ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

"A Boy and His Dog" Review: A Radical Animality Statement

Updated on July 19, 2019
Sam Shepards profile image

Hi, I'm Sam, I love movies. My main interest is science fiction and zombie movies. Pessimistic and survival films I also enjoy a lot.

If there is a positive element to the legacy of A Boy and His Dog, it’s that it ended up being an important inspiration for the video game saga Fallout, a far superior cultural product that knew how to portray different aspects of humanity using a nuclear wasteland as a playground.

Original in its dystopic representation, A Boy and His Dog is the story of young Vic (Don Johnson) and his dog, Blood (voiced by Tim McIntire), who survive a nuclear holocaust by scavenging, stealing, killing raiders and raping women.

They work as a unit, combining their talents. Blood has a nose that detects human presence and location. Vic is a competent thief and fighter.

During their adventures in search of women and food, they find a gorgeous woman called Quilla June Holmes (Susanne Benton), who, against Blood's wishes, eventually manages to attract Vic to the underground organized city of Topeka.

Undoubtedly, A Boy and His Dog has provocative and engaging ideas. This is the story of man's internal struggle, the battle between his animalistic side and his rational, molded-by-rules-and-society side.

The symbolism is easily accessible, sometimes a little too much. Vic is a man with no ethical grounding or moral compass—he simply follows his hungers and his sexual impulses and, in order to survive in this mode,he uses the company of his dog who--to further facilitate the motif--can communicate telepathically with him.

The city of Topeka, the other side of the tale, is a too-obvious caricature of a conservative 1930's America where all its citizens wear whiteface.

But in spite of its compelling core thesis, A Boy and His Dog has one unforgivable flaw: Its unvarnished and relentless misogyny. In order to highlight the story of Vic’s inner struggle between his animality and concessions, L. Q. Jones (following Harlan Ellison, the author of the original novel) reduces women to banal sexual objects.

Most of the time the women in this universe are simple pieces of meat waiting to be raped, abused and mangled. And when Quilla--the only female character who has more than two lines of dialogue--becomes part of the history, she is quickly portrayed as a manipulative, seductive, self-centered bitch.

What's Your Rating For A Boy and His Dog?

See results

Nobody can say, though, that A Boy and His Dog isn't committed to its misogyny. In the end, when Vic chooses Blood over Quilla (because mendaciously he only has two options), he just doesn't reject her but ends up killing her, chopping her to bits and feeding the remains to his dog—the mayhem all off camera, of course, so our empathy for him remains intact.

The film closes with Vic and Blood walking towards the horizon, joking about the fact that she declared her love for Vic. "Certainly she had marvelous judgment, if not particularly good taste" says Blood, before laughing out loud on his way to the desert.

The absolute hatred of femininity is used here as a clever resource to move the plot forward. That is achieved, but A Boy and His Dog isn't a better movie (not even remotely) because of it.

Movie Details

Title: A Boy and His Dog

Release Year: 1975

Director(s): L.Q. Jones

Actors: Don Johnson, Jason Robards, Susanne Benton, a.o.

3 stars for A Boy and His Dog

© 2019 Sam Shepards

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)