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SDCC 2019: Dee Wallace shares tales from the sets of Cujo, E.T., and Critters Attack!
You don't know the terror of facing down an infected St. Bernard until you're in the body of Dee Wallace. Of course, Wallace never really took swings at a rabid (or whatever else that disease was) dog with a baseball bat.
Every single one of the 13 the dogs who played the namesake terror on set of Stephen King's Cujo was friendly — so friendly, they thought being given commands was all one enormous game of fetch.
"They were all trained to go after toys," Wallace spilled to SYFY WIRE. "So on 'Action,' the trainer would [shout aggressively], but … their tails were wagging, so we had to tie their tails down."
That might sound horrifying in itself, but at least none got the canine version of mad cow disease. Wallace's career has been defined by horror and sci-fi cult classics, including Cujo, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Critters, and now Critters Attack!
The actress feels that since her stint as a badass, rifle-wielding, alien-blasting farm wife in Critters, more genre opportunities have opened up for her instead of veering the other way.
"I really believe that what you believe creates what your opportunities are," she said.
Homicidal dogs aside, what have some of Wallace's most memorable opportunities been? She (and just about everyone else on the planet) will never forget E.T. — Wallace has been approached by everyone from everywhere imaginable about how that movie literally changed their lives, and Reese's Pieces had nothing to do with it.
One fan who was branded uncool as a kid in the light of his recent move and his parents' divorce suddenly felt ultra-cool. Another, whose autistic son hadn't spoken in a decade, was in tears when he repeated all the lovable alien’s lines after the 2012 re-release of E.T. in theaters.
Does Wallace think any of these movies really should be remade, even though Cujo might rise from the grave? Watch to find out whether she's anxiously awaiting reboots or thinks they should stay in their era.
This article was contributed to by Elizabeth Rayne.