Boy and His Dog, A

Tagged: Film

Film (1975). LQJaf Productions. Directed L Q Jones. Written by Jones and Moore, based on "A Boy and His Dog" (April 1969 New Worlds) by Harlan Ellison, who began but found himself unable to complete the script. Cast includes Susanne Benton, Don Johnson, Tim McIntire (as the dog's voice), Alvy Moore and Jason Robards. 91 minutes. Colour.

Set in 2024 CE, Post-Holocaust, this brutally pragmatic film concerns two survivors, a young man and his dog; the latter has high intelligence and the ability to communicate telepathically with his partner. They move through a desolate landscape, inhabited by dangerous scavengers, and find a girl from an Underground society. She lures the youth below to her home society, which is a venomous Parody of middle-class, small-town US values; here he is expected to become, in effect, a convenient sperm bank to be mechanically milked. He rejects this regimented existence and escapes back to the surface with the girl. Finding his dog starving, he kills the girl to provide food, and the two walk off into the menacing sunset, thus resolving an unusual love triangle. The underground sequences are perhaps too stagy and share the film uneasily with the gritty realism of the surface ones. Jones (character-actor turned director) adapted the Ellison story honestly and unfussily. This is one of the better small-budget sf films (it was the recipient of a Hugo), once again showing small independent producers taking risks that would horrify the big studios. [JB/PN]

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