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A Boy and His Dog (1975)

A post-apocalyptic tale based on a novella by Harlan Ellison. A boy communicates telepathically with his dog as they scavenge for food and sex, and they stumble into an underground society ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (novel)
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ON DISC
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Vic
Susanne Benton ...
Quilla June Holmes
...
Lou Craddock
Tim McIntire ...
Blood (voice)
Alvy Moore ...
Dr. Moore
Helene Winston ...
Mez Smith
...
Preacher
Hal Baylor ...
Michael
...
Fellini
...
Gery (as Mike Rupert)
Don Carter ...
Ken
Michael Hershman ...
Richard
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Storyline

A post-apocalyptic tale based on a novella by Harlan Ellison. A boy communicates telepathically with his dog as they scavenge for food and sex, and they stumble into an underground society where the old society is preserved. The daughter of one of the leaders of the community seduces and lures him below, where the citizens have become unable to reproduce because of being underground so long. They use him for impregnation purposes, and then plan to be rid of him. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The year is 2024... a future you'll probably live to see. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

14 November 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Apocalypse 2024  »

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The trailer was done in the exact style as the trailer for Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (1971). See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the film, when Vic is speaking with Blood outside the entrance to The Down Under, Vic refers to him as "Tiger", which was the dog's actual name. See more »

Quotes

Lou Craddock: Let's get another Michael out of the warehouse. This time make sure the engineering department wipes that smile off his face.
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Connections

Referenced in Coach: A Boy and His Doll (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

When the World Was New
by Richard Gillis
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User Reviews

 
it's post-apocalyptic, it's satiric, it's psychological, and it's a purely, originally crazy work of 70s cinema
5 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Damned if I know what gravitated LQ Jones to Harlan Ellison's novella of the title let alone to adapt it into a film. A veteran character actor, he's the one, for better or worse (for me the better), responsible for A Boy and His Dog, a story that takes place after World War 4, nevermind 3, where a young guy and his dog, whom he can understand ala Dr Doolittle, roams the desert fighting off wild savage men and looking for food and women. But there's more than just this premise- there's also the other side to this barren wasteland which, by the way, served as inspiration for the Mad Max series. There's also the "down under", where a society that's a cross between puritanical Kansas- dubbed Topeka- and a Fellini movie, is sterilized and needs fresh seed to repopulate its people. Where the ones living up above are brutal beings who can't give a damn about anything aside from what's next to eat or who's next to have their 'way' with (and the occasional projected porn movie), the ones below have created a f***ed up enclave where a robot bodyguard chokes anything in his path. Sounds, um... peachy keen, don't it?

A Boy and His Dog is as surprising an effort that has ever come into the genre, where imagination is pushed to its most cynical, rotten roots, where a wealth of pitch black comedy awaits those who have no problem with the repore between a slightly dim dude and a dog who seems to be part comic relief, part 'get-your-head-out-of-your-ass' voice of reason. Indeed, there could be something else read into all of this wackiness: if taking Freud into account, there's almost a super-ego aspect to the dog, where Vic (Don Johnson) only hears and talks with Blood (yes, a dog named Blood), who Vic trusts beyond all reason, while the boy himself is like a version of the Id, out for survival but also out for his carnal needs, no matter what the price. It's also very smart that Jones doesn't explain anything about the dog's abilities if it is meant to be that he and the dog can really talk to another. Damned if I would take a convoluted explanation anyway, all the funnier. In fact, Blood, as voiced with a perfect sardonic (yet also rather touching) style by Tim McIntire, is probably the character the audience can identify with, like the Neville/Sam bond in I Am Legend given a twist out of a Robert Crumb comic.

And all the while Jones makes this a future that looks lived in, a wasteland with leftover parts and clothes and production design full of boiler rooms and dark halls and places left untreated for years, AND in the 'down under' scenes a kind of plastic, small-town look that is probably even more eerie than the one up above. For what should be just an outrageous B-movie is a lot smarter than one would ever think looking at the premise. The dialog is invigorating in how it stays truthful while also aiming for the bizarre, and as with the most cringe-worthy of satire (i.e. the scenes with Jason Robards and the 'committee'), things said with a straight face and deadly serious always garner up huge laughs. Yet there's also an intelligence to the film-making as well. This could have looked cheaply made and shot poorly like many a B-movie, but Jones's DP John Arthur Morill gets some great, strange compositions out of this 'after'-world, sometimes spotting (better than average) Johnson give facial expressions like he knows what's going on but doesn't all the same.

It should be way too ridiculous to be taken seriously as a piece of legitimate cinema, as some gonzo experiment that's dug up by cultists for tongue-in-cheek purposes. But Jones's film is, in its way, a weird landmark, a moment where the basic fronts of a 70s 'exploitation' flick (action, comedy, randomness of the 70s, nudity) are put through the perspective of a filmmaker with brains and talent to make it stick in your mind, as it presents its story through the prism of a society gone amock through two prisms, both hells in one way or another (though one, not too arguably, is a lot more fun than the other). Is it a Clockwork Orange or Blade Runner? Not quite. But I'd never kick it out of my collection, if only for one of the truly classic end lines of any movie, a bad pun that gives one more hysterical smack across the face.


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