Well we've had healthy lashings of sex and violence here recently but the Ashes aside, perhaps it's time GrogFlog spruiked something that's more of a family flick. If the adventures of a young lad and his loveable mutt are more your thing, then why not check out "A Boy And His Dog"?
(1975. Colour. Script: LQ Jones from a short story by Harlan Ellison. Direction: LQ Jones. Cinematography: John Arthur Morrill. Score: Tim McIntire, Jaime Mendoza-Nava and warped snatches of John Philip Souza.)
It's all about the merry japes of Vic (Don Johnson) and his dog Blood (a largish scruffy wire-haired terrier voiced by Tim McIntire) in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. What? Sorry, didn't I mention the flick starts with an atomic explosion montage wrapped up by a title card that reads "World War IV lasted five days. Politicians had finally solved the problems of urban blight"?
So anyway we have Vic and Blood making their way through a mise en scene that predates the Mad Max movies when it comes to paying with rusty tins of food and checking in weapons to get into dusty anarcho oasises for a night of relative safety from the bandits and muties.
It's in one of these desert dens that Blood tells Vic he smells a disguised woman (Oh yeah, also forgot to mention that Blood is telepathic and Vic is perpetually horny) who turns out to be the bait to lead Vic to a massive underground bomb shelter where a "Committee" is trying to keep the Norman Rockwell dream of America alive despite somewhat trying circumstances. Which includes the fact that the men living underground for so long in a radioactive world are now all shooting blanks. Quite unlike the young rude, crude but very virile alpha male Vic - who soon gets introduced to technology more often seen in Royal Agricultural Shows.
And then the film gets really weird.
But what holds it all together is LQ Jones' (A rugged old industry pro - google his acting credits for starters) sturdy but thoughtful direction and a lotta fucking great acting. A young and callow Don Johnson is actually pretty damn good playing a young and callow hyper-aggressive male predator. Jason Robards is even better as the ruthlessly urbane head of the troika running the "Committee", effortlessly stealing scenes just by eating a sandwich or sternly questioning an innocent Maltese terrier.
The real star though is the dog playing Blood. The best animal acting you will ever see, regardless of CGI'd pigs and all that jazz. LQ Jones said in the DVD commentary the dog was seriously considered for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar and I believe him. I'm sorry I can't dig up the dog's real name but he (at least I think it's a he) really is so bloody brillant as the boy's best friend, hiding his true feelings behind sardonic one-liners. And he and Don do make up the heart of what is basically a great buddy movie. Women? By the end, they're just something to jaw about by the campfire.
All weirdness aside, it really is a great story of a boy and his dog. Get it out for a nice family night in…and down deep under.
GrogFlog's verdict: "Right now I'm hungry and I want to get laid, so find me a broad and we'll go to the promised land." 7 out of 10. Or 11 out of 10 if yer are the proverbial dog on the internet.
Coming soon: Oliver Reed remains irradiated, gay communist torture, the Addams Family for grownups and who really shot President Kerrigan.