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Review: A Boy and His Dog

Throughout, you can practically smell the year-old hotdish.

The Boy and His Dog
Photo: Aquarius Releasing

L.Q. Jones, one of Sam Pekinpah’s favorite character actors, directed only one major film, and one has to wonder if he didn’t take on the job because he could then fulfill his life dream of being a porn star. Jones’s cameo during an open-air movie theater sequence is by far the most cinematic moment of A Boy and His Dog, the 1975 cult classic for boys who hate women (based on a sci-fi novella by Harlan Ellison, who reportedly loathed this adaptation initially, before its favorable reception forced him to rethink his appraisal). Don Johnson plays Vic, the horny and perpetually pissed-off titular caricature, living in a post-WWIV wasteland. His companion, a condescending canine named Blood (voiced by Tim McIntire), helps Vic sniff out hot desert poontang in exchange for food (or “comestibles,” as the extraordinarily supercilious Blood might call them). When Vic finally lands himself a snatch, she leads him down to the underground city of Topeka, where a small oligarchic society, ludicrously done up in clown make-up, attempts to save humanity. Or, rather, the sub-section of humanity that Topeka could reasonably be expected to represent: namely WASP purity (the town seems to be locked into a perpetual Fourth of July celebration straight out of The Music Man). Living underground for so long has left the residents impotent (like most Protestants), and so they need Vic’s apparently plentiful spunk to impregnate the town’s young fillies. The film is riddled with an unmistakably misogynistic bent, and can’t be bothered to supply one single likable soul. Still, one aspect of the scenario that Jones does manage to pull off with panache is the spare, hilariously realistic look of the underground Committee headquarters: obviously, but appropriately, the basement of a mid-‘60s, mid-American Protestant church. You can practically smell the year-old hotdish.

Cast: Don Johnson, Tim McIntire, Susanne Benton, Jason Robards, Alvy Moore, Charles McGraw, Hal Baylor, Ron Feinberg, Helene Winston Director: L.Q. Jones Screenwriter: L.Q. Jones Distributor: Aquarius Releasing Running Time: 91 min Rating: NR Year: 1975 Buy: Video

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