The Plague Dogs

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The Plague Dogs is a 1977 novel written by Richard Adams, who is famous for his well-known and best-selling novel, Watership Down. Like Watership Down, The Plague Dogs was made into a movie by Nepenthe Productions in 1982. It eventually got taken out of the cinema because very few people would come and see it.

Story[change | change source]

The story is about two dogs, Rowf and Snitter. Rowf is a Labrador-mix and Snitter is a Smooth fox terrier. The two live in a testing laboratory called ARSE (Animal Research Scientific and Experimental). The two dogs escape out of the laborotory into the Lake District, where the story is set, where they find the cunning Tod, a fox living there. After misadventures upon the fells, the two are later hunted down by sheep farmers and the army, because it is believed that they have the bubonic plague.

Characters[change | change source]

Rowf: Rowf is a black Labrador-mix. He is gruff and thinks all humans are bad. He disapproves of the Tod and believes Snitter is mad. He has a fear of water and tries not to go near it or into it.

Snitter: A smooth fox terrier. In ARSE he had brain surgery and his conscious and sub-conscious mind make him dream when he is a awake and vice versa. He misses his master who got hit by a lorry. And is always on the search for a new master. He, unlike Rowf, approves of the Tod.

The Tod: A cunning fox who lives on the fells of the Lake District. He helps Rowf and Snitter survive out in the wild.

Dr. Boycott: Dr. Boycott is one of the people who works at ARSE. He is a rather ruthless fellow and appears calm in every event that comes up.

Harry Tyson: The caretaker of ARSE who cleans the tanks and feeds the dogs and other animals. He used to be a sailor, then a farmer, then ended up in ARSE. He is kind to the animals despite working in a cruel place.

Stephen Powell: A man who works at ARSE. He is a rather nervous man and is always questioning his "chief" Dr. Boycott.

Adam Wood: Snitter's master. He supposedly died when he saved Snitter from an oncoming lorry. In the book he does not die; he gets a broken leg and concussion, but in the film it is implied that he is dead because he does not appear at all except in memory.

The Sheepdogs: Two minor characters called Don and Wag. They are angry at Rowf and Snitter when they try to "impress" the sheepdogs' master by "herding sheep" (which is really chasing them around and barking, scaring them).

Uncut Version and Cut Version[change | change source]

There is a cut version and an uncut version. The uncut version is about 103 minutes long. The cut version is about 86 minutes long. The cut version had many scenes cut from it, most of them were done to make the film shorter, but there was one scene removed because of the bloody image of a dead man ripped to pieces by the hungry dogs (they ate him).

However one bloody scene was not cut from the cut version. It showed Snitter being called by a man with a gun. Snitter accidentally stepped on the trigger, making it go off in the man's face, while holding onto his face he falls down dead, Snitter runs off frightened. That was still in the cut version despite it being a shocking and somewhat disturbing scene.