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HOT DOG … the movie

     

For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020

EDITOR’S NOTE: The exploitation distributor Synapse has decided to give a Blu-ray upgrade (and ‘unrated producer’s cut’) to this R-rated, bottom-of-the-barrel ’80s teen sex comedy, one of too many that followed in the wake of the phenomenal box-office success of ‘National Lampoon’s Animal House’ and ‘Porky’s.’ My review was published in the Deseret News on Jan. 13, 1984.

I always try to go to new movies without prejudice. I usually don’t read advance press material until after seeing the film. I try to avoid other reviews until I’ve written my own.

But let’s face it. There are some films that send out signals. And “Hot Dog” is one.

First off, there’s the title. Not just “Hot Dog” but “Hot Dog . . . the movie,” with the last two words in small letters.

Then there’s the print ad. “There’s more to do in snow than ski.” Something told me right off that didn’t mean building snowmen.

Then there’s the TV blitz, with frenetic scenes of drinking, dancing and sexual teases. No, this film is not going to be “Chariots of Snow.”

     

Shannon Tweed, David Naughton, 'Hot Dog ... the movie' (1984)

You know you’re in trouble when the title song is “Love Starts at the Top of the Hill.”

“Porky’s” on skis? That’s being too generous. Now let’s see. What could be lower than “Porky’s?” Well, “Hot Dog,” for one.

The real shame here is that “Hot Dog” has some amazing second-unit stunt footage of free-style skiing. But that’s not the real emphasis here. The R-rated emphasis is sex, nudity, profanity, drugs and vulgarity, not necessarily in that order.

Despite the presence of fabulous ski shots “Hot Dog” is just another sexploitation drive-in film, complete with such sequences as the wet T-shirt contest, the Jacuzzi sex scene … what, no mud-wrestling?

The story has a young cowboy skier (Patrick Houser) heading for Squaw Valley (depicted in a way that makes Sodom and Gomorrah seem tame) to enter the World Free-Style Ski Championship. Along the way he picks up a young girl (Tracy N. Smith) and together they get involved with the American team and party their brains out. Oh, they also do some skiing.

     

Though David Naughton, of Pepsi-commercial fame and the star of “An American Werewolf in London” is top-billed, he has a supporting role as a former ski champ.

The nominal plot, which portrays men as macho skiers and women as sex toys, has the American team battling the European team (the latter dressed in black, of course), both on and off the slopes, winding up with a ski chase that is in every way inferior to the one in “For Your Eyes Only.” But, again, the emphasis is clearly on sex.

And that brings up another rule to watch for: Beware of any movie that features a centerfold. Shannon Tweed, described by the press kit as the 1982 Playboy Playmate of the Year, is prominent in the cast.

“Hot Dog” is every bit as terrible as you might expect and that’s especially sad since it marks the second film by Peter Markle, whose “The Personals” was such a nice surprise.

“Hot Dog” contains no beef. This one’s a turkey dog.