Cinema Obscura

The DVD case describes A Boy and His Dog as a “rather kinky tale of survival,” but keep your hands where we can see them, pervert. Sure the film chronicles the adventures of Vic née Albert (Johnson) — a horny young dude in a nearly female-free post-apocalyptic wasteland — and Blood (McIntire) — his faithful dog and only true companion — but nothing untoward happens between them. Some relationships, such as the tender telepathic bond between a drifter and his canine partner, are just too perfectly pure to sully with sexual intercourse, even if said telepathic dog is extremely attractive, and you occasionally get this vibe from it like ... What were we talking about again?

The film opens with a series of mushroom clouds and a voice-over filling us in on World War IV. What seemes to be the narrator is actually the dog’s internal monologue, and he and the boy are conversing telepathically. Furthermore, the dog’s in charge, instructing Vic on world history, correcting his grammar, and using some sort of canine sonar to locate food and women. Vic’s behavior toward Blood remains honorable, thank god (try watching Miami Vice with that image in your head), but his intentions toward the females are less so. When he does find a woman, Quilla June (Benton), he proves himself only marginally more compassionate than the other roving rapists, but the nearly imperceptible bit of decency, we’re lead to believe, convinces Quilla to take Vic home with her to the underground city of Topeka.

And believe it or not, this is where this story of a dude and his telepathic dog gets pretty weird. Topeka is a small town where everyone wears clown makeup and uncooperative citizens are sentenced to death by disinterested bureaucrats at city-hall meetings. The sequence plays like watching the movie Picnic on bad acid in hell. Blood’s character is so firmly established by this point that any time he’s not onscreen is a minor disappointment, but the film manages some truly unexpected turns and some beautifully twisted social commentary before boy and dog, still simply good friends, walk off into the sunset.

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