A post-apocalyptic tale based on a novella by Harlan Ellison. A boy communicates telepathically with his dog as they scavenge for food and sex, and they stumble into an underground society where the old society is preserved. The daughter of one of the leaders of the community seduces and lures him below, where the citizens have become unable to reproduce because of being underground so long. They use him for impregnation purposes, and then plan to be rid of him.
Directed by: L.Q. Jones
. Starring: Don Johnson
, Susanne Benton
, Jason Robards
, Tim McIntire
, Alvy Moore
, Helene Winston
, Charles McGraw
, Hal Baylor
, Ron Feinberg
, Michael Rupert
, Don Carter
, Michael Hershman
, L.Q. Jones
. Music by: Tim McIntire
On the back cover of my VHS case, a reviewer from Pariscop says he never saw a more beautiful and important film about the future. Hopefully he hasn't seen 'Things to Come' or '2001', for otherwise I'd have to question his taste or, perhaps, his range and number of screenings of futuristic films. The front cover also says the movie presents "a future you'll probably live to see." This film demands to be seen. Though, the seer ability of its writers to correctly foretell the future is extremely questionable.
The story begins with a stock footage of an atomic bomb explosion. Nuclear explosions are useful for low budget movies because they rid any need for technology and infrastructure. Plus, they are obviously very possible.
The title is quite literal. The plot deals with a guy named Vic (Don Johnson) and his... well, nuclear radiated, higher educated, genetically mutated, psychically gifted...dog (named Blood). For the viewer, it is just a plain and ordinary dog unfettered with CGI, a moving mouth, or anything that might cost money on special effects. Blood's advanced smelling perceptions (marked with a loud ping) are a ticket to the most coveted resource: women.
This is a brutish world: women are regularly raped and forcibly used as playthings; no wonder they are scarce. It is also dangerous: mutated creatures, called 'Screamers', stroll around looking to kill anything in their way (with only a mere touch you die). Vic and Blood stalk a woman and try to defend and claim her against a band of heavily armed men. Vic becomes entangled with the woman, a beautiful girl named Quilla (played by Susanne Benton), who is secretly out to lure Vic to a secret underground village.
Things get very strange. The underground dwellers in that village live in a nicely kept town, green grass everywhere, with one heck of a large graveyard. Vic is coaxed into following the woman to the secret hideout (Blood stays behind, disgusted with Vic's sexual escapades), where he is captured for the sole purpose of collecting his semen for insemination of the town's women. The men are all infertile and every once in awhile the dwellers try to lure a male from the desert for reproduction. The town is overseen by a town council of three. If anyone tries to thwart the town council, they are "sent to farm," or what is just cover talk for the mass graveyard.
Quilla plays her part seemingly well but to a bad end. She shows her selfish aspirations by freeing Vic just to try to get him to help her overthrow the council. To cap it off, Vic and Quilla are pursued by a smiling robot who wears overalls and has his face painted like a clown (as does everyone in the town).
The odd part is that Blood, the dog, can talk to Vic by some sort of telepathic connection. We hear a deep voiced Tim McIntire portray Blood's inner voice. However, Don Johnson talks out loud to the dog and only Vic can hear Blood's telepathy. This leads to troubles for the script; it is somewhat forgivable as far as the story is concerned, but it is costly for the science fiction. We can even grant that thoughts in general may be very analogous to verbal communication. But, for goodness sakes, why is Vic the only person who can psychically listen to Blood? Quilla can't hear him telepathically, only Vic. The writers gloss the problem with descriptions such as: "He (Vic) doesn't know why, he just can."
We also find out that several dogs in this future have the same super-dog mutation, but only certain humans can communicate with certain specific mutant-dogs. You have to have that special connection, an understanding of sorts, in order to telepathically communicate with a dog. How silly! For Blood it's very intimate, private, special, yet very implausible and miraculous. I doubt paranormal abilities will become part of the "probable future," remember, the film claims to predict the future we will live to see. Dramatically, though, it would be risky to have the two main characters communicate through just two-way mental discussions. It's much more striking to watch and listen to Vic yelling and shouting out loud; we get to see him vent his frustrations and give us a glimpse of his violent tendencies.
The theatrical presence of mutant dogs and desert landscapes has a compelling and comical effect on their relationship. We discover that Don is sexually frustrated and he is in search for food and, most of all, women. The dog is good at detecting distant women, so the two depend on one another. Vic is not very smart either. He has difficulty remembering the past presidents: that is, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Kennedy, and Kennedy (the movie was made in 1975, during Nixon's term). Blood helps to fine tune Vic's memory and locates women, but he won't help find any food. He's a lazy dog; too intelligent to bother his superior intellect with menial labor tasks. So Blood is quite dependent on Vic for food.
But it is extremely unlikely that dogs will mutate and develop telepathic abilities, but perhaps some other more advanced animal, like humans, would be more likely to develop something like it by use of technology (such as through mental Internets as portrayed in 'Ghost in the Shell'). But if an animal mutant does become telepathic, it would probably have two way communications with all other similar telepathic beings. I don't buy into special, mysterious telepathic connections between just certain characters.
I found the ending quite charming, and it has one of the best final lines of any movie. The whole relationship between Blood and Vic makes the audience hope that they will make it together. Blood wants Vic to stop chasing women and help him find a rumored far off paradise.
Review by Rizar from the Internet Movie Database.