22 June 2005

White Dog

I just got through watching White Dog after wanting to see it for many, many years. Holy crap- what a disturbing, DISTURBING movie.

Short synopsis- Kristy McNichol hits a white German Shepherd with her car, takes it to the vet, and takes it home. She grows to really like the dog, and then one night the dog saves her by fighting off a would-be rapist who breaks into her house. Now she is DEVOTED to this dog.

It turns out, however, that the dog is a "white dog," trained to attack anyone with black skin. Burl Ives and Paul Winfield play the owners/managers of a company that rents wild animals to movies and TV productions; Winfield's character is determined to de-program the dog, feeling that since hate and fear are learned, they can also be UN-learned.

This is my first exposure to director Sam Fuller, and I have to say, I think I'm a fan already. His whole depiction of idealism in a savage, brutal world reminded me a little bit of David Lynch or Larry Cohen, but with ZERO humor to cut the tension. The acting was a little hammy at points, but in a B-movie that's not usually a bad thing. Some of the visuals were absolutely inspired... the last shot of the movie gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes at the same time. (As well as tricks like a war movie playing too loud on the TV during the attempted-rape scene... unnerving and brilliant.)

How this movie was found to be unreleasable in the U.S. is absolutely beyond me. This movie is completely ANTI-racism, and manages to be so in a gritty, non-preachy, at times depressing way, one that asks as many questions as it answers. Highly, highly recommended.

BTW, y'all may remember this is one of the DVDs I got from Five Minutes To Live; it was probably the best quality we're going to get unless this movie ever sees a proper U.S. release. It appeared to be taken from VHS, and had Dutch subtitles, so the pic quality wasn't the best (maybe a B- ) but the audio was good (A-) and didn't have any major flaws, so overall, I'm thrilled to have it.


Blogger Rev. Syung Myung Me said...


I've been interested in seeing this for a long time, pretty much since I've heard about it. (One thing; though I really don't like the show much, I have to give King of the Hill credit for doing an episode that's based on this movie, at least partially.) The link on the question of Why It's Unreleasable was really interesting too. I think I might have to check this one out. I think it might go along with God's Angry Man whenever I get around to finally ordering from Five Minutes. (Now that I know someone who can vouch for them, it's just, you know, a matter of money...8)

5:54 PM, June 22, 2005  

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