A Boy and His Dog

Critics Consensus

An offbeat, eccentric black comedy, A Boy and His Dog features strong dialogue and an oddball vision of the future.



Total Count: 32


Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,952
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Movie Info

Based on the novella by Harlan Ellison, A Boy and His Dog is set in a post-apocalyptic future where canned goods are used as currency and where entertainment often consists of old porn reels. Vic (Don Johnson) is a violent, illiterate scavenger, principally interested in getting laid. He communicates telepathically with his deceptively cute-looking dog Blood (voiced by Tim McIntire); Vic finds food for Blood, while Blood sniffs out girls for Vic. One of these girls is the sexy Quilla June (Susanne Benton), who, unbeknownst to Vic is a spy for an underground society, headed by a Mr. Craddock (Jason Robards Jr.). This subterranean civilization needs a human "sperm bank" to stay alive, and the oversexed Vic fills the bill. Produced by character actor Alvy Moore (Mr. Kimball of TV's Green Acres), A Boy and His Dog was written and directed by another veteran actor, L.Q. Jones.

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Susanne Benton
as Quilla June Holmes
as Blood (The Dog)
Jason Robards
as Lou Craddock
Alvy Moore
as Dr. Moore
Hal Baylor
as Michael
Ron Feinberg
as Fellini
L.Q. Jones
as Actor in Porno Film
Tim McIntire
as Blood (voice)
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Critic Reviews for A Boy and His Dog

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (4)

  • In spite of some clever ideas and a few well-wrought images, it seems too schematic and its satire too blunt.

    Jun 5, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Jones' debut as a director nevertheless has a distinctive tang, as affably unprincipled as the series of villains he played for Sam Peckinpah.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • It's got a unique... well, I was about to say charm, but the movie's last scene doesn't quite let me get away with that.

    Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The good ideas are marred by awkwardness; the terrible ideas are redeemed somewhat by being, at least, unpredictable.

    May 21, 2003 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…
  • If it's weirdness that you're after, this cult film goes the whole nine yards.

    Oct 10, 2013 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • The savage wasteland is believably captured, but a so-so movie completely goes off the rails once the action moves to an underground society.

    Aug 17, 2013 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Boy and His Dog

  • Nov 17, 2013
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Sep 11, 2013
    The pioneer that shaped all the future post apocalyptic films, A Boy and His Dog is about a scavenger with his dog trying to survive in a post apocalyptic world, but the "boy" has only one desire: To have sex with a woman, any woman. Part science fiction, part black comedy, it's legacy includes: Mad Max, Fallout, Book of Eli, Fist of the North Star. A must see.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Aug 30, 2013
    As a kid I wasn't allowed to watch this movie directed by L.Q. Jones, and with years passing by I completely forgot about. Couple of days ago I saw a DVD and finally had a chance to see it after 38 years of waiting. And I am so happy that I did it. This story is so unusual that you didn't want to miss anything - not even a part of the dialogue! The plot is happening on the desolated planet after the World War 4, and the main characters are 18 years old young man (for some reason called a boy) and his dog. They can communicate telepathically as they scavenge for food and sex. This film is based on a very popular novella by Harlan Ellison set in a year 2024. The movie itself is a cult movie, and I now know why. Don Johnson's performance as Vic was outstanding, and I cannot think of anyone better for this role. In the film, Blood is portrayed by Tiger. James Cagney's voice was considered as the voice of Blood, but was dropped because it would have been too recognizable and proved a distraction. Eventually, after going through approximately six hundred auditions, they settled on Tim McIntire, a veteran voice actor who also did most of the music for the film. McIntire was assisted with this by Ray Manzarek (formerly of The Doors). McIntire sang the main theme. The film was well received by critics and science fiction fans, but was not successful commercially. The ending of the film caused controversy with the original writer. On the film's DVD audio commentary, L.Q. Jones states that Harlan Ellison was generally pleased with the movie, with the exception of the final line of dialog. In the introduction of the Vic and Blood anthology, Ellison criticized the film's "moronic, hateful chauvinist last line, which I despise. If you like movies which are different, do not follow any clichés - please, check this one.
    Panta O Super Reviewer
  • May 20, 2013
    Mediocre at best. Starts off interestingly enough, but just gets weirder and weirder. You don't really get to see anything post-apocalyptic, just some really fucking strange religious cult that's underground. None of the characters are likable except the dog, who's actually pretty cool. Plus nothing is really explained throughout the story, which is really annoying when you have so many questions by the film's abrupt end.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer

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