Lucio Fulci was a versatile and talented director and I love his work. White Fang is one of his most family-friendly films, and it almost doesn’t feel like a Fulci film because there are no flesh eating zombies or gory murders in it. Fulci is afterall best known for brutal films such as Zombi 2, so it was fun to see him shift gears in this Jack London-based spaghetti western. Those of you who are familiar with London should, however, not confuse this movie with the cute Disney films. It’s a tad more violent, so beware if you have kids. I grew up with a Jack London movie with the great Jeff East called Klondike Fever, and I recently had the opportunity to see it again. It was great. Shortly after, I discovered by pure coincidence that Lucio Fulci had made his own version of White Fang too. And when I found out that Franco Nero was in it I just had to check it out.
This is not the first White Fang movie. I think it’s the fourth or fifth, but it’s the first for Fulci and so far my favorite. The film is about adventurer/reporter Jason Scott (Nero) who travels to Dodge City to write about gold mining, along with his sidekick Kurt (Raimund Harmstorf). Jason meets White Fang (half dog, half wolf) and a hot nun (Virna Lisi), and he soon discovers that the town is controlled by a creepy turd played by John Steiner. To begin with the film has a lighthearted tone, but it builds up gradually and the final half hour is so exciting that I almost peed my pants. Lisi is one of the hottest actresses from the 70’s, and although she looks a bit strict here with torn eyebrows (?) she’s still a delight to watch. Nero is dubbed by an American guy, but it doesn’t matter – you forget after a while. Fernando Rey (French Connection) also has a significant role. Big pluss, great film.
Release year: 1973
Director: Lucio Fulci
Starring: Franco Nero, Virna Lisi, Fernando Rey, John Steiner