THE REEL LESS TRAVELED

The 1975 post-apocalyptic satire "A Boy and His Dog" is a classic example of the outlandish fare that once defined Midnight Movies. Written and directed by L.Q. Jones from a Harlan Ellison short story, it stars Don Johnson as Vic, an 18-year-old survivalist, accompanied by his intellectually su- perior pooch, Blood (voiced by Tim McIntire), who telepathically communicates with Vic.

World War IV (which, we're told, lasted five days) has pretty much wiped out Earth, leaving Vic and Blood to survive via a symbiotic relationship: Vic scavenges for food, while Blood sniffs out increasingly rare females to satisfy Vic's needs. Pursuit of said companionship leads Vic to Quilla June Holmes (Susanne Benton) and a subterranean society known as Topeka.

It's a grotesque version of a Norman Rockwell town, with the citizens wearing pancake clown makeup and clinging to a perverted interpretation of American values enforced by an Orwellian committee headed by Jason Robards and Alvy Moore (one of the film's producers and an actor best remembered as Hank Kimball on "Green Acres").

Brutal and in some ways prophetic, the film is rooted in the time it was made and yet strangely timeless. Jones, a veteran character actor and Sam Peckinpah favorite, will introduce it at the Nuart, fittingly, at midnight Friday.

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-- Kevin.Crust@latimes.com

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