|Vintage Pulp||Nov 14 2016|
This is a pretty unassuming poster considering A Boy and His Dog is one of the top cult films of the 1970s. It was painted by Robert Tanenbaum, a major talent in the realm of American cinema illustration. Based on a novella by Harlan Ellison, and starring a young Don Johnson as well as early Pulp Intl. femme fatale Susanne Benton (who you can see in all her glory here), A Boy and His Dog is a post-apocalyptic tale of desperate survivors wandering radioactive wastelands scratching out a hard fought existence. Mutations have done a number on living creatures, which is why Johnson's co-star is a shaggy telepathic dog named Blood. Man and dog have a symbiosis, with Johnson offering protection, the dog sniffing out food and women, and both profiting companionship.
Sounds goofy, we know, but the telepathic dog bit really works. Blood is irascible, but funny, smart, and warm, while Johnson is a slave to his id and libido. Ultimately, circumstances offer a choice between a dangerous and unpredictable freedom on the wastelands, or a secure but tedious existence in an underground sanctuary. The final question becomes whether conventionality diminishes a man. Playing like a bizarro prequel to The Road Warrior, and ultimately revealing itself to be a barroom joke stretched out to feature length, this is a film we recommend, however be forewarned that Harlan Ellison's post-apocalypse is a tough place for women. A Boy and His Dog premiered in the U.S. today in 1975.