Hot Dog … The Movie (1984)
Hot Dog … The Movie (1984)

Genre: Dramatic Comedy Running Time: 1 hr. 36 min.

Release Date: January 13th, 1984 MPAA Rating: R

Director: Peter Markle Actors: Patrick Houser, David Naughton, Tracy Smith, John Patrick Reger, Frank Koppala, James Saito, Shannon Tweed, Lynn Wieland




fter getting thrown out of a van for refusing to give oral sex in exchange for the ride, 17-year-old Sunny (Tracy N. Smith) gets a lift from Harkin Banks (Patrick Houser) – a more chivalrous sort of guy, heading west to hit some ski slopes. She’s understandably nervous when he pulls over that evening at a motel, though she isn’t keen on spending the night in the truck; as a compromise, they share a bed, but remain on opposite sides. Revealing the kind of life Sunny has led, her first question to Harkin the following morning is why he didn’t try to make a move on her.

When they arrive in Squaw Valley, California, the hotel clerk checks them in – while fully nude. And their room has a heart-shaped tub, a waterbed, and porn on all the channels. At dinner, they meet Daniel O’Callahan (David Naughton), a well-known skier, along with the freestyle champ and gold medalist, Austrian Rudolph Garmischt (John Patrick Reger), who rudely ignores his fans. All Harkin really wants is to make it to the qualifying rounds at the upcoming World Cup competition at the Snowfest Winter Carnival, to prove his worth amid so many talented professionals. Although idol Rudolph turns out to be an antagonistic jerk, Harkin manages to meet some friendly skiers to practice with (who are also pals with Dan, whom he calls the “Rat Pack”), including Squirrel Murphy (Frank Koppala), Kendo “Kamikaze” Yamamoto (James Saito), Fergy (Erik Watson), Michelle “Banana Pants” (Lynn Wieland), Slasher (George Theobald), and Sylvia (Shannon Tweed) – a shapely blonde who immediately catches the attention of the newcomer.

As a raunchy sex comedy first – and a ski comedy second – “Hot Dog … the movie” is quick to feature sexual conversations, full frontal female nudity, and a wet t-shirt contest that culminates in a bevy of busty women stripping off their soaked garments. Since it’s a male-oriented fantasy, the bar women are sexy and willing, even though the other patrons are overweight, unkempt, scruffy-looking fellows, who surely wouldn’t have such arm-candy mingling at every table. Harkin is the only young, attractive man in the group, so of course he’s rewarded straightaway with sex with Sunny. Once at the ski resort, the cast gets younger, fitter, and lustier, which leads to hipper partying and another sex scene – one that starts in the bedroom and transitions into a hot tub. There’s also a vibe of people trying to take advantage of one another, particularly after heavy imbibing and pressuring immoderate consumption.

As it turns out, the film is more focused on nakedness than either comedy or drama, which is just as well, considering that the humor regularly falls flat and the drama alternates between generic love triangles and the overused premise of an underdog trying to defeat the reigning champ. With all the smoking, drinking, feuding, and cheating, none of the characters come across as wholesome protagonists; everyone is disagreeable at best. It’s difficult to care about any of these personas, which means that the eventual winners and losers are thematically and cinematically indistinguishable.

As audiences wait for the next moment of exposed flesh, they must also sit through numerous skiing montages. Some feature impressive or genuinely dangerous stunts (there’s also a not-so-macho one that resembles ballet on skis), but there are far too many, each set to lackluster music, tending to blend together after just the second or third sequence. They very quickly become downright boring. By the end, it’s never explained why Sunny decides to take Harkin back, why a snowball fight is fitting justice for a crooked event, why a no-rules “Chinese downhill” race should dictate the true winner (at least this climax is moderately thrilling), or even what the title of the film is supposed to mean. Non-skiing fanatics need not apply.

– Mike Massie

  • 2/10