's key weapons of choice are: the Jatimatic SMG, a Mini Uzi and a Colt M1991. And the man used them with flair! His martial arts abilities, full body bullet proof vest and his electric shock gloves (which stun his enemies when he grabs them) also contributed in making him a lean and mean killing machine.
The cherry on top? His jersey which pimps the image of a smirking red dog on it. A swell contrats to his vicious actions. With his camouflage pants and combat boots, Wild Dog's look is one of a makeshift superhero, it's cool yet grounded in reality, which IMO makes it even cooler! Moreover, the comic is filled to the brim with gun fights, fist fights, car mayhem, rocket launcher fun and my pesonal fav, a Wild Dog slauther-thon on a weapons filled island appropriately named: arsenal island. To this bit live would be NUTS!
Who Should direct it?
For WILD DOG to have the impact on film that it should have, I would chose a man's man director, one that knows how to play it grounded, doesn't flinch when it comes to excessive yet realistic violence, knows how to handle actors (cause for us to buy this somewhat ludicrous premise, you need to believe in the characters) and one that can convey grittiness onscreen while retaining a stylish edge.
Don Siegel is sadly dead, so my first choice would be WAYNE KRAMER who freaking owned it hardcore with RUNNING SCARED (which didn't get the love and attention it deserved upon its initial release). I think he would be the ideal choice for the project if he would keep to the M.O. he had in the latter flick: the right balance of realistic/over the top, actor's director and a flair for striking aesthetics. My second choice would be MEL GIBSON, for pretty much the same reasons as to why I would pick Kramer. WALTER HILL, SYLVESTER STALLONE and maybe CLINT EASTWOOD would be in the running as well in my ideal world...
Who Should be Wild Dog?
My first pick would have to be RYAN GOSLING, as he brought so much quiet intensity and physical presence to his role in DRIVE, that he could do it again here. My second choice would parralel who I chose as director: PAUL WALKER. He looks the part (he would have to bulk up a tad though), is pretty much the right age and lets face it, his work in RUNNING SCARED, as directed by Kramer, was his best period. No FAST FIVE "paycheck acting" in that movie! Kramer was able to get the most out of Walker once, he could do it once more! Finally I'd entertain CHANNING TATUM in the role. The man is no Brando, but as he proved in THE EAGLE, he's able to nail the low key intense thing, is pretty damn good with the action stuff and in terms of the man behind WILD DOG, he has the right look.
So there you have it! I have a dream and that dream is a WILD DOG movie! I would pay good money to see this animal rip crime to shreds on celluloid! So instead of remaking properties that have already been done (like SPIDER MAN and FANTASTIC FOUR) how about you man-up Hollywood and tackle this freaking badass! I know times have become more politically correct but there's always room for a hockey masked vigilante pulling an "America, f*ck yeah" on a slew of baddies! No? Make it happen!