(WARNING: Spoilers and plenty of sad feels below)
The classic 1957 film Old Yeller made us all cry like babies. The relationship between man and dog is a very strong one, and there are some people who are completely turned off at seeing an innocent dog being hurt in any fashion. People have walked out of theaters and just plain broken down into tears at the sight of it. All of these things are completely understandable.
To avoid these feelings, the people at DoestheDogDie.com have created an awesome search engine where you can find out if any animal dies in a specific film. This is all well and good, but there are some scenes that dog lovers should never lay eyes upon. The following five films are the biggest offenders when it comes to dog cruelty that breaks our hearts into a thousand pieces. We are excluding the aforementioned film Old Yeller, because it's the gold standard regarding this topic.
5. Urban Legend (1998)
This is an easy film to avoid. It is a sub-par slasher film that was all the rage in the mid-'90s. The scene that sends chills down the spines of dog lovers everywhere involves Michael Rosenbaum's cute little dog and a microwave. It's terrible and semi-serves the "plot" by referencing an urban legend that revolves around a woman who attempts to dry her dog off using a microwave. Needless to say, that there is little to no point in killing a dog when you have a perfectly healthy Tara Reid running around.
4. Fear (1996)
Mark Wahlberg is a full-fledged psycho (and he's pretty crazy in this movie as well). He starts off as Reese Witherspoon's loving boyfriend, but in a plot that Lifetime would endorse, he cranks up the abuse and goes on a rampage. Everything that he does once he flips the switch is terrible: rape, murder, home invasion. He really takes a step past normal movie psychos when he graphically beheads her dog. It is a scene you won't soon forget. You have been warned. (Also, avoid Transformers: Age of Extinction while you're at it. It's just a terrible film.)
3. I Am Legend (2007)
This film has its very own Old Yeller moment that is absolutely heart-breaking. Will Smith is the last survivor living in New York after a virus that turns a large percentage of the population into zombie-like creatures. Smith's only company in this post-apocalyptic romp is his faithful German Shepherd named Sam. Through a series of events, Sam ends up being infected by the virus. Will Smith is then faced with the decision that is usually only reserved for the survivors of The Walking Dead: a mercy kill. This is the most humane thing to do given the circumstances, though it doesn't make it any less heartbreaking. You were a good friend, Sam. You will be missed.
2. Where The Red Fern Grows (1974)
The caption on the poster should read: "A heart-breaking tale of man's best friend making the ultimate sacrifice." This is a rough movie to get through. The story revolves around Billy and his two Coonhounds — Old Dan and Little Anne. One night, Billy's dumb-ass had to go out hunting and is attacked by a mountain lion. The two dogs heroically save Billy; however, Old Dan is mortally wounded and dies that later night. Following this, Little Anne becomes grief-stricken and loses the will to live. She dies while laying on top of Old Dan's grave a few days later and that's all there is to say about that.
1. John Wick (2014)
Keanu Reeves is a retired contract killer trying to live in peace. He lives alone with only a Beagle puppy named Daisy as his companion — a gift from his recently deceased wife. Everything quickly goes to shit when a group of Russian mobsters follow him home after he refuses to sell them his car. They break into the house and catch him off-guard. They completely trash his house, steal his car, and kill poor, sweet Daisy (thankfully they don't show on screen). This single act unifies the audience and justifies the countless murders that follow at the hands of John Wick. He gets his revenge and a brand new Pit bull puppy in the end. We love you, Daisy!
Need something uplifting to combat all of the sad feels you've got? Check out the trailer for the 2009 family drama Hachi: A Dog's Tale below and dry your eyes:
Well that's all folks! As always, be sure to sound off! What did you think of these movies? Is there a movie that is not on the list that should be? Let it be known in the comment section below!