directed by Sam Peckinpah
Dustin Hoffman may have won everyone’s hearts with Rain Man, but his absolute best performances come from his less endearing works. And the role that takes the cake is his quietly enraged David Summer of Straw Dogs. Director Sam Peckinpah practically splatters blood on his audience in an effort to warp traditional moral values and create a world in which a little evil is sometimes necessary. David Summer and his wife Amy move to a rural English village so that he can work on his book, but things go from bad to worse when the locals don’t treat the Summers as cordially as one might expect. When David has to make some serious choices and fight for his life, the film spins into a violent downturn from which there may be no escape. Peckinpah’s film is an explosive and provocative meditation on right, wrong, and the gritty middle ground between the two. A remake is slated for next year (shudder), so all you hipsters out there who just love to say “Yeah, it was alright. But I like the original a lot more,” load Straw Dogs up on the Netflix queue and wait patiently.