When I was a kid, Disney cranked out lousy
live-action movies the way a Haitian whorehouse cranks out AIDS
victims. The shit just kept coming at us kids and we loved it.
No Deposit, No Return, Unidentified Flying Oddball,
The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again (the original actually
isn't that bad) and Gus: The Field-Goal-Kicking Mule are
just a handful of the turds fed to us by the twin cinema on the
edge of the shopping mall parking lot. Today, we live in an age
of instant-gratification nostalgia and fairly young people already
remember those titles fondly. Because these movies were part of
their childhood, they think those flicks were great.
No, they weren't. They were fucking dreadful, low-budget, poorly-written,
slapsticky crap starring Ken Berry, Dean Jones, Don Knotts, Barbara
Feldon, Ed Asner and Ruth Buzzi, all of whom were in the slow,
sad decline of their careers and probably would have happily taken
a job on the lot washing cars as starring these movies. People
will remember fondly that when they were a kid, they loved these
crappy movies. That's because kids are really fucking easily entertained.
Kids also like shitty Saturday morning cartoons and Richie Rich
and Archie comic books. And nostalgic grownups remember more the
time of their lives when they saw these movies than the stories.
70s Disney movies were was the movie equivalent of a cardboard
house. From a distance they looked like movies, sounded like movies,
but they were actually as cheaply made and assembled as possible.
Think about it: why didn't our parents ever stick around to watch
the movies with us? Because the point of the movie wasn't to entertain,
it was to give the parents someplace to drop us for two hours
while they went to key parties at the neighbors. That's why Mr.
Peters, and not Dad, was always sitting in our kitchen drinking
coffee in his underwear when we got home. He just fucked Mom!
Shaggy Dog is for everyone nostalgic for the sub-grade crap
that Disney shoved down our throats while our parents held our
heads back. It's the ultimate tribute to crappy, cheap, pointless
and heartless crap. Only this time, it's not even written for
kids. It's not written for adults either, but it sure as hell
isn't for youngsters.
probably spent more this time around than they did on, say, Million
Dollar Duck, but they sure as hell didn't invest any more
creativity. The Shaggy Dog is a loose remake of the 1959
original with a nod to its lousy 1976 sequel The Shaggy D.A..
Disney already remade Dog in 1994 and made another sequel
in 1987. According to Disney, the tale of the Shaggy Dog is as
timeless as the Odyssey, Moses's journey through the desert and
Nancy and Sluggo comics. Either that, or they figured there was
another generation of kids (known in the business as suckers)
Shaggy Dog is some of the most contrived, lazy, formulaic
horseshit since Scrappy Doo joined Saturday morning cartoons.
The original had a simple story where a kid finds a scarab ring
with some latin mumbo-jumbo on it. When he says the latin he turns
into a dog. Stupid, but it gets directly to point: gags about
a boy becoming a mutt. In the new version, a huge team of writers
is in no hurry to get to a gag. First, they set up a story as
twisted and knotty as my uncle's lower intestine. They think kids
actually give a shit why Allen becomes a dog.
plays an prosecutor (kids love that) aspiring to district attorney
who is bitten by an ancient Tibetan dog that has been kidnapped
by an evil pharmaceutical company (wheeeee!) that wants the dog's
longevity secrets. Meanwhile, Allen is helping prosecute an animal
rights activist (oh, the kiddies eat it up) for allegedly torching
said pharmaceuticals office (such fun for kids). The mystical
dog bit turns Allen back and forth from man to dog for the sake
of "comedy" and the horrifying act of licking Kristen Davis's
face. Jesus H. Christ on a crudite platter, that poor woman must
have spent the rest of that day in her trailer dipping her head
is a theme to the movie: Allen is a bad dad and husband. Fuck,
this movie is so miscalculated it's unbelievable. The only kind
of good parenting kids care about is wishing their parents were
like the ones in the Hasbro commercials who actually get on the
floor and play with them.
Allen's not a terrible dad and husband; he provides wealth and
security to his family, but works too much and forgets the occasional
anniversary. The Bad Dad definition here is upper-middle-class
fantasy. A kid's definition is one who beats him, locks him in
a closet, or eats his Hot Wheels. I wonder what Disney would make
of my house, where a good husband can forget an anniversary so
long as he doesn't forget to use the toilet when he takes a dump.
And I'm not a good husband. Anyway, only by becoming a dog does
Allen discover how inattentive he has been to his fat, Broadway-singing
son and bland daughter, or how much he has neglected his moderately
also has to save some animals, who are being tortured for science
by Robert Downey, Jr., who is to acting as Cheetos are to cheese.
Oh, and he has to please his boss so he can be the next District
Attorney. Of course, everything is complicated by Allen's frequent
turning into and out of a dog. It's all too fucking much for kids,
and too fucking stupid for adults. Although, I suspect a few morons
will pay just for the nostalgia factor.
Shaggy Dog could be classified as a misfire, but that isn't
fair to the assholes who made it. A misfore suggests there was
a target, but nobody involved in this shit cared enough to even
take aim. The teeming mass of screenwriters slapped together a
plot that holds only one thing of interest for kids: a man becomes
a dog. But they surround it with so much contrivance, bullshit
and yuppie fantasy that it's obvious by the time they made the
movie they had lost interest in making sense, making quality or
entertaining kids. It was made for no reason other than someone
crap, just like Disney served up when we were kids. But let's
hope today's youngsters are a hell of a lot smarter than we are
about what the remember fondly. One Finger for The Shaggy
Want to tell Filthy Something?