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The Gamma Dogs are minor antagonists in Ang Lee's 2003 science-fiction superhero movie Hulk. They are three dogs consisting of a mastiff, a pitbull and a poodle who serve as the pets of David Banner, who later mutated them into monstrous creatures with the DNA of the Hulk.
David Banner, while working as a custodian at the same lab as Bruce, took the DNA of his own son and experimented on three dogs consisting of a mastiff named Smokey, a pitbull named Sammy and a poodle named Lily to see how his son's "disease" would be replicated. The three dogs became enlarged, muscular, monstrous, powerful and feral. Banner sent his mutated dogs to Betty Ross so they would slew and possibly eat her in an attempt to have Bruce unleash his "real son".
Encounter with Hulk and demise
As Bruce received a phone call from his father, he learned that the dogs are after Betty and would kill and devour her. Bruce became angry from this and, (in part to Glenn Talbot instigating with Bruce), became the Hulk. He went to Ross's aide and engaged in a vicious and feral battle with the radioactive canines. The two larger Gamma dogs Smokey and Sammy engaged the Hulk in battle while the Gamma poodle Lily terrorizes Betty who took refuge inside her SUV. While Lily is trying to get Ross, Hulk uses a fallen tree trunk to swat the poodle away. Hulk, Smokey, and Sammy were locked in fierce battle. The Hulk manages to get the fight away from Ross and continues fighting the beasts further into the forest. The dogs have the Hulk pinned for a brief moment, only for Hulk to fight and even bite Smokey's leg. Lily bites down on Hulk's groin, actually hurting the green giant. Infuriated, Hulk then grabs Lily by her ears and slaps her away. He then uses the poodle as a weapon and swings her at Smokey. The Hulk then humorously lifts Sammy up and punches him hard in the testicles. With the canines briefly discombobulated, Smokey and Sammy corner Hulk, but as they pounce towards him, he jumps upwards into the trees, causing the two dogs to collide into each other. The dogs corner and leap on Hulk, but the weight causes the tree to fall down. The fall gives Hulk a leg up as he slams a boulder in Sammy's face, presumably smashing his skull and killing him. Lily begins to go after Betty once more while Hulk is charged and leaped on by Smokey. The Hulk, now angrier, thrusts his fist down the dog's throat. He then lifts Smokey up and aggressively slams the mastiff down. Before the dog can recover, Hulk then smashes Smokey with his fists, causing a great spray of green blood. Lily continues her attempt in getting Betty, but Hulk jumps up and body-slams the poodle through the windshield, crushing Lily. Ross is then face to face with the dead dog as Hulk then tosses Lily's melting corpse away from her, causing the body to explode into a green spray in the distance. The fight seems over and Hulk calms slightly, only to be blindsided by Sammy, causing Hulk to punch, claw and grab at the creature's muzzle. Sammy, getting more intense, sinks his sharp teeth deeper into Hulk's flesh. Then, with his intense strength and anger, Hulk enlarges his trapezius and breaks Sammy's jaws, causing the pitbull to let out a yelp of pain. Hulk then slams the dog onto the hood of Ross's SUV and in one swift move, shoves his hands into Sammy's mouth, whereupon he violently rips apart the canine to pieces, sending a massive spray of green blood. Hulk, now covered in scratches and bite wounds, looks and snarls at Betty before finally both calming down and healing near a lake and reverts back to Banner exhausted after his battle with the mutated dogs.
David's dogs behave like any normal dogs and follow David everywhere apparently trained to do so. They even accompanied him at his janitorial job at the lab Bruce works and the hospital he was in. The three dogs are orient towards David Banner, and seem to be very obedient to him before and after their transformation. Post-transformation they have become more savage, dangerous and intensely aggressive. While fighting the Hulk, they are incredibly relentless and after receiving deadly blows and punches from their adversary, they continue to fight until the Hulk slaughters them. However, it is hinted by their creator, David Banner, that their lives were going to be cut short due to them being unstable from the Gamma radiation and nanomeds cultured from Bruce's DNA. It appears that their owner held no quarms of pitting them against the Hulk and doesn't seem concerned that they never return to him. When Betty first encounters David at his home in Oakland, he advises to her to "not look them in the eyes, they don't like to be looked in the eyes". Possibly in an attempt to frighten her or serve as foreshadowing his ill-will against her.
Notable Gamma Dogs
- The dogs were foreshadowed by the prologue, where Bruce is playing with a plush dog at the age of five. In the film proper, the dogs represent the loss of innocence.
- The concept of the dogs were taken from the cover of a 2000 issue of The Incredible Hulk.
- In the Director's Commentary, Ang Lee reveals that he wanted this scene to be very violent as the dogs were now considered monsters and that the Hulk shouldn't hold back in fighting and killing them.
- In the novelization and illustrated script the Hulk would have killed the dogs more viciously such as snapping one's back by jumping down on it, used an uprooted tree to smash one through Betty's car, and squeezing another's head until it crushed in his hands.
- The dogs seem to represent how apathetic and callous David is, as it appears he cares little to none for his dogs (or any living beings) as he simply addresses them "dogs" in lieu of names. It's noted that he didn't hesitate to mutant them and never seemed concerned that they were killed.
- The dogs actually do have names (see above), according to both concept art and ILM animators who worked on animating their CGI models.
- Lily seems to be the alpha dog, as well as the only one who was focused on killing Betty, which means she was smart enough to chase after the person whom David really wanted to kill.
- According to concepts, there was a fourth dog Hulk was supposed to fight, which would have been a Gamma-irradiated German Shepherd.