boy-and-his-dog

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boy and his dog

A Boy and His Dog (1975 - R)

In the future, following a global nuclear war, this rather dark-humored, male-oriented film spins the story of a young man and a telepathic dog with a talented nose, who rely on each other for survival in a harsh environment; hunting for food wherever they can get it, and always looking for a female for Albert to have some sexual fun with. Difficult choices face their friendship when Albert finally finds a female on his own, and they have a lot of fun. However it turns into a trap, which isn't fun at all, as Albert finds himself abused for a quality which comes from his biological functions. 

A BOY AND HIS DOG features action, comedy, and a little romance. A young Don Johnson delivers a strong performance. Tim McIntire has fun as the voice of a telepathic dog. Director of Photography, John Arthur Morrill, delivers potent screen images of the devastated landscape.

The cast includes: Don Johnson, Suzanne Benton, Jason Robards Jr., Alvy Moore, and Charles McGraw.

Directed by L.Q. Jones.

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SYNOPSIS...

Albert, a young man, and Blood, his telepathic dog, struggle for survival in a post-nuclear future. Blood uses his talented nose to try and sniff up a woman for Albert, but can't.

Some human scavengers show up and dig up canned goods out of the ground. Albert runs up and steals a bunch of cans and they enjoy a big meal. Blood senses a female and they go underground in search of the female. Albert and the woman make love many times.

Albert decides to go to an underground city named Topeka with the woman, leaving Blood behind. Weird people have lured him there to impregnate the girls since the local guys are sterile. After escaping to the surface with the girl, Albert finds Blood, who is starving. They enjoy a big meal of a surprising and shocking nature.

REVIEW...

Writer/Director L.Q. Jones' A BOY AND HIS DOG, is a fascinating, frequently funny, and ultimately disturbing look at life in America after a nuclear war.

In the future, after a nuclear war, a young man named Albert (Don Johnson) and his dog, Blood, (voice of Tim McIntire), roam the wasteland that is now Phoenix, Arizona, looking for non-contaminated canned food and healthy women. Blood, who is telepathic, can find both food and women with his hyper-sensitive nose. He also has all the good lines. When Johnson uses bad grammar, Blood offers, "One does not say 'ain't', Albert. Simply say, 'I'm not kidding'." Later, when he is unable to find a female for Johnson, Blood suggests, "I'd be delighted to tell you a suggestive story, if you think it would help." As voiced by Tim McIntire, (who also did the fun, folky/twangy Music for the film), Blood is a grouchy, superior type who feels he may be getting the short end of the stick in his partnership with Johnson.

The desolate, desert-like landscape that represents all that's left of Phoenix, Arizona, which is buried under a thick layer of mud, is well shot by Director of Photography, John Arthur Morrill. You can practically taste the grit in your teeth.

When Johnson's desire for a female takes him underground, he encounters a beautiful girl, played by Suzanne Benton ("That Cold Day in the Park"). After some rigorous lovemaking, and despite Blood's persuasive telepathic speeches, Johnson decides to go to the underground city of Topeka, which exists nearby. In this strange city, Johnson encounters graveyards, parks, churches, and a ruthless Committee which runs everything, headed by Jason Robards ("All the President's Men"). The fact that everybody wears "white face" and rouge around here adds to the nightmare quality. Director Jones, working from his own Script, based on the award-winning novella by Harlan Ellison, delivers a bizarre yet somehow believable post-nuclear war underground community.

Robard's explains that Johnson's fling with the girl was all part of the Committee plan to get him underground, as he has been chosen for a special purpose. In Robard's words, "We've been underground for too long; our women can't get pregnant." Alvy Moore (who also produced), as another Committee member, chimes in, "We need a new man". With the aid of Benton and some of her friends, Johnson manages to escape back up to the surface. Accompanied by Benton, Johnson reunites with Blood. The end of the film is both shocking and surprisingly logical.

Johnson ("Miami Vice"), in his early twenties at the time of the film's release, delivers a strong, thoughtful performance. It's interesting to see Johnson give such a mature performance, this early in his career.

My favorite scene is when the dog, trying to educate Johnson, asks him to recite the recent U.S. Presidents, in order. Johnson replies, "Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy..."

A BOY AND HIS DOG should be watchable for most Sci-Fi fans. Those who enjoy Global Disasters films should get a particular kick out of this flick. See it with your favorite pet! 

If you liked A BOY AND HIS DOG you may enjoy ON THE BEACH and/or THE ROAD WARRIOR.