“I had Sunny side opp, Sunny side down, and Sunny side all zee vay around!”
Great dialogue and more in this low-rent ski bum sex romp, with a Matterhorn of mammaries.
On a sick day I happened to find this On Demand, and a 20 year old wish was realized. I never managed to see this on HBO as a horny 13 year old, so I sat back, turned off my brain and tried to enjoy it as I would have in 1984. That’s the best way to enjoy Hot Dog … The Movie, ellipses and all.
Basic story- innocent hick kid named Harkin (Patrick Houser) heads to Squaw Valley, the rudely named ski resort town where the Hot Dog competition is being held. That’s freestyle skiing to those not in the know. Along the way he picks up hottie musician Sunny, after she’s kicked out of a guy’s car for not giving a blowjob for the ride. She waits two days before thanking Harkin for the ride, so maybe the other guy should have just waited. The movie wants to be the Caddyshack of skiing, with Harkin in the Danny role. David Naughton (An American Werewolf in London) plays the washed-up pro, and he’s pretty entertaining. There’s a Spicoli clone called Squirrel, the stoner ski bum who sort of stumbles through every scene, making you wonder whether he’s high or brain damaged.
Rudy Garminsch (Minnesota news anchor John Reger) is the snobbish, Eurotrash champion who won’t give Harkin the time of day, and blows him off when he approaches him to say how much he admires him. Rudy just sneers, “Schtupid Amerikaner!” and Sunny, the tactful one, uses her favorite retort: “Rotate on this, Adolf!” So the drama is set- can Harkin defeat the Austrian asshole? Before the battle is over they’ll swap girlfriends, fight, prank each other, and pirouette in the snow.
“I had Sunny side opp, Sunny side down, and Sunny side all zee vay around!” Rudy Garminsch is played by none other than John Reger, last seen as a local news anchor in Minneapolis. I don’t know why his film career didn’t go anywhere, as he was a great douchebag here. He emotes at least as well as that dude in Gymkata. His delivery of that classic line, bragging about banging Harkin’s girl, is the perfect ’80s bad guy. I hope he used the same gravitas when he announced who won the meat raffle or how the snow wasn’t as bad as Halloween back in ’91.
Every once in a while, you tilt your head during a viewing and ask yourself, “Am I really seeing what I am seeing?” and Hot Dog was one of those times. The very sport of Hot Doggin’ was unfathomable to me. Dancing on skis? Ski stunts and jumps are one thing, but am I really watching guys pirouette on skis? Thankfully this is just one part of hot-doggin’, as freestyle skiing was known in the early ’80s. The good part is the crazy jumps and stuff, and that part is a lot less tedious to sit through.
The filmmakers realized how sissified it looks, so they put a snow field hockey game in the middle. The skiers use brooms to try and knock a ball into goals, and smack each other in a manly fashion, throw punches with abandon. Even the girls get into the fights. It must have been reassuring for the 13 year old boys watching it in ’84. At last, we find out that the dancey stuff is just one part of the competition, and the rest is crazy ski jumps. After some research I found out that the “ski ballet” portion was called acroski, and was struck from the freestyle skiing book of life after the ’88 Winter Games, thank goodness.
The Japanese skier, Kendo Yamamoto, does some silly racist stuff like dance karate style, but he does speak Japanese- he calls his jump the “sugoi tabada” which means “awesome tabada” or something. I got a lot worse in the ’80s! He’s played by James Saito, better known as The Shredder from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.
This is one of those ’80s movies where I stopped taking screenshots of the boobs, because I was concerned I’d burn out my camera. They arrive at the ski resort and the receptionist is too busy getting head in a hot tub to help them, and finally serves them in the nude. There’s a wet t-shirt contest in a bar full of rowdies; then Sunny decides to take off her sweater and hop in the sack with Harkin, and then Sylvia roofies him at a hot tub party. Sunny sees, and hops in a sauna with Rudy to get some revenge with his knockwurst. The dopey stoner named Squirrel gets a hummer in a ski lift. I checked to see if this was a Cinemax After Dark feature.
The finale is a ski battle on the “Chinese downhill,” full of ski stunts, ski pranks, and hilarious accidents. But overall, this movie is for the boobies. Sure there are some ski jumps like a twist triple dog dare Lindy, and if you’re a ski bum this is probably a classic in the way North Shore is for surfers. It’s no Big Wednesday but it’s probably fun to watch with a few beers. If you wondered what Better Off Dead and South Park were spoofing with ’80s ski movies, this is it.
Beers Required to Enjoy: six-pack and some Jergen’s lotion
Could it be remade today? It would be PG-13 and about snow dancing.
Quotability Rating: low
Cheese Factor: alpine swiss
High Points: gobs of nudity, David Naughton, goofy pranks
Low Point: Spicoli clone sucks
Gratuitous Boobies: a Matterhorn of Mammaries