This was one of those movies that had slipped under my movie-watching nerd radar for many years but after finding it streaming on the web the other day I decided to finally dedicate the 90 minutes it required. As a result, I was very pleased with my decision; Time well spent.
The setting. It is the future (somewhere around 2032, I believe) and the world has been destroyed after World War IV (and apparently a lot of Kennedys in the White House.) The city of Phoenix, AZ has been reduced to a desolate, smelly wasteland which has become uninhabited save for a few ignorant, rape-crazed thugs roaming the desert (much like Tucson, AZ in our current time.)
The plot. Vic is a loaner wandering the desert with his dog, Blood, with whom he can communicate telepathically (of course.) Blood acts as a female-finder who sniffs out females, in a world that has become a bigger sausage-fest than a UofA frat party, for Vic in exchange for the food that Vic, as the human, can steal. This is the type of movie, however, whose plot somewhat defies relation in the written word (certainly in as few words as I intend to write on the subject) and so suffice it to say that having a wise-ass, telepathic dog in your story can never be a poor decision.
The Commentary: Not necessarily a huge Don Johnson fan myself, I thought that Ol’ Sonny Crockett played the part of Vic very effectively and had some excellent back-and-forth ‘dialog’ with Blood. I have often heard this movie compared with A Clockwork Orange but, for the most part, it reminded me a lot more of Repo Man (perhaps due to the character similarities between Vic (Johnson) and Otto (Estevez) from Repo Man.) Once Vic ventures into the bizarre underground world things do become a bit more acid-trippy and reminiscent of the aforementioned Kubrick film but these scenes occur very late in A Boy and His Dog and appear in rather stark contrast to what has been a very Mad Max type of movie up to that point. The last line is truly what defines this movie and if you like the line, you will like A Boy and His Dog, if not… well, good luck to you.
The Verdict: I will rate the film using the standard Bruce Campbell (BC) scale. A Boy and His Dog was very entertaining and, moreover, my kind of cult movie. It’s probably not for everyone but, then again, what is? I give it four out of five BCs and a proud pat on the back.
The Bruce Campbell Scale of Film Excellence: