September 10, 2008

Public Domain Drive-In: A Boy and His Dog

Sometimes - just sometimes - a good film can be turned into a mediocre one for various reasons. Maybe a poor script turn, bad plot point, or bad action.

A Boy and His Dog is actually, for the majority of the time, a pretty smart movie - filmed in the mid 1970s, it's a post-apocalyptic scenario that smartly subverts the cliches of the genre.

(Or, at least, would had it been released ten years later)

It's the heartwarming story of a young boy named Vic (Don Johnson - yes, that Don Johnson) who shares a unique telepathic rapport with his dog, Blood, as they forage their way through a harsh, post-apocalyptic world. With no hair gel.

(I'm kidding about that last part).

However, through a series of circumstances, Vic and Blood find themselves in a near-replica of small town America circa 1950, led by Jason Robards. There, Vic and Blood find themselves in an almost surreal situation...but that would be telling.

For the majority of the movie, the tone straddles between straight drama and slightly dry satire. It's not an easy movie to watch, and at times director L.Q. Jones threatens to pull the movie one way or the other. (It might be easy to see why Harlan Ellison may have chosen to distance himself from this movie). The fact that it never truly does - and that it actually holds together into a smart, cynical package - is a real testament to Jones' work.

However, it's the final line that really kills the whole tone of the movie. It's meant to be black humor, but the delivery seems...well, unsure. It is the only part of the movie that - quite frankly - doesn't work. But everything else does.

Why this is public domain, I have no idea, but the fact that it is means that it can receive a much wider audience...and you can torrent it guilt free. Enjoy!

Internet Archive - A Boy and His Dog

Torrent - A Boy and His Dog

1 comment:

Ben Varkentine said...

Good catch. My understanding is that Ellison likes most of the movie very much, but absolutely hates the last line, which isn't in the story.