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The Truckers of Black Dog Owe Something to British Folklore

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On the surface, Black Dog might appear to be just another testosterone-fueled movie like Eagle Eye or Bangkok Dangerous . In actuality, this 1998 Patrick Swayze vehicle is a searing look at the ghostly “black dog” myth that’s chilled many a English lad’s soul. Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch. Any movie starring Meat Loaf as a villainous trucker can’t exactly be called “searing” but this action flick is the only trucker movie of the last ten years with deep roots in British folklore.

In stories ranging from The Hound of the Baskervilles to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban , the appearance of a black dog can either portend death or represent the
cloven-hoofed one himself. As to trucker lore, “seeing the black dog” means you’ve been on the road for far too long. Indeed, rumor has it that lack of sleep, too much NoDoz, or bad rest-stop food can all lead to the sudden appearance of a black dog on the highway. When truckers see the dog, they know it’s
time to pull over for fear of an accident — or worse. Here worse entails an illegal cargo of AK47s. And Swayze thought he had it rough in Road House!

Click here for a complete schedule of Black Dog on AMC.

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