Director: L.Q. Jones
Running time: 87 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15
USA Release date: November 1975
Watched on DVD Sunday 20th November 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
Based on a novella by Harlan Ellison, I first saw this film many years ago late at night when they used to show more obscure films on BBC2, here in the UK. I was just getting into sci-fi at the time and found it quite interesting whilst being quite bizarre at the same time. Many years later I found the DVD in a bargain bucket and decided to give it another look sometime. Well, that time came today and I must admit I liked it better second time around (although there may have been more than 20 years between viewings). I will give you my thoughts after this brief summary.
After a brief nuclear war that only lasted five days, what was left of the human race either cowered underground (‘Down Under’) in bunkers or scratched out an existence on the surface. One of these was a loner called Vic, a young man whose main preoccupation seemed to be with getting laid. He had an advantage in this respect, his dog, Blood. Now Blood was very special, Vic could communicate with him by some strange form of telepathy. With Blood being much older, and wiser, he tended to treat the boy like an idiot much of the time. When they come across a female, Quilla, who was actually willing to sleep with Vic, Blood begins to smell a rat. Especially when she reveals that she’s from ‘Down Under’ (not Australia you understand) and she wants Vic to go and live with her… But all is not exactly as it seems. I’ll leave it there or the Spoiler Police (committee division) will be sending me to ‘The Farm’ again.
A very low budget picture and it shows; the quality of the whole thing leaves quite a lot to be desired. Having said that, it’s quite an intriguing story and it is well acted by those in front of the camera. So, honourable mentions go to; Don Johnson as Vic, Susanne Benton as Quilla June Holmes, Jason Robards as Lou Craddock and Tim McIntire as the voice of Blood.
I can see why this film is played as a comedy, the whole situation in the scenes ‘Down Under’ are particularly ludicrous. However, I would have liked to see a more dramatic take in the story, one in which there is real threat from the committee that rules ‘Down Under’. Yes, there were some quite comic situations and some of the dialogue between Vic and Blood is really funny, but I felt it didn’t give the source material much respect. Having said all that, it’s still quite an interesting film that, despite its faults is still worth a look… Recommended (just).
I have just read that an animated version of this story is in pre-production and is due fro release in 2012… Watch this space.
My Score: 7.4/10
IMDb Score: 6.6/10 (based on 6,459 votes at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 77/100 (based on 30 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
Blood: You know, Albert, sometimes you can be such a putz...
Vic: A putz? What's a putz? It's somethin' bad, isn't it? You better take that back or I'm gonna kick your fuzzy butt!
Blood: [sighs] Yep, definitely a putz.
Vic: [to sentry] If my gun picks up one rust spot you're gonna wake up with a crowd around 'ya.
Lou: Lack of respect, wrong attitude, failure to obey authority.