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Baxter


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Baxter + It's A Dog's Life
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Editorial Reviews

Funny and disturbing, this original French horror film stars a sociopathic bull terrier whose inner thoughts reveal a world where scheming how to kill your owner is what canine life is all about. This film is by Jerome Boilvin.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Lise Delamare, Jean Mercure, Jacques Spiesser, Catherine Ferran, Jean-Paul Roussillon
  • Directors: Jérôme Boivin
  • Writers: Jérôme Boivin, Jacques Audiard, Ken Greenhall
  • Producers: Ariel Zeitoun, Daniel Deschamps, Patrick Godeau
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: July 17, 2007
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000PMGS7M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,402 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Baxter" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Yumi on July 12, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Baxter goes thru three masters.
The first, an elderly lady who didn't like him or understand him.
The second was the "paradise" he would view from the old ladies window, the loving young couple across the street.This blissful match was shortlived by the arrival of THE BABY.
Finally he goes to a boy who he feels total camaraderie with. This is a boy, who writes the word "Pain" in his journal and then smashes his palm down on a thumbtack...
Baxter is in heaven with his new master that he thinks is similar to him...until the boy orders him to do something that goes against his grain (did the boy think he was an animal?) and finally disobeys, which was his salvation and his ruin.
Among the many haunting scenes in this movie, is the one scene where the boy is looking out of the same window that Baxter used to look out onto the young couples "paradise", longing to belong to them.
It's sort of circular like The Tenant.
I understand how some people would dislike this movie,but I feel it has redeeming qualities. It didn't spoon feed me pat smug answers.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 6, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
If Old Yeller had lived further into his rabid state and learned to make love with his face He'd have been a lot like Baxter.I found this movie at a now defunct video store in their dog movie section.It was right next to beethoven and bingo and its cover declared it one of the ten best movies of the year.I forget what movies came out in 1991 but, I think it is the best french movie I've ever seen Femme Nikita included.I'd say some people will find it slow at first but, I personally spent the first 20 minutes giggling whenever the dog spoke french.The very end is in my opinion one of the two most coldblooded scenes in movie history.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ms. WB on July 26, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
This movie is not for the faint of heart or for those easily upset. It's an imaginative and well-made movie, full of uncomfortable pathos. Baxter is an intelligent and sensitive bull terrier who longs to find the right master. His narration is brilliant in dark, slightly sultry French--the man's voice is perfect. It's a very human depiction. For example, Baxter eroticizes the young woman who is his owner for a short time, then kills out of his jealousy for her affection. I found myself moved and disturbed by his desires, and also enthralled with the brutality. It's a mean little movie and with violence against children and animals (I don't believe that much of it is shown--but it's still upsetting), as well as Nazi references that may out-and-out offend people. As a litmus test, if you saw the film Parents (a great, but dark psychological thriller and comedy) or Curdled, then I think you might appreciate Baxter. If you're wondering where the comedy in the film is, then I would have to say it's in the deadpan narration juxtaposed with the scenes. It's not ha-ha comedy, but chilling and ultra dark.

Some of the reviewers were upset by the brutality or the depiction of the dog as evil, and my take was different. I didn't think of Baxter as evil, so much as passionate and misled by his desire to serve the right master (some good commentary on Nazi Germany). Overall, I don't think the director's intent was to glorify the violence or meanness, but to make us think of the ways in which we inadvertently create monsters and to make those monsters, be it a lonely and cruel boy or a dog with human desires, sympathetic. I feel terrible for anyone who accidentally rented this as a family movie. This is an artsy film geared at adults who aren't put off by pervosity, think Gods and Monsters or Apt Pupil. A tough movie, but thought provoking.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By SpookyChick on December 6, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This one gets under your skin. It spooked the crud out of me, and I only watched it one time. This is not a family-type dog movie. It's very much for adults. Giving away the plot would be dirty pool, but let me tell you this-- you'll never look at your pet the same way again.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Knowledge Contagion on April 7, 2010
Format: DVD
What caught my attention was the pit bull on the cover. When I read that the movie was about a bull terrier I was rather miffed because I love pit bulls and think that whoever designed this cover used their bad reputation to try to market this movie (oddly enough even though a pit bull's on the cover, a bull terrior is on the spine [or whatever it's called]). That bias aside ... I'm pretty sure that Baxter isn't sociopathic ... it's my understanding that sociopaths don't catagorize their thoughts as "unnatural" (a word Baxter uses multiple times when relaying his violent or unhappy thoughts). I picked up the movie thinking I'd be in for a unique take on animal horror (think "Man's Best Friend" minus all of the animal experimentation and add a big splash of realism) - the picture on the back of Baxter watching the baby crawl towards the water was chilling and I was looking forward to seeing a movie about a trully evil dog. What I got instead was more social commentary than anything - whether that was the film maker's intent or not.

That disappointment aside, I really enjoyed this film (with the exception of the graphic scenes where Baxter is being abused by that Hilter-in-training creep). I found myself sympathising with him almost right from the beginning and rooting for him to find someone who would make him happy and give him the life he deserved. A lot of the other reviewers already summed up the movie and brought up some spoilers so I won't rehash it all. Suffice to say that even though this movie was pretty misrepresented, it was thought provoking. I'm very glad I decided to buy it. I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone - even if they didn't like foreign films.
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