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A BOY AND HIS DOG (1975) – Episode 159 – Decades of Horror 1970s

Blood: “You know, Albert, sometimes you can be such a putz…” Vic: “A putz? What’s a putz? It’s somethin’ bad, isn’t it? You better take that back or I’m gonna kick your fuzzy butt!” Blood: “[sighs] Yep, definitely a putz.”  Putz: a stupid, foolish, or ineffectual person; (US vulgar slang) penis (Merriam-Webster). Hmm. Yep, definitely a putz. Join your faithful Grue Crew – Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr and Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff – as they relish A Boy and His Dog (1975), based on Harlan Ellison’s Nebula award-winning novella, written and directed by L.Q. Jones, starring Jason Robards and a young Don Johnson.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 159 – A Boy and His Dog (1975)

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A young man and his telepathic dog wander a post-apocalyptic wasteland.


Be forwarned. Bill and Jeff go all fanboy over Harlan Ellison during this episode. A Boy and His Dog is Bill’s pick and he already loved Ellison’s amazing writing by the time he saw this film. He was a little disappointed at first because of the low budget, but he has grown very fond of the film, liking it more each time he sees it. He also points out the direct line from A Boy and His Dog to George Miller’sMad Max” movies. The smiley-faced mushroom cloud on the poster put Chad off A Boy and His Dog for a long time, but he now sees it as a pretty cool apocalyptic story that gets a little weird at times. He loves the dog and the depiction of Man falling back to baser instincts. Chad first heard of Harlan Ellison in “The Brute that Shouted Love at the Heart of the Atom,” an incredible, classic storyline in The Incredible Hulk No. 140. The violence and the post-nuclear war setting disturbed Daphne the first time she saw A Boy and His Dog, wondering how people would be affected and how they would act in that situation. This time around, she really likes it and vows to read more Ellison. At first, Jeff had a little trouble reconciling the inherent differences between print and film media but has come to love A Boy and His Dog. He sees the creation of this movie, through the coming together of L.Q. Jones and Harlan Ellison, to be an amazing and serendipitous accomplishment.

When you rewatch A Boy and His Dog, and you know you will, it is readily available. At the time of this writing, the movie can be streamed from Kanopy, Tubi w/ads, and a variety of other subscription and VOD streaming services. A Boy And His Dog (Collector’s Edition) [BluRay/DVD] is also available from Shout Factory and includes a fascinating and entertaining, 50-minute one-on-one between L.Q. Jones and Harlan Ellison.

Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1970s is part of the Decades of Horror two-week rotation with The Classic Era and the 1980s. In two weeks, Decades of Horror 1970s is trying something new while taking a relatively short break from producing new episodes. Instead, you, Grue-Believers, will be treated to some classic episodes of Monster Movie Podcast featuring Doc Rotten, The Black Saint, et al. Monster Movie Podcast is the original incarnation of what led to Decades of Horror podcasts.

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Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.