One of the motivations behind Alice even doing Monster Dog was to get him back into a working mode. It was after he had completely retired from his drinking career and his working legs were still wobbley.
In 1997 Spanish superfan Sergio sent in the following background information about the film:
'Monster Dog' was a Spanish-Puerto Rican production and was directed by "Clyde Anderson", which was the pseudonym of Italian director Claudio Fragasso. The girl who appeared together with Alice is Victoria Vera, one of the best actresses of the cinematographic and theatrical scene in Spain. She claimed in a talk show on Spanish TV that "the movie was wretched and unpleasant, but I had a tremendous time together with Alice; he is a very fabulous and funny person. Everybody at the shooting knew him as 'The American'. He didn't think of himself as a superstar".
'Monster Dog' wasn't shot in Mexico or even the Philippines, as many people believe. This movie was filmed in Spain, exactly at Torrelodones, a little town near to Madrid. The mansion which appeared in the film really exists, and it has been used for other movies.
Some of the other actors who appeared in 'Monster Dog', among others, were Ricardo Palacios (the sheriff; he's a regular supporting actor in Spanish psychotronic movies) and Emilio Linde (who played the crewman who did practical jokes all the time; he was an actor who played parts in softcore films and horror movies, and currently is a TV games shows host [!!!] ).
The songs of the film, 'Identity Crises' and 'See Me In The Mirror', were composed and arranged by Alice himself and Teddy Bautista; The latter is one of the best composers and musicians in Spanish rock history; he was playing in a progressive rock group called 'Los Canarios' during the late 60s, among others, and even produced the Spanish version of 'Jesus Christ Superstar', playing the part of Pilate too. The band that played on those songs was 'Dicotomia'; it seems to be that this group was put together just on purpose for playing the movie's soundtrack, as they also made the music for another Spanish-Puerto Rican production in that same year. Since then, I was trying to find some reference to that band, but I've found out no biographical or discographical note about them (This maintains my supposition that 'Dicotomia' was formed just for that occasion).
'Monster Dog' was released with the title 'Leviatan' in Spain, and showed at the open-air cinemas and downtown movie theaters (they're all gone now). It was released in video in 1988/89, and showed on TV just a couple of times.
To finish this, I'm going to point out how Alice spent the time in Spain while he was shooting the movie. According to an interview which appeared in the Sunday supplement of 'El Pa EDs' newspaper in 1984, he said that he played golf with a general (who hated rock, according to Cooper, himself) at the Torrejn de Ardz USAF Base (Madrid), went to the 'temple' of the 'Movida Madrilea'; ["Madrid Upsurge"], and the 'Rock-Ola's', a place where some Cooper-esque bands like 'Alaska y Los Pegamoides', 'Orquesta Mondragn', or 'Almodvar & McNamara' (Yes! The famous director of 'Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!'or 'Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown' sang in an outrageous rock band) played [Alice says in the interview that "Rock-Ola's' is perfect. It's completely shabby and dark as a punk club must be"]. He also spent his free time renting and watching all the movies in English language that were in Madrid. Next to conclusion of the article, Cooper said "I'd record a song with Julio Iglesias, of course. I'm sure nobody'd believe it!".
In a Spanish interview it quotes Alice as going to see an Ian Dury gig while in Spain.
Darkside Magazine (June/July 1998) included an interview with director Claudio Fragasso, who directed Monster Dog, and in the interview Alice is brought up:
DS: What were the circumstances behind Monster Dog, and how were you able to hire rock star Alice Cooper as acting lead?
CF: I met producer, Edward Sarlui, after I had finished Rats - Night of Terror. Sarlui asked me 'Can you make a dog film for me?' (laughs). I said, 'Of course, most certainly, what an idea!' We met Alice Cooper in Spain, and offered him the part since we didn't know who to cast for the lead. I developed a good working relationship with Cooper, he's a good man. Cooper has a passion for horror movies, and every night, we would watch them together as if we were little boys! Even then, Cooper had a love for golf. So much so, that he had a miniature golf course constructed in his hotel room.
Alternative Version of Monster Dog
Brian Gaddis recently discovered there is an alternate version of this movie out in Japan. Here are his observations:
A longer cut of Monster Dog is out there on the market. This version, from Japan, is approximately 4 minutes longer than the version we are all used to. The version that was released on video in the US by Trans World runs 84 minutes. The back of the video box incorrectly lists an 88 minute running time. This 84 minute version is said to be the same version that was released elsewhere around the globe. An alternate cut of the film that has surfaced in Japan, however, runs the full 88 minutes. I'll refer to the old version generically as the "Trans World version" in this writing.
The 88 minute Japanese version, in addition to the extra scenes, has a brighter transfer and a different sound mix. Some of the sound effects are louder in this mix -- the clicking of the cigarette lighter that Alice's Vincent character pulls out at the beginning of the "Identity Chrises" video is more audible, for instance.
There are also different bits of dialogue scattered throughout the film in the Japanese version.
The Japanese version contains the English language soundtrack with subtitles in Japanese.
As far as different scenes go, the major differences are the following:
During the opening van sequence of the gang travelling to Vincent's old home, there is both deleted and altered material present in the Japanese cut. The deleted footage shows the crew in the back of the van discussing effects ideas for the video shoot. The Dragula joke is shown in its entirety. A deleted shot of Vincent talking to them is present, as well as an alternate angle of him saying a couple of lines that exist in the Trans World version.
-- The next set of deleted scenes occurs also near the beginning of the film, as our heroes get stopped by the police roadblock. When Vincent complains about the police "making a big deal about those damn dogs!", the line is presented as voiceover in the Trans World cut. Here Vincent is seen saying it. Another deleted scene that's present before the groups exits the van shows Vincent asking one of his travel companions to see if anyone needs to use the bathroom while they are stopped, and the rest of them complaining about the stop when asked.
In this same sequence, the conversation between the group and the police officers is extended in the Japanese cut. Some extra bits of incriminating dialogue pertaining to Vincent's father and extra lines regarding the previous incident involving dogs are present here when the main characters are all outside the van talking with the officers.
Also deleted from the Trans World version is a scene that occurs when the main characters are all back in the van ready to continue their journey. Sandra teases the sheriff about her protecting the group from the dogs before they drive off.
And concluding this sequence, after the van drives away is a deleted scene of the sheriff joking with his deputy about Sandra and making another comment about Vincent's father.
-- The next example of deleted footage occurs during Angela's nightmare sequence. Some of the the crazy old man's dialogue is different and he talks more spookiness to her.
-- A deleted Vincent scene comes up near the end of the flick when the survivors escape the house and try to flee. In the Trans World version, they run out of the house and hop into the bad guys' car, only to find that the keys are missing. The Japanese cut contains an extended version of this scene. Here, as our heroes flee the house, they run to their van to make their escape. Upon arriving, Vincent discovers that the van's tires have been shot out and then suggests that they try the car the bad guys drove up in.
-- The final deleted scene that I noticed occurs after Vincent and Sandra crash their car. As Sandra walks around looking for Vincent, the crazy old man reappears and grabs her. The story that he tells her here is completey different from the one he tells in the Trans World version.
There are also tiny bits of dialogue elsewhere in the Japanese cut that differ from Trans World's. There may be other major differences in dialogue between the two versions, but I didn't listen to every scene. I mainly just fast-forwarded through the two versions, comparing the running times of the sequences and examining closer if a discrepancy appeared.
In December 2004 Monster Dog finally got a official US release on DVD through MVD Music Video. It appears to be a basic video transfer with bare additional features. A UK release arrived on February 20th 2006.