Very much a product of it’s time, this is one Hot Dog that sits nicely beside it’s cinema counter siblings. In other words it’s weak, tasteless and will probably leave you with a feeling of discomfort in your guts. Even viewing such movies within the context of the time they came from, there’s only so much casual racism, sexism and unfunny boorishness that viewers can take.
The thin plot of this film sees a young lad named Harkin Banks (Patrick Houser) picking up a hitch-hiker, Sunny (Tracy Smith), en route to a big skiing competition before getting closer to her, closer to a bunch of slacker skiers who have some natural talent but no self discipline, closer to a caricatured German baddie and closer to the lovely Shannon Tweed. Perhaps things will build to an ending that mixes some skiing action in an all-or-nothing kind of deal. You think?
Directed by Peter Markler, and written by Mike Marvin (who was also second unit director for the ski sequences), the most frustrating thing about this movie is how it wouldn’t have taken all that much to make it just a little bit better. There is actually some well edited skiing and stunt work here and there. David Naughton is the lead slacker skier and he’s a likeable enough guy even if he will always be remembered as, arguably, the screen’s most loveable adult lycanthrope. And if you’re a young teen hoping for some gratuitous nudity in your films then the inclusion of Shannon Tweed is like a solid-gold seal of shenanigans.
Sadly, everything is just weighted down by a pair of unlikeable leads (and the character of Banks singing a ditty and playing some gentle guitar after bopping with Sunny at a bar playing host to a wet t-shirt contest is one of the biggest “WTF????” moments I have had in some time), a pre-pubescent fantasy of how well-endowed women will act around anyone with a penis and a bizarre streak of xenophobia painting Europeans in general as shallow cheats and Germans, in particular, as cold relics of yesteryear who need a good slap in the face every now and again and reminded of the fact that “zat eez the vay of ze vorld” (quote made up by myself, ridiculous German accent supplied by the movie in the form of John Patrick Reger’s performance).
The kind of movie that makes you glad we’ve moved on quite a way from the 80s.