In the bullet-peppered, body-slamming thriller “John Wick,” innumerable bad guys die stylishly gruesome deaths.
So, alas, does the dog.
The blameless Beagle puppy named Daisy is mercilessly killed before our hero’s eyes, which squint with vengeance instead of squinch with tears. John Wick (Keanu Reeves) isn’t taking this outrage sitting down — he’s not letting dead dogs lie — in the 2014 cult classic. He’s about to unleash a two-hour massacre.
Spoiler? You bet. That’s exactly what the fine, sometimes funny and oddly practical movie- and animal-lover site Does the Dog Die? is here for — to tell you ahead of time if the damn dog dies. You want to know. I definitely want to know.
Anytime a dog, or any animal for that matter, appears on screen I tense up and just hope the creature doesn’t get shot, run over by an SUV or mauled by a demon (or, if you’re the rabbit in “Fatal Attraction,” boiled alive). Animals in movies are too often sacrificial lambs, beelines to our heartstrings or, as in Wick’s case, catalysts for revenge. (Or just workaday roadkill. Shrug.)
The website covers all manner of movie, TV and book animal deaths. Fed by visitor input, it’s a spoiler sanctuary revealing what animals perish or get injured and how, in often graphic terms. (Sample: “A cat accidentally gets smashed by a book. A half-human, half-dog gets his arm chopped off and punched into the ground.”) Ha, ha.
It’s humorous. It’s helpful. It’s horrific. Here’s a short screen grab to show you what entries looks like (note, it’s not the prettiest web design):
Some more reader reports about dogs dying onscreen at Does the Dog Die:
- “The Babadook” — “For anyone who DOESN’T WANT TO WATCH THE DEATH OF THE DOG, don’t watch from 1:09:20 to 1:11:20.”
- “I Am Legend” — “Dog is infected by a zombie-esque virus and is killed by her owner.”
- “The Witch” — “Dog disemboweled in the woods.”
- “The Good Place” (TV) — “A dog is kicked into the sun.”
- “The Thing” — “Many dogs die on and off camera. One looks like it got doused in acid and is still moving around.”
- “John Wick” — “Yes, and it’s terrible, BUT John Wick spends the rest of the movie deliberately, gloriously, and violently avenging the dog, so it feels really pro-dog overall.”
- “Old Yeller” — “Yes the dog dies. He’s shot by his owner after contracting rabies.”
Does the Dog Die goes well beyond dog deaths, featuring 50 queasy-making topics, things you might want to know before flipping on the TV or entering the multiplex. Some topics and contributor comments:
Does a kid die?
- “Game of Thrones” (TV) — “Season 2, Episode 1: For goodness’ sake, don’t watch this episode if you can’t stand a child being hurt. A baby is murdered.”
Is someone burned alive?
- “Thor Ragnarok” — “Someone is literally melted.”
Are there clowns?
- “It” — “Shockingly, there are clowns.”
Does a head get squashed?
- “Venom” — “Does a head getting eaten count as squashed? I’d say yeah, but some may disagree.”
Is Santa spoiled?
- “Bojack Horseman” (TV) — “In the Christmas special, Bojack’s character admits that Santa is a lie in a way that is phrased to deny the existence of God.”
Are any teeth damaged?
- “Room” — “Ma has a ‘bad tooth’ which hurts her when she eats. It eventually falls out and she gives it to her son.”
I can handle clowns, squashed heads and rotten teeth, but I hate it when the dog dies. Hate it. It’s one reason I call canine-killing movies like “Where the Red Fern Grows” and “Marley & Me” doggie-death porn. They all but fetishize the dog’s demise, milking the moment as they twist a knife in your heart, probably snickering as they do it. Sadists.
And so we have this neat site to tell us when to cover our eyes, leave the room, or skip a movie, show or book altogether. It’s not just a clever concept, it’s a public service.