Sherlock: Undercover Dog (1994)
There have been very few times in my life when I have felt such a sense of urgency, a passionate need to warn others of something so eye-meltingly bad that they genuinely need to avoid it at all costs but this is one of those times.
It’s a movie set in Catalina that’s all about a dog who talks (in a laughably mangled attempt at a Scottish accent, no less), wears an eyepatch and goes about just causing lots of problems by never revealing his true intelligence and vocabulary to anyone but a kid who nobody believes. Okay, the dog talks to a couple of other people on occasion but, to be honest, if he’d just been more chatty with everyone then he could have found his kidnapped owner and been shipped off for dissection in less that half an hour, making everyone a winner.
The acting is terrible and I’m not even going to name the names of those involved, hopefully they’re back to their day jobs and making sure that nobody ever accidentally comes across this one movie that they thought might make them famous. There’s the “whacky” dad who has invented a basketball telephone that you need to bounce a ridiculously stupid amount of times just to make one phone call. The kid who has an overactive imagination and therefore can’t convince anyone that a dog is actually talking to him a la Mr Ed. Then we have some cocky girl who becomes a sidekick through nothing more than her presence, there’s certainly no personality or charm there. And who can forget those comedy cops, especially that one who keeps getting his foot squashed by golf carts (at one point he is pained by a line of golf carts and can’t manage to get his foot out of the way in between any of the slow-moving vehicles of doom)? I but wish I could.
Writer-director Richard Harding Gardner clearly has problems. Many, many problems that he may have been trying to resolve with an ill-advised mixture of medicines and alcohol while making this movie. There’s no other rational explanation for something that comes off like some children’s network TV movie without the care or actual acting talent that you can often see in such endeavours.
I can wring entertainment from anything, I can force myself to laugh at things others perhaps wouldn’t, but this was abhorrent on every level. Poorly acted, technically inept (could they have not at least attempted to disguise the safety wires better in some scenes?), lazily thrown together drivel. And it joins the very short list of movies I have given my lowest rating to. Oh, despite what many may believe, it DOES happen.
DIRECTOR: RICHARD HARDING GARDNER
STARS: BENJAMIN EROEN, ANTHONY SIMMONS, BRYNNE CAMERON
RUNTIME: 78 MINS APPROX