A BOY AND HIS DOG
   Film (1975). LQJaf Productions. Dir L.Q. Jones, starring Don Johnson, Susanne Benton, Jason Robards, Alvy Moore, Tim McIntire (as the dog's voice). Screenplay Jones, based on "A Boy and his Dog" (1969) by Harlan ELLISON. 89 mins. Colour.
   Set in AD2024, post- HOLOCAUST, this brutally pragmatic film concerns two survivors, a young man and his dog; the latter has high intelligence and the ability to communicate telepathically with his partner. They move through a desolate landscape, inhabited by dangerous scavengers, and find a girl from an underground society. She lures the youth below to her home society, which is a venomous parody of middle-class, small-town US values; here he is expected to become, in effect, a convenient sperm bank to be mechanically milked. He rejects this regimented existence and escapes back to the surface with the girl. Finding his dog starving, he kills the girl to provide food, and the two walk off into the menacing sunset, thus resolving an unusual love triangle. The underground sequences are perhaps too stagey and share the film uneasily with the gritty realism of the surface ones. Jones (character-actor turned director) adapted the Ellison story honestly and unfussily. This is one of the better small-budget sf films (it was the recipient of a HUGO), once again showing small independent producers taking risks that would horrify the big studios.
   JB/PN

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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