18 June 2024
White Dog (1981)
90 min.
Directed by Sam Fuller.
With Kristy McNichol, Paul Winfield, Burl Ives, Jameson Parker, Marshall Thompson, Lynne Moody.
A powerful and poignant horror/drama.

When she accidently hits a stray German shepherd with her car, actress Julie (McNichol) takes in the poor dog and nurses him back to health.

After no one comes to claim him, she decides to keep the loving pet as her own.

But soon, the dog viciously attacks a black garbage man...then it mauls one of her black co-workers...

Slowly, Julie realizes she's acquired a 'white dog': a violent attack animal trained by racists to kill anyone with black skin.

Intent on preventing the dog from killing again, she enlists the aid of trainer Winfield...but can the downward spiral be stopped? And what does it say about Julie's world? Our world?

Excellent turns from McNichol and Winfield especially, buoyed by some bloody attack scenes.

Best scene: the dog's mad kill of a black man, dragging him through the solemn pews of a quiet church.

At the time of release, director Fuller's interesting thriller was wrongly accused of racism (when it's message is wholly the opposite).

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