Animal House was one of the most successful and influential comedies of all time. Many films tried to emulate its success, usually in the low budget realm. The results were generally entertaining. Partying, fornicating, revenge upon tightass rich pricks, and enough cultural stereotypes to induce comas in the woke set.

I watched many of these carbon copy productions at drive-ins and on cable. There were a lot of them. One I never got around to is Hot Dog: The Movie. Now Synapse, long touted as the Criterion of exploitation, has given Hot Dog the royal treament. Much ado about very little is how I'd sum it up.

Maybe, no definitely, I would have enjoyed Hot Dog a lot more had I seen it at the beloved Anchor Drive-In, or Cinema City Drive-In back when it was first released.

Hot Dog starts off engagingly enough. A goody-two-shoes hayseed comes to a ski resort to enter in a competition. He meets a pretty young lady and romance begins to brew. The partying begins in earnest shortly after his arrival.

A portion of the budget was spent on a recognizable face for the party maestro of the slopes. David Naughton, of American Werewolf in London, is competent, but he lacks the charm of someone like John Belushi or Bill Murray. Or even Chevy Chase. Playmate Shannon Tweed was brought aboard to enhance the scenery, but she does little else. A gifted thespian she isn't.

All well and good, and these are enough ingredients for a reasonably enjoyable time. But Hot Dog: The Movie is bogged down by endless scenes of skiing. I'm talking shot after shot after shot after shot of hot dog ski maneuvers. If stunt skiing is your thing, you'll love it. Unfortunately it ain't mine.

These kind of movies are usually cheap, crude, offensive, juvenile. That's why a certain type of movie fan loves them. But they must never be boring. Unfortunately Hot Dog: The Movie drags on with all that ski footage. Even half of what was used would have been too much.

If you are a raunch film completest, you probably will want to own the Blu Ray of Hot Dog. Criterion did their usual pristine job with it. Other interested parties (cough cough) would be better off streaming it for free on Amazon Prime.

Written by Mark Sieber

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