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Previous entries have trashed this movie, as though it aspired to compete at Cannes and fell woefully short. Lighten-up. This movie was clearly made as a low-budget retread of the time honored "underdog overcomes arrogant favorite" and "boy-meets-girl, boy loses girl, boy wins back girl" themes played out on skis. Think Caddyshack with snow. Is it cheesy? You bet. Is it sophomoric? Certainly. Is it more fun than any other non-Warren Miller ski movie? No doubt. If you want a fun, sometimes silly, mindless ski movie, well, go no further. If you want a "highbrow" skiing movie, well, good luck, no one's made one yet. If you want painful, self important preposterousness try watching Aspen Extreme. Now there's a ski movie with delusions of grandeur. At any rate, Hot Dog never takes itself seriously, and if it suffers for it's gratuitous nudity and simple-minded plot, well, it isn't the first, and won't be the last. But it certainly never pretends to be anything other than what it is - campy low-budget fun with some good non-choreographed ski scenes. Disclaimer: If you don't ski, don't love skiing, or never lived in a ski-town for a season, some of this movie's "charm" may be lost on you.
How can people put down this movie? It is a classic raucous comedy from
1980's. There is lot of nudity, and their may be some ethnic stereotyping,
but I remember this as being my favorite movie from when my family first
The skiing sequences are filmed beautifully, from a time when extreme skiing was just being born. If you are a fan of Warren Miller, you'll probably enjoy the scenes from the competition, and also the free-skiing.
But who can forget the classic Chinese Downhill scene? I saw this movie on cable last night, and it's still as good as it ever was.
Did you ever own white Vuarnet Cat Eyes? Are you stoked that padded ski sweaters are coming back in? Did you ever want to be the toast of Tahoe, ski all season long, party every night and hang out with a wacky bunch of ski bums with names like Thrasher and Squirrel? Then check out this early 80's classic (I know, it came out in '84, but it's SO '82). Harkin Banks is the wunderkind from the sticks who hooks up with Dan O'Callahan. Dan is the good time Squaw Valley veteran who's a permanent fixture on the competitive ski scene, sharing slopes and hot tubs with his party hardy co-horts: the nutty Squirrel Murphy, who digs zinc oxide, sexy ski bunnies and long gondola rides; Kendo Yamamoto, who doesn't speak much English, but can tear down the mountain like a Kamakaze; punk rocker, Thrasher, who dances to his own tune, even at parties; and a host of semi-nameless others. But what would a crazy party flick be without some bad guys? Enter Rudy Garmisch, zee Austrian ski champ and nemesis of the Squaw Valley locals. He and his loyal "Rudettes", mostly nameless guys and fraulines also from zee Austrian slopes, push some of the locals out of the upcoming competition with promises of good television ratings and new sponsorships from internationally minded companies. Uh-oh, ol' Dan's not happy with that at all! Toss in a battle over a cute blonde runaway, Sunny, and you have a recipe for trouble on the slopes. Not to worry, all's well that ends well. After all, what tiff can't be settled over a friendly game of Chinese Downhill? Not sure you wanna play? No worries...there's nothing one of Dan's famous "Leg Spreader" cocktails can't fix. And to top it all off, there's some fantastic ski footage set to even more fantastic early 80's music. Why they even bothered to make Ski School in the early 90's was a mystery to me - how could they do the ski party flick any better than Hot Dog? Surprisingly enough it was also pretty damn good. But Hot Dog: The Movie is still the original and the best.
First rate T&A flick. Bizarre party scenes, seemingly endless amounts of nudity and a guitar serenade so mind-numbingly awful, it leaves you screaming for more! Shannon Tweed looks superb in this, as do all the other featured babes. See how many times you rewind the scene in which our ski hero, commenting on his smarmy German idol, mutters "He's the BEST!" Horrible, yet curiously endearing. You be the judge. 9/10 on the mondo movie scale.
I saw this one in a Fairfield, Ct theater with a bunch of fellow tanked-up
theater circuit employees, and we loved it! Sure it's stupid! Who cares?
cardinal rule with comedy is that it doesn't have to be highbrow to be
funny; if a comedy makes you laugh, it has succeeded.
The predictable "snobs vs slobs" comedy is given the novel twist of having the slobs actually be highly proficient at their field of expertise, in this case "hot dog" skiing. While the comedy is pretty standard, the scenes on the slopes are standouts, particularly the spectacular Chinese Downhill race. And let us not forget that living proof of the existence of the Goddess, Shannon Tweed. The only thing that she's missing is the giant seashell that she looks like she stepped out of!!!
As for the heroes of the film, if you've ever gone seriously skiing, you know these guys. The raging alcoholic, the stoner, the foreign expert, the annoying new-kid-on-the-slopes/phenom, the thermonuclear ski goddess... They're all here. And don't miss the scene that features Mitch ryder's rockin' cover of Prince's "When You Were Mine." Kick back some tallboys and check it out!
I liked the movie from the 80s on. It's true that many of the
activities portrayed are not appropriate today. Of course a lot of
people hate this movie, but they generally hate this genre of movie,
anyway, right?! I was especially moved by the sex scene with Harkin
(Patrick Houser) and Sunny (Tracy N. Smith), the guitar serenade
(written by folkie John Stewart), the hot tub scene with Shannon Tweed,
and the gondola scene. It's very rare for such sex scenes to move me in
other like movies of that period: I think that director Peter Markle
handled the sex scenes very tastefully.... The skiing scenes were also
really well done, also, but one often may see that the stunt skiers are
different from the actors (duh!).
It's true, also, that some of the plot contains dumb male humor. However: I remember the names of the actors that I liked in the key romantic and sex scenes, and some others, so the movie did move me....
Watching this film on TBS for the first time in well over a decade, and it is eliciting a refreshing, favorable memory. One of the stupid, silly, yet entertaining T & A party movies of the 80s, it has many hilarious moments for me. What was especially funny was the pitiful attempts to overdub the swearing to make this airable on network TV (but not seeing the nudity sucks). In the unedited version is one of the classic lines in a comedy--the Japanese skier (Kamikaze), who doesnt utter one word of English in the whole movie up til this point saying "Whatta da fukka is a Chinese downhill?". Tracy N. Smith (Sunny) was a total FOX in this flick.
In reading username farnum's review, I couldn't help but laugh at the
of David Naughton singing that stupid disco song Makin' It on Solid
Gold..."I'm solid gold, I've got the goods"... I didn't know there was
anyone out there who still remembers it besides me. I must agree
unfortunately that his career definetly peaked with the Pepper Ads, and
should probably stick to hocking soda (if that's even still an option for
This movie is guilty of every conceivable error in judgement by the writers, the director, and even the studio who allowed this truly bad 80's flick to be put out. Bad dialogue, bad acting, no discernable plot structure and given that I am a woman, too much T&A...(Exactly how much silicone did they actually PUT into Shannon Tweed anyway)?! Strange woman, she seemed more interested in Sunny than in Harkin. Why couldn't they have had Harkin gliding around naked on his back in that jaccuzzi instead of Shannon? Sunny treated Harkin like crap througout the entire movie. I guess being a hot babe counts enough with some men that they won't require you to have a personality. And that guitar serenade by Harkin to Sunny!! That went beyond embarrassing, to actually being painful for the viewer. Although the movie had some pretty good music in it by Duran Duran and Al Jareau, I found it annoying that they kept rewinding the songs over and over so that the tracks wouldn't finish up before the scene did.
Despite the obvious problems though, I still laughed. I first saw it when it came out on HBO when I was 17, and just caught it again the other day. I found myself laughing in all the same places. I'm not sure what that says about me exactly since I am now a mature professional woman of 35, but it's true. That ski lift scene with the guy who had sunblock on his nose and the little ski bunny was quite memorable (as I'm sure it was for him as well)! I couldn't help but wonder if that sort of thing happens on ski lifts on a routine basis. Being a southern woman who has never made it to the slopes, I wouldn't know. In any event, if you've got any teenager still left in you, you should be able to get through it without feeling as though you've wasted too much of your time. As movies go in general I'd give it a 4 out of 10, but on the laugh scale it goes up to maybe a 7.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is a blast if you are looking for a stupid 80s ski movie. Very similar to police academy and other dumb fun movies. So if you love the ski and are familiar with Squaw Valley (you should recognize some features) this is a fun 90 minutes. I saw as a kid and to this day still remember it and think fondly of it. I loved the skiing and this really did a good job of displaying the original Freestyle back when Ballet was still included as well as athletes having to do it all not just one event. If you have ever hung out with a 70s early eighties pro circuit racer you can totally see that in this movie. For once a film did a good job of building personality. A very cookbook style but still fun movie.
With the possible exception of Cusack's Better Off Dead (which only
a bit of skiing).
In response to whoever wrote something like "if you like Chocolat and the Piano, you're not going to like this." I loved Chocolat. I loved the Piano. And I also sincerely love Hot Dog the movie. And just so I don't seem like a simpering love-it-all. I hated Lord of the Rings, the Return of the King (the Two Towers was excellent, this one just did not know when to end and had nothing new to give). But back to Hot Dog....
This film actually seems more like a 70's flick than an 80's flick. Unabashedly sexual, friendly, self-absorbed but not self-conscious, Hot Dog is absolutely uncaring of the way the world takes it. It does not fit into the 80's scheme of things. It has more than its share of titillation, but it is not coldly calculated soft-porn trash ala "Hardbodies." Hot Dog is more like Caddyshack but with ski stunts instead of star power.
Hot dog is about the joys of hedonism and self assertion, plain and simple. It captures a brief moment in time just before Aids and the war on drugs would make everyone very nervous about who they are and what values they espouse. Which is also why no one has come close to making as good a ski movie as Hot Dog. What little I've seen since has been nothing but toned down Hollywood pap for the family market. Perhaps it cannot be done.
Despite Shannon Tweed's plastic tits (although, did they have silicone implants back then?) and some very bad singing (and I don't mean Duran Duran - which was awesome!) this is a very fun and strangely honest film. Definitely worth checking out.
Plus - it did coin the household phrase "Chinese Downhill." Which no one on the slopes I frequented had ever heard of before Hot Dog. How many B-pictures can claim that!
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