Until I saw it on Netflix I had never heard of the movie, "A boy and his Dog," and so I rented it not knowing exactly what to expect. The movie was certainly interesting and I have to say I enjoyed it more than I expected.
"A boy and his dog" is a story of a post apocalyptic world after world war IV. People are fighting over cans of food and women across the surface. The boy is one of these survivors. What makes him different is the telepathic link he has with his Dog. That makes this dog his friend and father figure in the story.
One of the primary jobs of the dog is to sniff out women for the boy and shortly after the story begins, he does. This is where you begin to recognize that the boy in this film is not a good person. He follows the girl and is only stopped from raping her when other people who also saw the girl attack them.
After the fight, the two are stuck together for some time and he begins to feel something for her, but she escapes back into the underground city where she had come from. The boy follows but is unable to take the dog.
Once there you learn that the girl was manipulating him from the start. Any description of the story from that point on leads to general spoilers, so if you want to know what happens watch the movie. Instead, I want to focus on some very interesting parts of the movie.
The first is the similarities to "Fallout 3". I have only played small amounts of the other fallouts so I can't comment them but I have played "Fallout 3". You don't have a dog in "Fallout 3", but much of the rest is the same.
One of the most interesting parallels is when later in fallout you enter a virtual reality and play for some time as a dog. This to me can only be a nod to a boy and his Dog and it makes me want to play "Fallout 3" again. In addition, the underground city in this had loudspeakers that someone talked over nearly constantly. This is also used in "Fallout 3".
The second point is that Harlan Ellison wrote this story and he says it is his favorite. I have not yet read the short story the movie is based on but judging from the movie I can understand why Harlan would like it. He is one of the more interesting people in Hollywood and Science Fiction, two places filled with interesting people.
Third is the dog. Typically, you have to overlook the problems with animals in film. You can't expect dogs to give as good a performance as people do. This movie was different in that respect as well. The dog felt smart just as he is supposed to and you never see him looking off camera at a trainer. There was even, according to the director, some discussion of nominating the dog for an academy award that year.
Not everyone will like this story; in fact, I suspect that many people would hate it with a fiery passion, but if you like dark humor and older style science fiction then this is a well-written and interesting story that becomes exceedingly dark at the end.
(There is a side of me who really wants to show this movie to some of my friends with no warning what it is about just to see their reactions. I love movies with titles that tell you less than nothing.)