Dog Eat Dog/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< Dog Eat Dog

After a heist on a US transport ship which we never actually see (Reservoir Dogs anyone?) three thieves are now on the run with the million dollars they've stolen. Corbett (Cameron Mitchell), Darlene (Jayne Mansfield) and Kostas (Ivor Salter) take refuge in a small Mediteranean village. When we first meet Corbett, he is being chased and tormented by Kostas who is in the process of trying to kill him. Kostas finally succeeds, pushing Corbett off a cliff. Kostas returns to the small village hotel where he and the beautiful blonde, buxom Darlene have holed up. Darlene is rolling around sexily in the stolen cash on her hotel bed. The hotel's manager Livio Morelli (Aldo Camarada) has heard the news of the heist on the local radio station and he then goes to check up on the strangers who have arrived recently. Livio knocks on Darlene's door and when she lets him in, he notices some of the stolen money. This is where he gets an idea. He tells his hotel worker-friend Xenia (Elizabeth Flickenschildt) and his sister Sandra (Dodie Heath) that he knows the three new tenants are the thieves. He wants Sandra to plant a bomb on their getaway boat and when the boat explodes, they will be dead and he can collect the money. Sandra reluctantly agrees, but when she goes to plant the explosive, she is grabbed from behind by a mysterious figure on the boat. Its Corbett! He's not dead after all!

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Kostas, Darlene and Sandra are taken hostage by Corbett and they all take off to a small island where they plan to hold up until they can find a safe way to get to Turkey without being caught by the police. When Livio finds Sandra missing, he trails them to the island and this is where the trouble begins. The group meet a rich reclusive woman named Madame Benoit (Isa Miranda) and her butler Yannis (Werner Peters). The two find out that the gang are all taking refuge from the law until they can get safe passage. Yannis tells Corbett that he can help them get away safely...but he wants a third of the million in exchange. When the money suddenly disappears, the group find themselves in the middle of a deadly game of cat and mouse. Corbett goes crazy, tearing up the entire house and everything in it (some very funny dialogue here as Corbett is enraged), looking for the lost money. Meanwhile, Darlene puts the moves on Livio, who has been shot by Corbett and is trying to recover. When Kostas later turns up dead, Corbett and the others realize that one of them is planning to knock each of them off one by one and flee with the stolen million. The question now is: Who is the killer?

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Dog Eat Dog was filmed in former Yugoslavia in 1963. Actress Jayne Mansfield was actually pregnant with her daughter Mariska Hargitay (who is now an actress on TV) and her costumes in this were made to hide her protruding stomach. Jayne has some really funny dialogue in this film, especially in the opening scenes where she exclaims "Crackers" at the beginning of every sentence. The dialogue in Dog Eat Dog is one of the main highlights. It has that true cult film edge to it. Lots of great off color lines like Corbett's reply to Darlene when she keeps nagging him, he simply turns and says: "Be a good girl and drop dead". NOTE: Jayne Mansfield made this film shortly before she was killed in a tragic car crash.

Dog Eat Dog is a quirky little exploitation crime film from the 60s that hardcore cult film fans will surely want to see. The film has dashes of Kubrick's The Killing, Sunset Boulevard and Key Largo with a European twist.


Peter Roberts is the co-founder/editor-in-chief of the Grindhouse Cinema Database (GCDb) and contributor to the GCDb's sister site Furious Cinema. A Massachusetts native, he is an avid film fan that has been immersed in the world of entertainment and pop culture his entire life. He is currently majoring in Communications and Interactive Media Design.

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