Royden Ogletree's site

Dec 06

A Boy and his Dog: Film Review

 

A Boy and his Dog directed by L.Q. Jones and starring Don Johnson is a 1975 film set in a not to distant future. The film takes place in a barren wasteland of what used to America. The story follows, well a boy and his dog. A teenage boy Vic and his dog Blood travel the wasteland in search of food, refuge, and above all else, women for Vic. A highly sexed Vic has one mindset and Blood has the ability to help him with his desires. Should I mention that Blood also can somehow speak to Vic through telekinesis. As they travel, Blood speaks to Vic. He advises him on what to do and what not to do and in turn Vic keeps him fed and provides protection. Although the advice that Blood gives is usually correct, Vic will sometimes turn a blind eye towards it and go his own way. This is how the main part of the story comes into play. Blood smells a girl so he and Vic track her down. After finding her they realize that they are not the only two who have stumbled upon this girl. Vic and Blood get into a gunfight with these scavengers and defend them off. Blood is injured badly but they accomplished their goal. Quilla, the girl, and Vic spend all night with each other while Blood sleeps. In the morning Quilla tries to escape and does so after knocking Vic unconscious. When he wakes up he and Blood follow after her. They eventually track her to and underground city and despite Blood’s warnings, Vic goes in. Once in he is captured a strange society of people use him as a sperm donor because their woman can’t seem to get pregnant. After this strange series of events, Quilla saves Vic and they escape from a terrifying robot and back to the wasteland. There they find Blood very diminished and dying. Quilla tries to convince Vic to run away with her and leave Blood. There is a cut away and we see Vic cooking something to feed Blood with Quilla nowhere in sight. The final scene is a boy and his dog walking away together.

I found the concept of this film very interesting. For 1975 this post apocalyptic idea wasn’t as explored as it is now so for them to take this concept and role with it is amazing. As far as the writing goes, not so much. The dialogue as well as the story almost seemed forced. The pacing of the film also threw me for a loop. We would just begin following one idea that the film had to offer and then all of a sudden we are whisked away to another. The editing isn’t bad per say. I think it is more of a story issue.

The lighting in the film is what you would expect. During the daytime it is very bright and saturated but at night there is a lot of low-key lighting and tons of natural light from fire and other sources. I think this really works when they are above ground. When they are below ground we see tons of high key lighting and very vibrant colors which also works for this crazy underground world of which Jones has created.

All in all I think that the film has a very unique concept and a very talented cast. However, it suffers from lack of story development and very bad timing.  I think it is a film worth watching though.

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