A Boy and His Dog
Sci-Fi, Drama, Comedy | 91 Mins | Released: 1975
Director: L Q Jones
Starring: Don Johnson, Jason Robards, Suzanne Benton, Tim McIntire, Alvy Moore, Helene Winston, Charles McGraw
Our Rating: 6
Vic (Don Johnson) is a libidinous 18-year-old traversing the post-apocalyptic desert of 2024, in the company of his telepathic dog, Blood. When the pair encounter an underground community, the leader’s daughter, Quilla Holmes (Susanne Benton), seduces Vic into their fold, separating him from Blood, who’s left to survive on his own. But once Vic discovers he’s been lured there solely for mechanized procreation, he realizes he’s doomed unless he can escape and rejoin Blood.
Now considered a cult film, A Boy and His Dog is a cycle of narratives by author Harlan Ellison. The cycle tells the story of a boy (Vic) and his telepathic dog (Blood), who work together as a team to survive in the post-apocalyptic world after a nuclear war. The original 1969 novella was adapted into the 1975 film A Boy and His Dog directed by L.Q. Jones. Both the story and the film were well received by critics and science fiction fans, but the movie was not successful commercially. The original novella was followed by short stories and a graphic novel.
Ellison bookended the original story with two others in the same world, in Vic and Blood: The Chronicles of a Boy and His Dog (St. Martin’s Press, 1988), a three-story graphic novel collection illustrated by Richard Corben, who also illustrated for this collection two other short stories featuring Vic and Blood: “Eggsucker” (a prequel to A Boy and His Dog, first published in Thomas Durward, ed, The Ariel Book of Fantasy Volume Two, 1977) and “Run, Spot, Run” (which was originally published in “Amazing Stories”, in 1980). Ellison’s introduction to the collection explains that 1969′s A Boy and His Dog is part of a larger novel that he has been writing for over 30 years and that story is finished, but the last, longest part is written as a screenplay with no current plans for production.
Ellison considered as late as 2003 that he would combine the three stories (possibly with additional material) to create a novel with the proposed title of Blood’s a Rover (not to be confused with the Chad Oliver story or the James Ellroy novel Blood’s a Rover). While Blood’s a Rover has not appeared, the graphic novel’s Ellison/Corben edition has been reprinted as Vic and Blood: The Continuing Adventures of a Boy and His Dog.
L. Q. Jones (born Justice Ellis McQueen, Jr. on August 19, 1927) is an American actor and director, best known for his work in the films of Sam Peckinpah. Jones made his film debut under his birth name in Battle Cry in 1955. His character was named L. Q. Jones, and when it was suggested to him by film producers that he change his screen name for future pictures, he decided that the name of his debut character would be a memorable one. He appeared in numerous films in the 1960s and 1970s. He became a member of Sam Peckinpah’s stock company of actors, appearing in his Klondike series (1960–1961), Ride the High Country (1962), Major Dundee (1965), The Wild Bunch (1969), The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970), and Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid (1973).
Jones was frequently cast alongside his close friend, Strother Martin, most memorably in The Wild Bunch. He also appeared as recurring characters on such western series as Cheyenne (1955), Gunsmoke (1955), Laramie, Two Faces West (1960–1961), and as ranch hand Andy Belden in The Virginian (1962). He was cast in the military drama series Men of Annapolis, on the CBS western Johnny Ringo, and on the NBC western Jefferson Drum. He made two guest appearances on Perry Mason, including the role of con artist and murder victim Charles B. Barnaby in the 1958 episode “The Case of the Lonely Heiress”. He also appeared in an episode of The A-Team entitled “Cowboy George” and two episodes of The Fall Guy as Sheriff Dwight Leclerc.
Jones directed, was the executive producer of, and adapted the screenplay for A Boy and His Dog (1975). Other films include Men in War (1957), The Naked and the Dead (1958), Flaming Star(1960), Cimarron (1960), Hell Is for Heroes (1962), Hang ‘Em High (1968), Stay Away, Joe (1968), The Brotherhood of Satan (1971), which he co-produced and wrote, Attack on Terror: The FBI vs. the Ku Klux Klan (1975) Lone Wolf McQuade (1983), Casino (1995), The Edge (1997) The Mask of Zorro (1998), and A Prairie Home Companion (2006).