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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.
Hot Dog The Movie is your standard 80's flick, it only needs a plot if it wants one. Back then, as long as you filled your movie with enough T & A, you could get away with releasing a film without much of a storyline. Hot Dog The Movie is that kind of movie: It develops it's story with two main characters, the most likable character being Sunny. On the plus side, we have tons of great skiing footage and clever stunts in this motion picture, including the hilarious ' skiing ballet '. Another plus, if it appeals your fancy, is Shannon Tweed naked. The rest of the movie? Filler. Bottom line, straight up, FILLER! See, this is the problem with T & A movies, which I don't really care for, in fact, I despise. However, I can give Hot Dog a fair shake, and say that a few laughs do exist in this movie. I can say a few, because some T & A flicks I've seen don't have any laughs...have you seen Zapped? Great example! Hot Dog The Movie seems to go off track, a lot! We find ourselves, for instance, visiting a bar where wet T shirt contests take place. What does this have to do with skiing?? Not a damn thing. But, back then, Hollywood was trying to cash in on the whole Porky's theme, and between 1981 and 1986, there was absolutely no shortage of those movies to be found in the video store. ( Remember those, video stores? Sorry, your movie is out, it should be back tomorrow, assuming the bonehead who rented it turns it in on time, and decides not to pay a late fee. Ahhh, the 80's was gold.) The acting is terrible, but let's face it, they weren't aiming too high on the dartboard on this one, it's just not that kind of movie. You know what's in store for you when you see the movie poster, come on, 'Dangerous Curves Ahead'??? Says it all. And so does this review, which I can say, is all I can say good and bad about Hot Dog. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth, but then again, isn't that what hot dogs are designed to do?
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!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The snow always seemed an odd choice for a sex comedy. There's only one
reason people watch movies like these, and that's to see nudity. It
makes sense to set these at the beach, because at least there one
expects to see more skin than they would in the suburbs or the city as
a matter of course. But on the ski slopes? Why would one disrobe there?
There could only be one reason why the producers decided to set Hot Dog: The Movie in a place so cold you need more clothes, not less: they needed something basic and arbitrary to separate their movie from the glut of other similar films flooding the market in the '80s.
I guess they were also trying to cash in on the skiing fad, if that's what it was.
The fact is, there is not enough nudity in this movie - despite the presence of softcore queen Shannon Tweed - to make it worth watching for anyone other than hardcore skiing aficionados. Even they might be disappointed at the idiocy of moments such as when one of the bad guys pushes a button on his belt and his helmet starts pumping out exhaust, making the guys behind him cough and gag. Or when the skiers all apparently become indestructible and start crashing through tables and glass. Try not to think of Sonny Bono during most of the movie, or cringe when one guy hits a tree.
This all happens during the big race at the movie's finish. Getting there takes some effort. The movie is tedious and stupid. Consider the good guys, who have a collection of character traits that make them more pitiable than sympathetic. One is obviously an alcoholic, with little bottles of booze in every pocket of his ski vest. Is this supposed to be funny? Another is constantly plastering his face with zinc cream and propositioning women so that they can throw their drinks in his patchy white face. At one point he climbs into a gondola alone, while his friends have already taken to the sky, and they watch him get it on with some random girl who has no reason to be doing that. But never mind - his friends cheer him on though they have no way of knowing what is going on. Their POV shots reveal nothing but the back of their friend's head.
There is also a cardboard cut out bad guy, an Austrian with a great head of hair who turns out to be a huge jerk from his first appearance, because if someone cut you out of cardboard, you better do everything to make sure you fit the shape they made. Of course it ends up being the hero versus the bad guy, but the thing is, these two aren't the only ones in the competition, all the way up til the end. When the other good guys root for the hero, they seem to forget to, you know, root for themselves as well? Or do they know they're in a movie where they've been relegated to buddy status?
There is very little nudity and a lot of skiing, which looks like someone lurching from side to side monotonously toward the camera. There is also a "freestyle skiing" round, where the skiers spin around like there's a rat in their pants they're trying to get rid of.
It's a boring and stupid movie with an audience that must be smaller than ever.
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!
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....
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Ah yes, my first user comments!
Here is the spoiler: you might not like this movie!
Definitely not for everyone. If mindless puerile fun and tasteless soft porn jokes are your bag, this movie is for you.
How I wanted to be "Snakelegs" Banks, schussing his way down the mountain and into Sonny's heart. It is truly a local boy done good tale of leaving the small town and beating the big bad pros at their own game.
So, as for the medical school thing, I watched this every night I studied, sometimes 3 times in a row. I stopped counting after 196 viewings and that was in 1992. Something about the poppy tunes and the ebb and flow of sweet skiing scenes intercut with bad acting and stilted dialogue leading into gratuitous R-rated nudity was the perfect white noise to keep me awake and still on track as I learned the names of the cranial nerves or the pathways of mitochondrial energy release.
As a movie (it is after all Hot Dog The Movie, not Hot Dog "The Opera" as my favorite user comment reads) there isn't much to offer. It is a good Eurobash and glorification of alcoholism, but the only prize is the skiing scenes.
Watch it in your alpine retreat as you rub your slope sore thighs (or better yet have someone rub them for you) and sip your Jaegermeister and Hot chocolate. You might even laugh after the first few shots!
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