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A Boy and His Dog Movie Review

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Harlan Ellison has been outraging people through most of his career as a professional writer. He admits frankly that much of this is hype. Contemporary writers have to be strong personalities to get booked on the chat shows that will promote their work. Ellison considers A Boy and His Dog to be one of the best science-fiction novellas he's ever written, and director L.Q. Jones’ screen adaptation became an instant cult film when it was first released in 1975. I have yet to meet a woman who wasn't offended by it or a man who wasn't amused by it. Halfway through a 1975 press screening of A Boy and His Dog, I walked out, seriously intending not to return. A nice man in the lobby stopped me, reassured me that the last half of the movie was much better than the first, and told me that I'd feel a lot better if I went back. I did not feel a lot better. In fact, I felt simply horrible when director/screenwriter L.Q. Jones and actor/producer Alvy Moore appeared out of nowhere directly after the film, and proceeded to say how great they were and how awful many of the critics in attendance were for not liking their movie. A Boy and His Dog features fine performances by Susanne Benton as A Girl and an even better one by Tiger the Dog, who previously starred in The Brady Bunch. It also offers incredible sex, violence at its most vicious, and a theme that is embarrassing in its treatment, if thoughtful in its content. Oh, yeah, the plot. It's set in the future. It shows how a telepathic Boy (Don Johnson, then 25) and his Dog survive despite all those people out there. It's also supposed to be funny. A Boy and His Dog is still igniting controversy on home video over two decades after its theatrical release. Cuttingedge satire or yet another cinematic cheap shot at women? It's your call. woof!

1975 (R) 87m/C Don Johnson, Susanne Benton, Jason Robards Jr., Charles McGraw, Alvy Moore; D: L.Q. Jones; W: L.Q. Jones; C: John Morrill; V: Tim McIntire. VHS, LV, DVD

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