Saturday, August 11, 2007


Doan worry Kyoko, I'll probably be back sometime midweek with a more moozikal-related post plus in the meanwhile I am working on a special all-reading matter-related 'un that'll see the light o' day sometime in the very near future (as soon as I get hold of the new UGLY THINGS...I already got the latest DAGGER and man is it a pippin!), but for now let me don the beret, grab a cigarette holder and once again play at (**ahem!**) "film critic" and write up my own personal opines on a filmatic excursion of the past, namely A BOY AND HIS DOG which starred none other'n seventies exposed-weenie actor turned eighties MTV cop Don Johnson in a role that I guess typifies a lotta what was going on in the tough mid-seventies cinematic scene before it all hadda end up wallowing in a soporific somethingorother I just can't quite describe to you at this moment.

I got some sassy remark directed towards me regarding my alleged love (?) of the seventies in the comment box which was left by a British lady who believe-it-or-leave-it! runs an anti-seventies blog (!) when I posted the beautifully-lurid George Kuchar film A REASON TO LIVE a while back, which only goes to show you that with this great medium of internet where ideas can flow freely and opinions can be spread w/o the imprimatur of the usual censorship-mad tastemongers at hand there will still be enough idiots out there trying to pass off their mental deficiencies as honest intellectual discourse thinking they're doing us all a favor by presenting their stupidity to an unsuspecting public as if said public really cares about anti-seventies blogs to begin with. (Not that it matters whether or not anybody gives one whit what I or anyone else writes for the entire planet to read, but the delusional aspects of the entire procedure can be mighty gargantuan!) It's a step above (a slight step nonetheless) all of the prattle that would go on in the past where the man on the street's or some third grader's comments regarding the world situation were considered just as important as a learned legal scholar's or politician's and would often get printed in the newspapers right next to the words of the experts, but getting back onna ol' track lemme just remind said dilweed that the seventies, for all of its faults, was a much better place to encounter high energy in rock (and jazz/avant garde) music, films, magazine humor and for general all-out jamz, if you looked in the right places natch! And as far as films go, I gotta admit that the mid-seventies were perhaps a BOON, nay, a second GOLDEN AGE of cinema when it came hard-edged moom pitcher excursions that miracuously merged the manic intensity of thirties/forties film noir with the New Hollywood Morality, and for some strange reason it all seemed to work out pretty snat at least until all of those old-time actors started to die off and all we were left with was the new breed o' entertainer. Of course whether ot not A BOY AND HIS DOG could be considered a classic mid-seventies cinematic romp in the same league as MACON COUNTY LINE or even DAY OF THE LOCUST remains to be seen. Frankly I'm still trying to figure this out myself, but as it stands right now all I gotta say is maybe yes, but probably...we'll see.

Anyhoo this film (based on a short story by the rather overrated Harlan Ellison who maybe should be spared the gallows if only for his halfway-there spoof of Elvis' rise to fame ROCKABILLY) stars Johnson as some teenaged survivor of World War IV (to take place in the year 2024...WW III is right now if you can believe it!) named Vic who's traipsing across the desert landscape with his telepathic pooch Blood, played by Tiger from the old BRADY BUNCH show. The two have a special arrangement keeping 'em together with Vic burrowing out canned food for the dog while Blood uses his special powers to find female companionship (which borders on rape) for his overly-randy master. After getting involved with various other post-apocalyptical maniacs who aren't quite as interesting as the ones you used to see on THE TWILIGHT ZONE and ROAD WARRIOR, Vic is lured by a sexy femme decoy to this underground city called "Topeka" which more or less resembles Disney's "Main Street USA" as run by the Reverend Jim Jones. There he is hitched up to a milking machine in order to provide this artificial community with enough baby juice to keep the population on the rise and if you think Vic is overjoyed at the prospect you better think twice because when they're done with him it's his neck onna chopping block!

Naw, it really ain't as gnarly-edge as other post-kablooey epics of this I said the wandering surface baddies aren't quite as bloodthirsty or deranged as they are in THE ROAD WARRIOR, while the mid-Amerigan satire of Topeka seems to miss the mark by maybe playing it too obvious. And the presence of Jason Robards as the Big Name Draw seems to be just about that 'n nothing more. However A BOY AND HIS DOG has a slight tinge of energy that could have made it into a better film with perhaps a tightened up screenplay and perhaps better direction (L. Q. Jones who got his acting start on LASSIE and other fifties homespun tee-vee viewing directed and co-produced), and hey, there's no way I could hate a film that has Alvy Moore (Mr. Kimball from GREEN ACRES and the other co-producer!) as the cornballus doctor who not only helps Robards out as co-Fuhrer so-to-speak but straps Johnson into the sperm-donating device while brides are lined up for a series of rapid-fire weddings in order to make it all holy! Sure it woulda been fantastic if Moore did his "Mr. Who?" routine with Robards playing the frustrated Oliver Wendell Douglas role, but the guy still does a good hokum acting job here that makes A BOY AND HIS DOG worth the price o' admission if only to see this classic performer once again.

Here're a few Youtube treats, the first the original '75 movie trailer that you might've actually eyeballed at the theatre at the time (I can imagine all of the mothers who took their kids to see BAMBI covering their progeny's eyes at the shot of the curvaceous gal getting dressed!) and the second the actual tee-vee ad which kinda flashes back memories of classic seventies UHF viewing when ads for movies like this would get popped in between PSAs and roll-a-sage chair commercials during GET SMART reruns. As they say in Germany, eat it up!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To get the full experience of seeing "A Boy And His Dog" you would have had to have seen it at the World Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard with all the flotsam and jetsam of the boulevard in the audience along with a few bewildered families, and with all sorts of trash lying around the theatre and the projection quality not being the greatest - and followed by "The Hills Have Eyes" and some cheapie kung fu flick. Oh wait - you can't - it's not the '70s any more and the World's long gone as are all the other grindhouses!

Anyways, it's still a pretty good movie even if the proper environment to see it - that which I saw it in - no longer exists. BTW, Ellison hated it.