Movies to See Before the End of the World: A Boy and His Dog

The Mayans, the wise race of ancients who created hot cocoa, set December 21st, 2012 as the end date of their Calendar, which the intelligent and logical amongst us know signifies the day the world will end, presumably at 12:21:12am, Mountain Time. From now until zero date, we will explore the 50 films you need to watch before the entire world perishes. We don’t have much time, so be content, be prepared, be entertained.

The Film: A Boy and His Dog (1975)

The Plot: Vic (Don Johnson) and his telepathic dog Blood scavenge the ruins of America, eking out a simple life while hunting for food, sex, and the new American dream of not dying a horrible death after World War IV. Their journey soon leads Vic to a seemingly perfect underground society, complete with food, picnics, Americana, and ladies that don’t need to be struck on the face to sleep with you, but Blood smells something is amiss.

The Review: A Boy and his Dog is based on a short novella by Harlan Ellison and, as a film, it wasn’t all that well received, but in later years it developed a strong cult following. There are plenty of reasons to hate the film, namely that it’s alarmingly misogynistic, but much of the stuff one might hate can be loved in another light. This isn’t Schindler’s List or a serious drama meant to challenge your brain, rather it’s a smart, sarcastic look at a potential future. If you try to take this film seriously, you might be offended, but if you view it as a parody of society, it works very well.

The film is hilarious and unpredictable, one of the wackiest apocalyptic movies I can think of. Every bit of gritty grimness of Mad Max is present here, but presented in such a way that shocks and awes you while making you chuckle where you shouldn’t. Vic’s entire life is spent learning valuable life lessons from the incredibly mature Blood, while using his canine friend to hunt down females for copulation. Blood is most definitely the leader of the group and Don Johnson portrays a convincingly idiotic 18-year-old kid, lost in a lost world, but one content to live amongst the chaos. Blood, however, wants more – the Promised Land, a paradise he heard of from a police dog.

Like many post-apocalyptic films, the new world is a dangerous place, but perhaps more dangerous still are the people who want to create a safe, “new” world that clings to the ideology of the past, at any cost, which is in many ways worse than being thrown to the wild. You could easily read the 50s Americana subterranean community that clings to parades, flags, and ice cream, as some statement on conservative Americanism. Would that mean then the liberals are the above ground mutants? I don’t know.

Check your serious shoes at the door and give A Boy and his Dog a shot. It features a handsome young Don Johnson and Blood sounds like a concerned Mr. Feeny. It’s a ridiculous look at the apocalypse with one hell of an ending – just like you’ll have, on 12/21/12.

The Life Lesson: I’m going to reveal this caveat early in our Countdown to the End list – you might not actually die on December 12th. It may take several days or weeks for you to die after the world most definitely ends, during which time you may be thrust into an apocalyptic setting where dogs communicate telepathically, robots patrol the underground, and rape is the new national past time.

This is the one film that can prepare you for all of that, all while teaching you an even more important survival lesson: true friendship is one of the most important things in life. A good friend will always be there for you, will wait for you, and the woman you lust after can’t hold a candle to that.

But why spend 91 minutes watching this film when you only have 505,000 minutes left alive?

Precisely because you’re going to die in an absurd manner. I’m pretty sure the world ends when a giant dragon bird descends from space, so you might as well watch a movie about a telepathic dog that teaches you a few survival skills and teaches you that a true friend is more valuable than any brief love interest in a surprisingly poignant way.


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