New information has emerged about Hao Ning’s upcoming film, Crazy Alien, in the form of an incredibly upsetting video of the abuse that an animal endured on set. The footage clearly shows a German Shepherd suspended in a cage and being violently spun around before it was plunged into freezing cold water. A whistleblower sent the video to PETA, as well as a log from the set that stated, “I witnessed first hand one of the worst animal cruelty acts I have ever seen.”
Crazy Alien is the final installment in the Chinese director’s black comedy trilogy. It began in 2006 with Crazy Stone, continuing with 2009’s Crazy Racer. The film features Glee alum Matthew Morrison and was set for release February 5, 2019. However, in light of these horrific events, PETA is calling for a boycott of the film and demanding answers on the location of the dog in question. The organization is also asking that the scene be cut and that Ning never be allowed to work with live animals ever again. They also hope that the cast will donate their salaries to charities in China that protect animals.
According to the information log sent to PETA (warning: the video in that link contains disturbing content), the dog was tormented for over two hours. The handler himself was well protected in case the Shepherd attacked him. There was a long whip being used to hit the ground near the dog in order to make make it more hostile. Ning only called “Action” when he was satisfied that the dog looked vicious enough. It was a cold, rainy night, with the temperature ranging somewhere between 42-46 degrees. The Shepherd was given no breaks and this traumatic scene was shot 6-8 times. The animal was not even given treats or praise, just forced to continue looking the part of an aggressive dog. In their log the whistleblower then continued:
“The next shot was at the rivers edge where the dog was put back into his cage and tormented into a frenzy once again. This time the cable wrapped around the cage again was hoisted 20 ft and was flung while spinning out of control towards the river. With huge disbelief the cage was completely submerged with the dog in it landing in a 10mph current. After 5-8 seconds the director yelled out “cut”. Then the crew quickly hoisted the cage back onto land….A final decision was made by the director to shoot a second identical take.”
As for star Matthew Morrison, last night the actor tweeted about seeing the footage, saying, “My heart is broken to see any animal treated this way. Had I been on set or known about this, I would have made all efforts to stop this. I’ve called the producers to express my outrage.” Sadly, there are currently no laws in China protecting animals from this type of cruelty. The only way to express our outrage is by boycotting the film and holding everyone involved responsible.
2018 is the Year of the Dog, a time for man’s best friend to be celebrated. Instead, this poor creature endured torture that was not only incredibly cruel, but also completely unnecessary. This movie, produced by Dirty Monkey Film Group, was undoubtedly using plenty of special effects. There is never any valid excuse for hurting a live animal, especially when CGI has advanced to the point where we can create our own. China may not have laws that protect animals from being harmed in this way, but this is hardly an issue that has only affected that country. There have been plenty of other well documented cases, from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey to A Dog’s Purpose. Considering our past and present, it would seem that the only real way to keep animals out of danger is to no longer use them in movies at all.