The Dish on Cujo

I love dogs.  No – let me rephrase: I LOVE DOGS!!  To me, they are the best companions.  They are loyal, they have wicked senses of humor, they are great listeners…and they offer a protection that is very comforting.

However, few things in life are worse than a dog gone bad.  In To Kill a Mockingbird, there is a very poignant scene in which Atticus kills a rabid dog that has come into town. Every time I read or see that scene I want to cry because I bet that dog was a good dog at one time. Maybe even had a human companion that loved it very much.

Cujo on the other hand…well, this dog is just downright terrifying in the way that only the great master, Stephen King, can create.  It is not my favorite story or even movie of King’s, but with it coming to the Renaissance on July 19th, I wanted to see if there were any facts about it that might draw me in.  I certainly did find some!  Keep reading to learn some very interesting things about everyone’s most frightening beast.

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  • Stephen King was a major alcoholic during the time he wrote Cujo.  According to a pin on Pinterest, he drank three GALLONS of beer per day.  He was so drunk during this period, that he has stated he doesn’t remember writing the book.
  • The reason the dog was a Saint Bernard was because Stephen King took his motorcycle to a backwoods mechanic in Maine.  This mechanic had a dog which King described as the biggest Saint Bernard he had ever seen.  However, according to the dog trainer for the movie, Saint Bernard’s are rarely trained for show business and he desperately wanted to use a different breed of dog.  Obviously, he didn’t get his way…
  • People often think the word “Cujo” is an ancient Indian word meaning “unstoppable force”, but it doesn’t.  King made the word up.
  • The actual number of canines used for the movie varies from source to source.  The best I can find is anywhere from 5-13 were used.  However, they did have a mechanical head for scenes like when the dog puts it head through a car window, as well as a man in a dog suit. Supposedly, they even had a Saint Bernard suit made for a Labrador to wear.
  • The foam around the mouths of the dogs was made out of egg whites and sugar.  Now, if you know anything about dogs they are very much like humans…they like sugar. Production was postponed many-a-time because the dogs were licking their mouths so often.
  • The dog’s tails were often tied to their legs because of the constant wagging.  It just wouldn’t make sense for Cujo to be attacking someone while happily wagging its tail, now would it? According to IMDb, the editors missed one scene, shot from behind, in which a happy tail was freely waving.
  • Perhaps the most surprising thing I learned was King HATED Stanley Kubrick’s take on The Shining.  However, he was very pleased with Lewis Teague, Director of Cujo.  Even more so, many believe Dee Wallace should have received an Academy Award for her performance in the film.  Wallace herself has supposedly stated it was her favorite film, and she worked so hard that she was treated for three weeks for exhaustion after the film wrapped up.

For more interesting facts, check out the websites below.  Knowing these things makes me really want to see this film again!  Hope you do, too.

Cujo. Trivia. IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085382/trivia

Mancini, Mark. 13 Rabid Facts About Cujo. January 2017. http://mentalfloss.com/article/91425/13-rabid-facts-about-cujo

Interesting Facts on Cujo.  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/561120434796079204/?lp=true

 

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