The Great Adventure then, aka The Cry of the Wolf and starring Joan Collins (and in fairness to Joan she’s absolutely gorgeous AND clearly leagues above anyone else in this debacle, including Jack Palance who seems understandably disinterested). In which a German Shepherd with seemingly supernatural abilities bonds immediately with the world’s most gormless family. When the dad gets an arrow through the back, the dog leads the kids (plus two imbecilic brothers who’ve fallen off of their sled) to the corpse, and then helps track them a path away from their snowy shack to the “safety” of the town (and subsequently into Jack Palance-shaped trouble). The dad was so stupid anyway that, personally, I think the dog shot him.
-“That’s a wolf! Stand back!”
-“No! It’s a dog, dad!”
-“It’s a wolf!”
-“No, dad! It’s a dog!”
-“That’s a wolf. Why it didn’t rip you to pieces, I just don’t know.”
BECAUSE IT’S A F*CKING DOG, YOU HELMET!
The whole thing carries on in that vein. The idiot dad shoots the dog, they take it home, stroke it a bit, it bounces back to life. The dog rounds two blocks and storms into a saloon in a futile attempt to save one of the donut brothers from being beaten to death. In going after the killer, the dog is beaten almost to death itself (strictly off-screen, of course. Family Spag, this) but everyone seems to accept that as soon as that dog perks up, there’ll be a-trouble fer someone! WTF?!? When the dog DOES perk up, it buys a seat at a faro table and rinses the town for $50,000. Then, it’s appointed Mayor of Deadwood and brings in the bumwipe who shot Bill Hickock. Then, it invents the motor-car. Then, it…
Well, I may have exaggerated on the last few, there. But for God’s sake! It’s smarter than bloody Chewbacca (although in a bizarre sequence, they test the dog’s intelligence in agreeing to a bet with Palance that it will willingly fling itself off of a first floor balcony which, after some hesitation, it does, thus “proving” his intelligence. I’d have thought a dog that slick would’ve thought, “F*ck off. YOU jump it, you pinheads,” but there you go). Anyway, I’ve no idea how or why this flat badger of a film ended up on the Ten Thousand Ways to Die Spaghetti Western boxset, unless the good folk at Mill Creek Entertainment were trying to illustrate “boredom” as one of the aforementioned ten thousand ways to die. It nearly killed me, for sure. It was a well-intentioned stab at a family film, but honestly: It made White Comanche look like The Great Silence.