I bought the new Criterion DVD today, and convinced my mom to watch it with me (that was a mistake). She thought that it was sad and disturbing, but I thought that it was a really good movie.
What did you guys think?
I saw a bootleg of it years ago and thought the idea was more interesting than the execution, but there were definite flashes of Fuller’s talent on display. Certainly not deserving of the controversy that kept it from being released.
i watched this last night, and i have to say, i found it VERY hard, even with Fuller directing, to take a film with Kristy McNichol seriously… the film is almost TOO dated looking (sadly, racism is as prevelent today.. but I digress), with Kristy running around looking like an Olivia Newton-John ‘Physical’ video clone. 2 stars.
the extras were interesting, with a funny/sad story how Burl Ives, being rather old, kept forgetting his lines even with the help of cue cards
I agree Craig, I didn’t care for Kristy McNichol in it, either. I think that if someone else had played her part, it would have been better.
I watched it too this week, and totally agree it’s sorely dated. Whilst Fuller had his eye on the ball in certain sequences, a lot of it was banal and workmanlike. Kirsty McNichol was poor and unconvincing, especially her scenes with the character Keys and his motivation for keeping on with the re-training of the dog. Far too many sequences of cute muzak when the film wants to make a point or to establish that she’s sorta in love with the dog. The framing and directing and soft focus photography was laughable and steered you away from the possibility of how powerful this story might have been or how relevant it could be now. A story exploring racism deserves better. Whilst Fuller tried to steer the film away from being an exploitation film, he managed to make it fairly banal, and his usual directorial flair was absent.
nicely put, andrew.
i am considering this film one of Criterion’s (few) mis-steps ;-) While I can ‘appreciate’ Criterion’s interest in making the film available, my appreciation stops there. I have 300+ Criterion’s, and for completion’s sake, I will eventually add this to my shelf, but it’ll be waaaaaaaay down the road, and most definately will only purchase it with a deep DEEP discount coupon, or used.
You guys are p*ssies.
White Dog RULEZ.
Kristy McNichol = tour de force performance
Yo! Street Dude? White Dog Rulez, does it? We’re all pussies? Word. You is insightful brova? Big up your status. Who do you review for, the Crack Avenue Chronicle? What set you claiming homes?
I agree with you guys about McNichol’s performance, and that it could have been a better film, but I enjoyed it. I mean, it’s not the greatest, but it had its moments. One seen that I thought was great, and very emotional, was when the original owner and trainer of the dog came to McNichol’s house looking for it.
Great to see your inner street-spirited self coming out! I do agree with some of your criticisms on White Dog, but, come on — the street sweeper attack scene is phenomenal. It’s an absurd film and that’s why I like it.
The slow motion sequences of the white dog running toward the camera are fantastic.
I’ll admit the white dog certainly out-acted Kristy.
LOL @ Street Dude’s Dog Vs. Kristy comment
Yo, Street Dude. No hard feelings. I think the DP acted both off the screen, or maybe it was the photogenic tiger? The slo-mo might be fantastic, but the crappy soft-core porn soundtrack wasn’t really what those sequences needed. Nice scene where the dog is sniffing around the garbage and the back ground we see a black mother and child, who may or may not become a victim of White Dog. But, overall the film is dated, even if some of the message remains.
Yes, it’s dated badly, and really nothing about it says “Sam Fuller” to me. The suspense sequences to me are no different from any other bad 80s horror-exploitation flick.
It’s a shame but Fuller really lost his stylistic touch in his old age, as so many great directors do. The Fuller films to watch are almost all from the fifities, plus Shock Corridor.
I agree with you guys, I thought that the slow motion sequences were great, and the scene where we see the dog sniffing around the garbage, and the black child comes out of the place.