Tag Archives: Hell Hound

Hell Hound (1977) Review

Written by: Aaron B.

I first heard of this book while watching reviews of obscure horror movies (thanks to spookyastronauts), someone made a review of a movie called “Baxter”. About a dog who basically has no remorse or guilt for the bad things he does. I knew I had to read this, animal books and horror books are two of my favorite genres.

The opening of the book details Baxter’s disdain for his owner, an old lady who he eventually pushes down the stairs. He enjoys watching her die, so kicks off the story. The chapters are partly written in an omnipresent fashion, while the other chapters (and my personal favorite ones) were written from the POV of Baxter himself. I sort of wish the entire book had been written in this way, but I also understand that character development happened in the other chapters.

They’re a few startling events in the book, but don’t go into this thinking it’s a bloodbath. This isn’t a slasher, it’s a dark and psychological story about what it means to be a sociopath and have violent tendencies. The story is about the build up to violent acts and the anticipation rather then the actual ‘kill.’ The book is intense because of the lack of emotion not only from the dog, but from one of his owners, a boy who’s obsessed with Hitler and Nazis.

To me, that boy was the most interesting character aside from the dog, every time he was in a scene I was tense, he had quite violent thoughts and very morbid motivations, his parents were at a loss of what to do with him almost the entire time.

There are some sections towards the end which get into animal abuse, which is something I expected from a story like this, but just be warned. I personally can handle it in a story, but it was tough to get threw one section in particular involving puppies.

Overall though, this is now one of my favorite ‘horror’ books, this is one I’ll recommend to other horror fans for sure. This is a rare time where I’d say I could’ve written this story, but I’m glad a very talented author did so already. We need more horror / animal books out there, and this is a great addition to that genre.