Last of the Dogmen - Under rated Berenger classic?

Let's Rewind Blogger! May 12, 2023

"Last of the Dogmen" is a 1995 American western adventure film directed by Tab Murphy. The story follows a modern-day bounty hunter named Lewis Gates (Tom Berenger) who discovers a group of Cheyenne Indians who have been isolated in the Montana wilderness for over a century. Gates and the Cheyenne must work together to find a way back to civilization while evading pursuit by the authorities who want to keep their existence a secret. Was this movie over looked by the mainstream? Does it demand another look in? Let's find out!

The film features an impressive cast, including Tom Berenger, Barbara Hershey, and Kurtwood Smith. Berenger's performance as Lewis Gates received praise for his portrayal of a tough but compassionate character who begins to question his own beliefs as he spends more time with the Cheyenne tribe.

Director Tab Murphy is best known for his work as a writer and director for animated films such as "Tarzan" and "Atlantis: The Lost Empire". "Last of the Dogmen" marked his live-action directorial debut, and his use of breathtaking landscapes and intricate action sequences impressed audiences and critics alike.

The film was not nominated for any major awards, but it did receive recognition for its cinematography. Filmed in locations throughout Montana, the movie showcased the natural beauty of the region, with wide shots of forests, mountains, and streams.

Critics praised "Last of the Dogmen" for its unique story and character development. In a review for the Los Angeles Times, Kenneth Turan wrote, "There is something charming about the way 'Last of the Dogmen' takes a fantastical premise and treats it with seriousness and integrity...[it] has a kind of gentle power to it, a likable quality that will win over audiences."‌‌

The film had a budget of $15 million and grossed $15.2 million at the box office. Despite its modest commercial success, "Last of the Dogmen" has developed a loyal following among fans of the western genre.

The filming locations for "Last of the Dogmen" were primarily in Montana, with scenes shot in Bozeman, Big Sky, and Glacier National Park. The production team faced challenges while filming in remote areas with limited access to electricity and other resources.‌

The portrayal of the Cheyenne tribe in the film has been a topic of discussion among Native American groups. While some have praised the film for its respectful treatment of the tribe's traditions and beliefs, others have criticized the use of a fictional tribe as a stand-in for real indigenous peoples. The film's depiction of Native American culture and spirituality has been debated, with some arguing that it perpetuates stereotypes and reinforces negative perceptions.

Overall, "Last of the Dogmen" is a visually stunning and engaging western adventure that offers a unique perspective on the genre. Its blend of action, drama, and fantasy elements, along with its impressive cast and director, make it a memorable addition to the western canon. While it may not have been a commercial or critical blockbuster, its cult following and enduring popularity among fans prove that its themes of courage, redemption, and cultural exploration continue to resonate with audiences today.

With all this said and done, here at The Rewind Zone we score Last of the Dogmen a respectable 7.1/10 (cinematography alone got 1 point!) - a definite watch if you haven't already done so!


Tags

Richard Wells

I am the founder of The Rewind Zone, created in 2022. My passion for film knows no bounds! It is my goal through this medium to bring the wonders of film from a bygone era back into your lives.