HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Bushwick
Black Legion
Cellular
Errand Boy, The
Lonely Lady, The
Big T.N.T. Show, The
Iceman Cometh, The
Replacement Killers, The
On Any Sunday
Mourning Forest, The
Orloff Against the Invisible Man
Power Rangers
Loving
Squid and the Whale, The
Hangar 18
Flashback
Goose Steps Out, The
Ghost in the Shell
Anatahan
Elle
Cynic, the Rat and the Fist, The
No Holds Barred
Laughing Dead, The
Other Side of Hope, The
J'accuse!
Handmaiden, The
P'tit Quinquin
Sense of an Ending, The
Rift, The
Frantz
   
 
Newest Articles
Computer Love: WarGames vs Electric Dreams
Dream Big: Elm Street vs Dreamscape
Whicker's Slicker: Whicker's World Vols 3&4 on DVD
Ladies First: Girls on Film 2 on DVD
Rock Back: 3 Cult Millennium Music Movies
Possession Obsession: Exorcist vs Amityville
The Italian Jobs: Eurocrime! on DVD
And Then? 6 Hollywood Films That Should Have Had Sequels But Didn't
Approaching Menace: The Frighteners on DVD
Oz Factor: Strange Australia on the Cusp of the 80s
   
 
  Mooch Goes to Hollywood Paws And FlawsBuy this film here.
Year: 1971
Director: Richard Erdman
Stars: Vincent Price, James Darren, Jill St. John, Jim Backus, James Harding, Kim Hamilton, Gino Conforti, Jerry Hausner, Bert Holland, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Richard Burton, Phyllis Diller, Sam Jaffe, Edward G. Robinson, Darren McGavin, Cesar Romero, Mickey Rooney
Genre: Comedy, Trash, TV Movie
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: You need talent to make it in Hollywood, but it is not necessarily vital: most of what you need boils down to luck and knowing the right people, and many, many hopefuls arrive in Tinseltown every day with hopes and dreams, among them an abundance of beautiful women. Oh, and dogs. Actual dogs, like Mooch, who gets off the train she has been travelling in and starts on her glittering showbiz career, or so she hopes, and to help her Zsa Zsa Gabor's disembodied voice will guide her and offer advice, after all, who knows better about success here than Zsa Zsa? She warns the pooch away from the porn theatres and orders her to search for a producer and make herself sexy so as to appeal all the better - but who is this? Why, it's Vincent Price! He seems to like dogs, why not jump in his jeep and see if he can secure you that big break?

Sounds a bit weird, this, doesn't it? A bit inappropriate? The joke was that Mooch the dog behaved like a starlet, which meant the incongruous sight of the mongrel striking coquettish poses and making herself as attractive, in a human way, as she could. Except Mooch wasn't a she at all, she was a he, and he was Higgins, the dog from the television series Petticoat Junction, and later the indie kids flick Benji, where he played the title role in his final screen appearance. Benji had its problems, but sexualising the canine lead was not one of them, yet that's what you were served up here: maybe somebody back in 1971 thought this television special was fine for the younglings when they got to see Higgins dressed up as a Playboy Bunny Girl, but whether you have the same reaction in the twenty-first century was highly debatable.

Say one thing for this mess, they did secure some big names, or at least some names who were well-known faces of the day. Price was the first adoptee of Mooch, and the first thing he does is take her to the vet's, which was a not-so-hilarious running gag as the dog keeps ending up there no matter what celeb she is paired with. This appeared to be an excuse to get more animals into the project, so Mooch barks at a Siamese cat, a parrot, a goose and a brood of goslings and so on, while a goat eats all it can, including an eye chart off the wall. Think on that - what kind of vet needs an eye chart for the animals? That wasn't the oddest thing either: if you wanted to see Benji as a stripper, complete with G-string, here was your chance, with a chorus of cheers and shouts of "Take it off!" on the soundtrack for maximum viewer discomfort.

Behind the camera was director Richard Erdman, a prolific character comedian who would more latterly be known for his role as Leonard in cult sitcom Community, but another light actor, Jim Backus, showed up too, both as himself, taking Mooch to a star-studded pool party, and as one of the co-screenwriters giving rise to the contemplation that the voice of Mr Magoo was unhealthily into dogs, or starlets, or both. He seemed like such a nice man elsewhere, too. After Price embarrassed himself, James Darren stepped in and took Mooch to the beach (each of the special guest stars was introduced in a fantasy sequence as they and the dog romantically ran towards each other - Backus appeared with a false nose, long blue overcoat and black tights on, presumably to approximate his famous cartoon character), then Jill St. John met her in a makeup room and offered advice. Backus must have been ringing around the names in his little black book because topping and tailing this was Richard Burton lending his rich tones, and every so often the likes of Mickey Rooney or Edward G. Robinson would pop up. It's a cliché to dismiss kids' TV of the past as weird or creepy or insane, but this was a very good candidate for all of that. Music by Don Piestrup.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 140 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Bernard Cribbins
Tom Cruise
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Vikki Sanderson
Darren Jones
Tom Le Surf-hall
Mark Le Surf-hall
  Michael Joy
Andrew Pragasam
   

 

Last Updated: