A Boy and His Dog (1975) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
|This film has attained mini-cult status for a variety of reasons.|
is that it has a surprise ending which is completely
jaded and amoral and gross, but which most people like in
spite of themselves.
The second is that it represented a major starring role for Don Johnson years before Miami Vice. He was 26 at the time, but is playing an 18 year old.
is that it was a rare directorial effort from veteran
character actor L.Q. Jones. By the way, he played himself
in his first movie! Well, not exactly. In his first
movie, using his real name, he played a character named
L.Q. Jones. He liked the character's name better than his
own, so he kept it. I wonder how many hours of tape this
guy's career would encompass. 75 movies, and every cowboy
show ever made. This was the last movie he wrote, th
elast one he directed, the last one he produced.
Considering that it's a cult favorite, you'd think he
would have done more in the next 25 years. I don't know
why not. Anyway, this was an indie before anybody ever
used the term 'indie".
The fourth claim to fame is that it's the most accurate of all the futuristic movies. It predicted that the world of the 21st century would be a burnt out lifeless desert, and that dogs would be smarter than Don Johnson. One out of two isn't bad. Two out of two if you live in Arizona.
Fifth, it's actually literate and funny, at least sporadically.
It's not a great movie, but it has some great concepts and some great moments. It's based on a Harlan Ellison novella about a new level of human relationships with dogs - the telepathic relationship between a human of minimal intelligence, and a dog of truly superior intellect. In some respects, the dog is a dog. He needs the human to help provide food, and they co-operate as dogs and humans have always co-operated, but the dog is also a scholar and mentor to the human. In addition, he helps him find female humans, a necessary task for any Don Johnson pet.
Well it turns out that the surface world that they inhabit, a landscape of crazy foraging raider bands similar to the Mad Max universe, is only part of the reality. Underground there is a hyper-conventionalized civilization, still prospering with plenty of food, that appears to be spending all eternity in a road show production of Oklahoma, except in whiteface.
undergrounders have lost male potency, and cannot
propagate their race without help from new genetic stock
from the surface. So they lure Don Johnson down into
Gee, that wasn't hard. Guess what they used as bait?
Well, Don decides that he doesn't want to settle down in the Kabuki version of Oklahoma, so he has to fight his way back to his faithful doggie and his Mad Max existence on the surface.
Too bad that they didn't have more money. It looks like that had pretty much no budget at all, so the action scenes are really lame, but the script and dialogue are actually pretty funny.
Incidentally, the dog is the same dog who played Tiger on The Brady Bunch
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