Based on Harlan Ellison's novella, this covers familiar territory - vigorously and imaginatively - as feuding clans of scavengers prowl the desolate American landscape left by a nuclear holocaust. What lifts things right out of the rut is the cynical commentary provided by the hero's dog, communicating telepathically (in voice-off admirably spoken by Tim McIntire) and kicking the daylights out of all those boy-and-his-dog yarns (canine values win out, for example, when with barely a qualm the hero consigns his girl to serve as dogfood). The second half, venturing underground to find Middle America miraculously preserved but rapidly dying, is less good. Jones' debut as a director nevertheless has a distinctive tang, as affably unprincipled as the series of villains he played for Sam Peckinpah.
Cast and crew