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.
The first 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.


Susanne Benton is naked, seen from Don Johnson's POV as he peeps on her while she dresses. She is later seen topless in an arty apres-sex shot.
The third 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.

DVD info from Amazon.

2.35:1 letterboxed widescreen.

This DVD looks great for a low-budget 1975 film. The lighting levels are low, but all scenes are clearly viewable.

Full-length director's commentary, which also features film critic Charles Champlin, and the DP.

Comes in about the prettiest carrying case ever for a DVD.

Unfortunately, the 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 their world.

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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  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 6.5.

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