March 10, 2010

a rapist and his dog WARNING: rant

ugh. tonight i watched A Boy and His Dog, and it was probably one of the most infuriating movies i've ever seen. the premise sounds cool: a youth and his dog companion that communicates with him telepathically survive in a post-apocalyptic desert. and there's some supposed promised land that the dog's heard about and they talk about going there. so you'd think the plot is all laid out right there, right?

well, instead, it veers into an unsettling direction, because for some reason that's never explained, there are either very few women still around or they're all in hiding, and the young male protagonist's main mission in life is seeking out women to rape them. and his telepathic dog has some radar that senses nearby women for his companion. so eventually the dog leads the boy to a girl and right before he's able to rape her, they're attacked by some mutants or something. somehow the guy and the dog hold them off, and the girl doesn't seem to mind at all that this guy attacked her and starts helping him. then when they're safe, she jumps his bones. uh, yeah.

the dog and the guy get into this big argument about whether or not to take the girl with them, blah blah blah. the girl then knocks the guy out and escapes to some underground city where she's from, apparently. pissed, the guy pursues her and is taken to this weird subterranean city where people wear clown make up(?) and live out these corny slices of americana, trying to recreate their perception of america before the apocalypic nuclear war, i guess. so the boy gets captured by the council that controls the town, and is told he was purposely lured there by the girl because living underground has made it impossible for them to impregnate their women (uh, okay) and so as an above ground-dweller, they want him to do so. at first the guy is elated by this prospect, until it turns out instead of having sex, he gets strapped down to a hospital bed and has some penile milking apparatus attached to him to extract his sperm, and after the council is done with him they plan on killing him.

the girl then rescues him and reveals that she has her own agenda, and that she brought him down to help her stage a coup against the council, so that she and her accomplices might assume control of the town. but he's still pissed at her, and after all her accomplices are executed by the council's hillbilly robot (no, i'm not making this up), she relents and decides to escape to the surface with the guy rather than face her own impending execution. when they return, they discover that the dog is near death, having waited faithfully by the gate to the underground without eating for the guy's return. the girl tries to manipulate the guy, saying there's nothing that they can do for the dog and that SHE LOVES HIM and if he loves her, they'll move on. then cut to the guy and the dog walking off happily into the sunset together, and it turns out they ate her, and the dog makes a joke about her tasting bad. THE END.

ugh. i'm sure there's some kind of clever societal commentary that was originally in this script or the novella it was based on, but it was all lost in the execution. whoever wrote this schlock either is completely and totally ignorant about sex and women, or a misogynist who flat-out hates women. first, the woman in the movie decides to willingly and actively bed a man who had only moments before viciously attacked and tried to rape her. because, you know. nothing gets a woman in the mood like the adrenaline high of nearly being raped and then watching your rapist fend off mutants so that, you know, he can rape you. but, i guess the argument can be made that this makes sense for her character once you're aware of her ulterior motive, so whatever. i'll let that one slide.

but for the rest of the movie the woman is painted out to be this lascivious, back-stabbing cunt; when trying to manipulate the guy she moans about loving him and rubs herself all over him like a cat, and then if he doesn't bend to her will she begins barking at him and admits that she's using him. she's continually portrayed as annoying and evil: she deserves becoming dogfood. fine. but why is the main female character judged so harshly for being conniving, ambitious and sexually devious, but the protagonist has absolutely no ramifications whatsoever for his continuous morally reprehensible actions, such as abuse, stealing, rape and murder? it's fucking disgusting.

there were a few small things here and there i liked, like a post-apocalyptic movie theater, using food as currency, and a guy that had a team of people pulling a wagon. but that's in the first twenty minutes maybe, and it's all down hill from there. i can honestly say this is one of the top movies i've ever seen that is so openly and celebratingly hateful toward women. it also has an unsettlingly light-hearted attitude toward very dark subject matter, such as the dog making jokes about the guy's libido as he's trying to sniff out girls for him to assault.

i'm sick of post-apocalyptic movies either portraying this sort of society in which men rule and are vicious animals and women exist only to be raped and killed, or a society where for some reason everything's reverted back to men being in charge of everything and women are subservient. it's like, why the fuck would this happen?? oh, and by the way, apparently no one but white people survive the apocalypse. sorry, everybody else.

i really do like watching bad old movies, and i know things have changed a lot in the past few decades, and i've learned to take it with a grain of salt when i'm watching a monster movie and a woman faints and is useless, or just makes coffee for all the men who will save everyone, but shit like this is just inexcusable. and strangely enough, now that i think about it, a lot of the most anti-women movies i've seen are from the 70's, kinda surprisingly. i wonder if it was some sort or women's liberation-backlash thing? i dunno, but i think i'm gonna try to avoid watching a lot of b-movies for a while. after this shit i need a serious Pam Grier palate cleanser.


Luke Maurits said...

Wow, that sounds terrible. I heard very good things about the book version of A Boy and his Dog some time ago, and took them at face value since the author, Robert Heinlein, is an absolute giant of sci-fi. I went to my local specialist sci-fi bookstore but they didn't have it. They told me they'd give me a call when they got it in, but they never did. It sounds like I didn't miss much! A telepathic dog, seriously?

Kaylie said...

according to the wikipedia, it seems that Heinlein either unintentionally made the story painfully misogynist, or later on felt shame about it and made a graphic novel continuing the story in which the boy becomes guilt-ridden about killing the girl and goes insane and dies, which is kind of a cop-out way of trying to make up for it. apparently there were also rumors of him and the director of the movie making a sequel about a warrior woman and her point of view, or a "girl and her dog" type of story, but again, to me that just seems like them scrambling to make up for how offensive this story is, instead of just owning up to bad judgment.

ross said...

haha, yeah, pretty bad movie. i'd forgotten all about it until your post, i guess i blocked it out.

the key thing that completely explains this movie/story that both you guys are missing is that the author isn't Robert Heinlein, it's Harlan Ellison, who is the biggest douchebag in sci-fi.

ross said...

me again: the sad thing is that you won't escape these kinds of sentiments by not watching b-movies. :(

Kaylie said...

Ellison, that's right, i couldn't remember his name, blah. definitely never reading his shit haha.

i know i can't escape this kinda shit...i'm just kinda tired of being let down by all forms of media regarding...pretty much everything. and even more disappointed that the majority of people don't even seem to notice, and some of them even like it.

why does everything suck?? >:c grrr

Anonymous said...

wow. i bet that movie was horrible! but i did enjoy reading your post (:

Kaylie said...

hehe glad you liked my rant, Shayne ;)