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A Boy & His Dog

by L. Q. Jones

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233791,872 (3.67)None
Classic sci-fi tale follows the exploits of a young man & his telepathic dog as they struggle in a post-atomic wilderness.

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Decent, if slightly uninspiring adaptation of Harlan Ellison's classic post-apocalyptic novella. The screenplay by director L. Q. Jones faithfully follows Ellison's tale and opens with the boy and dog of the title, Vic (Don Johnson) and Blood (voiced by Tim McIntire), wandering the post World War IV wastelands. The pair have s telepathic link and their objectives appear limited to finding women for Vic to rape and food for Blood to eat. All is going well until they "find" the beautiful Quilla (Susanne Benton) who lures Vic to the underground city of Topeka, which is ruled by an ominous Committee led by Lou Craddock (Jason Robards). Plastered in make-up and impotent the men of Topeka capture Vic and strap him to a sperm-milking machine in order to replenish their sperm bank. With Blood abandoned on the surface Vic has to battle his way out of Topeka.

L. Q. Jones does well with his adaptation and despite the obvious low budget he captures the apocalyptic feel of the book as well as the vicious and angry social critique that Ellison poured into Topeka. He gives everything a sheen of dark humour and a black cynicism very much in keeping with the source novella. Unfortunately the final climatic punch that gave much of the written story so much of its resonance doesn't really work in the film - Jones appears to lose his nerve a touch and doesn't really slam home the final denouement. The telepathic conversations between Vic and Blood are nicely written and delivered and work surprisingly well and Jones doesn't sanitise the fact that Vic's key motivation is simply to find women for sex and that he considers rape absolutely fine. The creepily made up citizens of Topeka also work well as does Ellison and Jones' bitter and biting attack on middle-American values as envisioned in the underground town. The acting is pretty good - Don Johnson is nigh on perfect as the dumb, sex-obsessed boy, with Tim McIntire doing some excellent work as the voice of Blood. There is something slightly crazy and more than a touch tasteless about "A Boy and His Dog", but on the whole there is enough left-field lunacy and unpredictability to make this a hugely interesting film, despite it never really fully igniting. ( )
  calum-iain | Feb 16, 2019 |
Interesting post-apocalyptic SF with Don Johnson and his dog, who is smarter (and funnier) than he is, Doesn't really do justice to Harlan Ellison's story, and the ending is pretty much unforgivable. ( )
  unclebob53703 | Mar 4, 2016 |
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