KLAATU YOU (45)
November 4, 2020
One in a weekly series of enthusiastic posts, contributed by HILOBROW friends and regulars, on the topic of our favorite pre-Star Wars science fiction movies.
A BOY AND HIS DOG | d. L.Q. JONES | 1975
Have you ever had to choose between your lover and your dog? What about your dog that is not just a dog, but a telepathic dog with special powers to sniff out people for you to rape? And your lover is not just your lover but someone who you raped, but who liked it a whole lot — and who really was tricking you the whole time, using herself as bait to lead you to an underground city named “Topeka” where everyone wears white clown makeup and where they want to milk you for your sperm?
This is a tough decision!!! But one that the boy, Vic, or Albert, as his dog calls him, has to make at the end of the movie.
The dog is named Blood. He’s fluffy and his lines are performed by a man with a deep voice and the vibe of a prissy uncle. Each line sounds like a voicemail being played over the dog’s not very expressive face. I recently finished writing a script in which there are characters with a telepathic connection, and seeing it done here gave me pause (or I guess I should say ‘paws,’ since the telepathic dog was very fond of bad puns).
There’s a book by Mikhail Bulgakov, Heart of a Dog, in which a Frankenstein-like doctor, a member of the intelligentsia living in Soviet times, takes a street dog, implants some human glands in it and the dog turns into a man — an unpleasant, impulsive member of the proletariat, with a gambling and sex addiction, who goes to the circus daily. The dog man is a satire of the communist society it sprang from. But in A Boy and His Dog, I think we are meant to see the dog as the movie’s moral center. He sniffs out women for the boy to rape, yes, but he also corrects the boy’s grammar and helps him survive in the desert wasteland that is the earth after the nuclear holocaust of World War IV.
The movie ends as the boy (played, by the way, by a young Don Johnson) has to make his choice: he goes with bro before ho, and cooks his lover and feeds her to his hungry dog. The last line of the movie is the dog saying: “Well, I’d say she certainly had marvelous judgment, Albert, if not particularly good taste.” This line, apparently really pissed off Harlan Ellison, the writer on whose novella this film was based. He thought it was “moronic” and “chauvinistic.”
I think if I had seen this movie as a younger person, I would have found a way to press my self down more in order to make space in me so that I could align myself with the boy — even as it starts with him finding a woman who is bleeding out to death after being brutally gang raped, and he laments the wastefulness of this, because she could have had two or three more rapes in her if they hadn’t slashed her open. We are meant to understand that this is a brutal world, and boys will be boys.
I wonder if some of the movie’s misogyny weighed on the director and he felt a need to make amends, because he attempted to make a sequel that was going to be called A Girl and Her Dog. However he couldn’t find the funding for it
Well, in the words of the boy after he has been captured and brought before the underground Committee: “Suck wind, wet brain!”
KLAATU YOU: INTRODUCTION by Josh Glenn | Matthew De Abaitua on ZARDOZ | Miranda Mellis on METROPOLIS | Rob Wringham on THE INVISIBLE MAN | Michael Grasso on THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN | Gordon Dahlquist on 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY | Erik Davis on DARK STAR | Carlo Rotella on THE OMEGA MAN | Madeline Ashby on KISS ME DEADLY | Adam McGovern on SILENT RUNNING | Michael Lewy on THIS ISLAND EARTH | Josh Glenn on WILD IN THE STREETS | Mimi Lipson on BARBARELLA vs. SINS OF THE FLESHAPOIDS | Vanessa Berry on THE FLY | Lynn Peril on ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WOMAN | Peggy Nelson on SOLARIS | Adrienne Crew on LOGAN’S RUN | Ramona Lyons on THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH | Kio Stark on THE STEPFORD WIVES | Dan Fox on FANTASTIC PLANET | Chris Lanier on IKARIE XB-1 | Devin McKinney on IDAHO TRANSFER | Mark Kingwell on THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO | Luc Sante on THE TENTH VICTIM | William Nericcio on DEATH RACE 2000 | Rob Walker on CAPRICORN ONE | Gary Panter on ANGRY RED PLANET | David Levine on THE STEPFORD WIVES | Karinne Keithley Syers on ALPHAVILLE | Carolyn Kellogg on IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE | Sara Ryan on ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN | Lisa Jane Persky on PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE | Adam Harrison Levy on BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES | Gerald Peary on CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON | Susannah Breslin on A CLOCKWORK ORANGE | Seth on WAR OF THE WORLDS | James Hannaham on GOJIRA/GODZILLA | Lydia Millet on VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED | Matthew Daniel on FANTASTIC VOYAGE | Shawn Wolfe on ROLLERBALL | Erin M. Routson on WESTWORLD | Marc Weidenbaum on COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT | Neil LaBute on 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA | Vicente Lozano on DAY OF THE DOLPHIN | Tom Roston on SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE | Katya Apekina on A BOY AND HIS DOG | Chelsey Johnson on THE BLOB | Heather Kapplow on SPACE IS THE PLACE | Brian Berger on THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS | Anthony Miller on THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL.
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