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Harlan Ellison started the screenplay but encountered writer's block, so producer Alvy Moore and director L.Q. Jones wrote the script, with Wayne Cruseturner, who was uncredited. Jones' own company, LQJaf Productions (L. Q. Jones & Friends), produced the film.

They filmed the movie near Coyote Dry Lake in the Mojave Desert. The Firesign Theater was also involved with writing of the script. The film was also distributed after its initial run under several other titles, including Psycho Boy and His Killer Dog and Apocalypse: 2024. The status of the film's copyright has been under dispute.

In the film, Blood is portrayed by Tiger. James Cagney's voice was considered as the voice of Blood, but was dropped because it would have been too recognizable and proved a distraction.

Eventually, after going through approximately six hundred auditions, they settled on Tim McIntire, a veteran voice actor who also did most of the music for the film.

McIntire was assisted with this by Ray Manzarek (misspelled in the film credits as Manzarec), formerly of The Doors. McIntire sang the main theme. Latin American composer Jaime Mendoza-Nava provided the music for the underground segment.

Rumors have abounded over the years regarding a movie sequel, but it has never materialized. On the film's DVD audio commentary, L.Q. Jones states that he had started to write a script sequel to the film that would have picked up right where the first film ended and featured a female warrior named Spike, and we would have seen this world through the eyes of a female instead of a male.

Jones and Ellison collaborated on this short-lived effort. Ellison, however, has denied that development went beyond a short "what if?" conversation, and that any efforts were solely that of Jones.

According to Cult Movies 2, Jones had a sequel planned called A Girl and Her Dog, but the plan was scrapped when Tiger died. In a December 2003 interview, Jones claimed that he has been repeatedly approached to make a sequel, but funding is always an issue.

The novella won the Nebula Award for Best Novella upon its release in 1969 and was also nominated for the 1970 Hugo Award for Best Novella. In 1976, the film adaptation won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.

The lead actor, Don Johnson, won Golden Scroll for Best Actor, which was shared with James Caan for his performance in Rollerball. In 2007, it ranked #96 on Rotten Tomatoes "Journey Through Sci-Fi" (100 best-reviewed science fiction films).

The film was not commercially successful at the time of its release. It has, however, since developed a cult following and also inspired the video game series Fallout "on many levels, from underground communities of survivors to glowing mutants."

On the film's DVD audio commentary, L.Q. Jones states that Harlan Ellison was generally pleased with the movie, with the exception of the final line of dialog. In the introduction of the Vic and Blood anthology, Ellison criticized the film's "moronic, hateful chauvinist last line, which I despise." On August 6, 2013, Shout! Factory released the film on Blu-ray.

Vic and Blood

Ellison later expanded the story cycle in the graphic novel collection Vic and Blood, illustrated by Richard Corben. Although Blood is now back on his feet, the pair's situation deteriorates as Vic begins having guilt-ridden hallucinations as a result of an awakening of conscience following the death of Quilla.

Due to his preoccupation, Vic stumbles into a near-fatal encounter with a roving gang, resulting in his getting separated from Blood once again. After the two reunite, Blood finds Vic in a hopeless, almost catatonic state.

Despite Blood's appeals and attempts to reawaken Vic's sanity, Vic allows himself to be captured by a giant, mutated spider. Cocooned, poisoned by venom, and beyond any hope of saving, Vic accepts his fate as Blood is left to fend for himself.

The reasons given by Ellison for this abrupt ending have differed over the years. One relates to his anger over the L.Q. Jones ending of the film, as detailed above. The other is, according to Ellison, essentially a desire to stop his fans from requesting more stories about the two characters.

Ellison claimed at the time of the film's release that he had said all he wanted to say about Vic and Blood, and that there would be no more sequels.

However, in the introduction to Vic and Blood, dated 25 March 2003, Ellison mentions: "And I've written the rest of the book, BLOOD'S A ROVER. The final, longest section is in screenplay form � and they're bidding here in Hollywood, once again, for the feature film and TV rights � and one of these days before I go through that final door, I'll translate it into elegant prose, and the full novel will appear."

Resources: Wikipedia.org, imdb.com

A Boy and His Dog 1975

Opening: World War IV lasted five days. In the post-apocalyptic world of 2024, rover Vic (Don Johnson) hears a voice from his dog and communicates with him telepathically. The dog is called Blood (voiced by Tim McIntire), and he calls Vic "Albert". Blood is trying to find a female by scent for Vic, and Vic scavenges for food. Only Vic can hear the voice of Blood.

As they travel, Blood recounts history and quizzes Vic on various topics in history including the four world wars, from World War I (1914-1918), World War II (1939-1945), World War III (1950-1983), which were a series of wars, also called the Cold War, between the free and unfree world (Korea, Vietnam, Indochina, Congo were among them), to World War IV, also called the Five-Day War, or the Nuclear War of 2007.

The setting is what was once the ruins in and around Phoenix, Arizona. The area is a desert wasteland, populated by marauders and rovers who battle for food found in the tops of buildings that was once "civilization" where the desert sands have consumed most of the buildings. There are rumors that what civilization exists now is below ground for the past several years since the nuclear war.

The people of these underground civilizations are called "downunders". Neither Vic nor Blood want to venture below to live. Blood finds women for Vic to rape, and Vic supplies Blood with food since he cannot hunt on his own. We learn Blood is a former police dog, and wants to find the "promised land", where farming is possible and several above-ground utopias are said to exist.

Blood sniffs out a woman, but rovers have reached her first and have killed her after gang raping her. Vic begins to argue with Blood about his inability to find women. Blood wants to go "over the hill" to paradise. Vic promises that they'll go once Blood finds him another woman for Vic to have sex with.

Some time later, Vic and Blood view a small group of scavengers, led by a brutal gang leader, a self-proclaimed "king" named Fellini (Ron Feinberg), who orders his group to dig up a stash of crates containing canned food. Temped by the food, Vic runs forward when Fellini and his men are all in the hole digging and steals some of the bags of canned food, shooting a few of Fellini's men who chase after him.

However, Fellini orders his men to let Vic go, impressed by the young man's courage and ablity. As Vic and Blood run away, they are watched from a distance by a small group of mysterious men (unseen from the waist up), where one of whom comments that he just might do. They decide to "put out the cheese" to trap Vic.

That evening, Vic and Blood go to an outdoor makeshift movie theater in a shantytown camp to watch some vintage stag films, and Blood smells a female. Vic follows the girl to an underground building which is an abandoned YMCA, and he watches her dress. He attacks her and orders her to undress so he can rape her. While she undresses for him, she tells him her name is Quilla June Holmes (Susanne Benton).

Blood interrupts them to advise of mauraders nearby. Quilla realizes Blood can talk to Vic telepathicaly. She attempts to communicate with the dog, but Blood just barks at her. Meanwhile, Vic ambushes the mauraders and Blood joins in, killing some of them. Vic imitates the "screamers" (radiation victims) and Blood battles another dog. Vic is about to be shot from behind, and Quilla saves him.

The rest of the mauraders run off, but Blood is hurt. Then, the real screamers show up, forcing Vic and Quilla to hide and wait in a storage tank. Vic and Quilla make love repeatedly. Later when morning arrives, Blood goes off to see if the screamers have left, and Quilla tries to convince Vic to go "down under". Blood wants Vic to leave her, and they argue. When Vic goes back to see Quilla, she knocks him out and flees.

Vic decides to track her down, but Blood thinks (rightly) that it's a trap. After following Quilla's footprints throught the desert, Vic and Blood come across a small steel obsticle standing in the middle of the desert which leads "down under". Using a key card that Quilla left behind, Vic uses it to open the steel door to the underground. Vic goes down under, leaving Blood alone and injured.

Vic climbs down several long ladders through what appears to be an abandoned missle silo, past mysterious machinery, to an underground cemetery. He is captured and washed by several clown-faced strangers. After given clean farmer clothes, Vic is dragged by Michael (Hal Baylor), a burly clown-faced man wearing farmer's garb, through a local park, walking past picnicers, a marching band, and barbershop quartets, all wearing clown faces.

Vic stops to talk to a dog similar to Blood, but the dog does not respond. The bizzare underground community wear white clown-faces to distingish themselves from above-grounders that dare to tresspass in their community.

In a converted church, Lou Craddock (Jason Robards) reviews blueprints for buildings to be built and passes judgements on transgressors, assisted by Mez Smith (Helene Winston) and Doctor Moore (Alvy Moore), the clownish but cold-hearted rulers of this underground town. Severe judgement (death) is called "farming out".

We learn the underground town is called Topeka. Quilla arrives, and she asks to be put on the committee having served her purpose of luring Vic to their underground community. Lou refuses by claiming that she is too young to rule and arranges for her to get married instead. Quilla leaves and vents her anger to her boyfriend Gary (Michael Rupert) and makes plans to overthrow the ruthless committee.

At the same time, the dog is brought into the church where he is interrogated by Lou asking if he told Vic anything. But when the dog does not respond, Lou orders the dog to be sent to the farm. Vic is brought before Lou, and Doctor Moore reads his medical statistics.

Lou tells the unruly Vic that he and the members of the Topeka Committee have been watching him on the surface for days now, and that Vic has been chosen to help re-populate Topeka, as its male residents are sterile due to the nuclear radiation. Vic laughs hysterically, thinking he'll get to sleep with dozens of women.

The sinister Topeka Committee trio laugh back, and Mez tells Vic that what he is thinking is not what the Committee has in mind. In the next scene, a couple is married in a hospital room, and Vic is in attendance (strapped to a gurney) to provide semen. Quilla arrives and rescues him, subduing the doctors. She tells him he is only going to be allowed to impregnate 35 girls, then will be put to death.

They rush out of the hospital with the help of Gary, and find Vic's guns, then Vic starts to leave. Quilla tries to stop him to help her overthrow the dictatorship of Topeka, but Vic wants to return to Blood. The Committee convenes at the town square and begins broadcasting the sentence on Quilla and her friends - the farm. Gary and all of his rebel friends are attacked and killed by Michael.

Vic fires at Michael, but the bullets have no effect. One of Vic's gunshots disables "Michael", who is a robot. Vic and Quilla flee while the committee begins planning for its next "donor". Lou also orders that another Michael security robot be exhumed from the storage warehouse, with his clowish smile wipped off. Vic and Quilla return to the surface where it is now night.

Relieved that the Topeka citizens are not chasing after them, they look around and they find Blood nearby, who is dying. He hasen't eaten for days and will die soon unless Vic provides him with food. Quilla tells Vic that it's too late to save Blood and Vic should come away with her far away if he really loves her. Vic must choose... he looks at Blood, then looks back at Quilla.

In the final shot, Vic and Blood are putting out a campfire near the steel dome. Having eaten, Blood feels better and he and Vic walk away from their campfire into the sunrise of dawn. Quilla is nowhere to be seen. Vic and Blood talk about how Vic was touched by the fact that Quilla June picked him to be with instead of the dictatorship committee of Topeka.

Blood remarks, "She had marvelous judgement... if not a particularly good taste (!)" The boy and his dog laugh at the pun and they both walk away "over the hill" toward paradise.

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