“A Boy and His Dog” is just like the title states. Set in the year 2024 after World War IV has destroyed most of humanity. Vic(Don Johnson) and his telepathic dog Blood(voice by Tim Mcintire) travel the waste land in search of food and women. The boy is good at finding food and the dog is good at finding women. So they make a pretty good team. It never goes into much detail of why they can communicate with each other, but I’m sure people with pets can understand that there is a bond that no one else can share. In this desolate waste land, women have become scarce and are mainly raped and killed. Vic has no moral obligations about the issue because he was born many years after civilization was destroyed and had no one to care for except for his dog. When Blood leads him to a women that is hiding underground. His first impulse is to rape her, but somehow he can’t go through with it. That and more dangerous people are on their way down to find them. The woman’s name is Quilla June Homes(Susan Benton) and after they escape they hide out for a few days in a small bunker. While there, the two have sex(I assure you it’s consensual) and June begins telling Vic how great it is underground and that they should live there. Vic doesn’t want to because he doesn’t want to leave Blood behind. Yet the promise of sex and food is too great to pass up so he leaves.
I’m going to stop right there because what happens next works best if it is not spoiled. I don’t care how old this movie is. I won’t give away what happens next because it is certainly a WTF moment. “A Boy and His Dog” reminded me a bit of “A Clockwork Orange” in that both Vic and Alex are somewhat similar in their behaviors. They both see things they want and they take them. They don’t really care about human life and they each see women as something expendable. However, Alex would have no problem raping June in the bunker while Vic does show some resistance. What they do love is somewhat more obtuse. Vic has a love for his dog and Alex has a love for Beethoven. In both movies a Government like hierarchy comes to change each character’s disposition, and each end with a very dark like outcome. Well dark for us, but good for them. The trailer is also very similar to that Kubrick’s picture as you can see below. Without getting into too much spoilers. This movie also reminds me of another one of Kubrick’s movies “Dr. Strangelove or How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb“. Especially when you find out what happens to Vic when he ventures underground.
I have seen pictures of this VHS before at many video stores when I was younger but I never got a chance to check it out. It wasn’t until a friend I know recommended that I should watch this and I hope to get her feelings about this very soon. The story feels almost misogynistic, but that would be wrong for me to call it that. Just because the characters are doesn’t mean that the story is. All I took away from the story is that the love between a boy and his dog is a lot stronger then one would think. Oh and that the future is a very darkly, funny place.
The movie won the Hugo award for Best Dramatic Presentation and has gone on to become a cult hit. I have only seen Don Johnson before in reruns of “Miami Vice“, and “Machete” but I thought he was very good in this. He has really good chemistry with the dog and the two are very believable in that scenario. The film was directed by L.Q. Jones who I recognized from the movie “Casino“(he played the older commissioner with the mustache who’s nephew was the one not managing the slot machines correctly). He is known mostly for westerns and I was very impressed to see him pull off this Sci-Fi tale but it shouldn’t be that difficult. After all this tale shows a world after civilization has ended, and most westerns show a world before civilization has begun.