L.Q. Jones spins a nuclear tale of survival, companionship and post apocalyptic underground civilization in the cultish and legendary A Boy and his Dog. The boy is Don Johnson, above ground survivor of a nuclear war who shares a telepathic connection with his dog (voiced by Tim McIntire). Below ground exists a sterile civilization of survivors who want to use Vic (Johnson) for some odd purposes. This movie is so admirable in its ambitious oddness that it dwarves most contemporary attempts on the subject. Sure, most apocalypse films nowadays strive for “realism” (I’m looking at you, Eli, Legend.), and many of them suffer for it. What happened to the Escapes from New Yorks and L.A.s, the Death Race 2000s, the Planet of the Apeses, the Boys and their Dogs? Gone the way of the dodo, and we have all lost a little something as a result. The greatest thing about A Boy and his Dog is that about three quarters of the way through the film, you get an idea in your head of how it will end, but you don’t actually think it will happen. It’s one of those “wouldn’t it be awesome if this happened?” situations, but the difference is that Jones goes for it, all the way. Bravo, Mr. Jones.
Note: This excellent cult classic popped into my head after I spent a bland afternoon watching The Book of Eli, a noble but inadequate attempt at an apocalypse film. Denzel is a badass, Gary Oldman is a badass, and that pseudo-long take of the homestead shootout is pretty badass, but the film falls short. When Denzel is put up in Carnegie’s hotel, there is an old one sheet on the back wall for A Boy and His Dog. My eyes lit up and (since it was still early in the film) my hopes shot skyward. Excellent set decoration, Misters Hughes.