A Boy and His Dog
World War III is yet another twentieth-century Thirty Years War that ends in the Eighties with a Vatican peace, followed by World War IV in the twenty-first laying everything waste. And there you have it, the essential plot definition.
A son of the century just begun wanders the wilderness looking for food and women, he has a dog that talks to him and sniffs things out, “a brain with a nose”.
The world above is savage and useless, underground is a parody of Topeka run by a Committee dealing death (“the farm,” because farming is unknown above and all food comes from cans, below it’s hydroponics) to disobeyers of authority.
He is lured below by a camp follower who schemes to rule Topeka by his aid. Green screamers terrorize the night above, he finds her servicing attendees at a makeshift flick spectacle of tattered raunch in the open air, he fends off all comers and is brought down below as the Committee wishes. There he is strapped to a milking machine and wedded over and over by a minister, the girl saves him from the farm to accomplish her purpose. The Committee has robots for justice, boy and girl flee to the surface, where the dog lies starving. It would not enter the terrible place, nor go “over the hill” in search of food.
The girl urges the boy to abandon his dog “if you love me”, instead the dog is revived by roasting her flesh on a fire, which is a careful reading of Earl Hamner’s “The Hunt” (The Twilight Zone), itself a polished reading of De Sica’s Umberto D. and directed by Harold D. Schuster.