Last Of The Dogmen, HG Wells once recommended that writers of ‘fantastic fiction’ choose to break only one rule per story, to avoid stretching their readers willful suspension of disbelief to breaking. _Last of the Dogmen_ proves how well a story based on an implausible premise (traditional Cheyenne surviving in the mountains with their culture intact) can work if everything else is kept real. The action is realistic, and the characters are drawn honestly and allowed to behave in a natural, realistic manner.
As others have pointed out, it’s a quiet little story as these stories go, and it’s also one of Berenger’s better performances; I feel as though I should bird-dog this director, because all the principles turn in good, nuanced work.
I recommend this movie as light or even moderate fare, with something for both romantics and adventurers.
(Curiously, as far as I can recall, the title is never explained in the film. ‘Cheyenne’ is a French corruption of a Blackfoot or Arikara word meaning “dog people”, for the dogs the Cheyenne once used in preference to horses to haul their household goods between camps. The leading Cheyenne warrior society eventually adopted the name “dog men” or “dog soldiers” in defiance. The survivors depicted here would be the descendents of a dog soldier group and their families.)