Franco Nero, Virna Lisi, John Steiner, Raimund Harmstorf
Jack London (Novel), Roberto Gianviti
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Based upon Jack London's novel, this 1973 family film directed by Lucio Fulci is set in 1896 in the Klondike region of Yukon, Canada, and follows the adventures of the wolf dog known as White Fang, who aids a young Indian boy names Mitsah (Missaele). Jason Scott (Franco Nero) is a journalist who arrives in the small gold rush town of Dawson City, a city run by a greedy businessman named Charles Smith (John Steiner) along with his henchmen. Scott, with the help of White Fang, will work to clean up the town's corruption and free the townspeople from the evil grip of Smith and his cronies.
White Fang was a successful film in Spain and did decent business in Italy and, perhaps, reminded folks that Fulci didn't only tackle horror films. This film is a G-rated film and is truly family friendly in every sense of the word. While the film is family friendly, Fulci does add to the film a dark sensibility that trusts families and children to actually get it. It's not surprising that it's a European made film as the European filmmakers have always been willing to tackle more mature and even cynical themes when it comes to their children's entertainment.
The ensemble cast for White Fang is uniformly strong, though special kudos must be given to Franco Nero as Jason Scott along with supporting players Fernando Rey and John Steiner.
Once in awhile, the fine folks at Cheezy Flicks have a film in their catalogue that strikes me as less cheesy than its reputation. White Fang is very much one of these films. Is it a masterpiece? No, but for fans of the whole B-movie scene who want to see what a director like Fulci can do with a film that is also G-rated this is a pretty terrific example of how it can be done.
You can pick up the film for yourself from Cheezy Flicks. As usual, the folks at Cheezy Flicks don't really focus on adding in any DVD extras but simply giving life to films that need it.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic