... transcends its hare-brained origins and the jarring inadequacies of its execution and unfetters itself from traditional filmmaking techniques and, indeed, any form of conventionally accepted Western logic...
|Click For Trailer|
Hot to Trot (1988, Michael Dinner)
Starring: Bobcat Goldthwait, Dabney Coleman, Mary Gross, Burgess Meredith, Jocko Marcellino, and John Candy as ‘Don the Horse’
Box Markings: Fetid cardboard slipcase.
Tagline: ‘When I talk, you’re going to laugh yourself hoarse.’
Trailers: The Catsup Chronicles, Dr. Ock’n’Roll, The Cleveland Steamer
Cherrypick: “Ever see a horse make a phonecall?”
Upon the ungrieved-for death of his mother, idle rich-kid Fred P. Chaney inherits not only Don, a talking Buddhist horse with an innate understanding of the Dow Jones Index, but also her fifty percent stake in one of L.A.’s largest brokerage firms. Had he been played by a young Michael Douglas or a preening Sheen, we would already be baying for his over-privileged, pony-tailed head baked in a pie-chart, but since he is in fact essayed by surefire Parkinson’s candidate Bobcat Goldthwait this must be yet another underdog story and so we dutifully get behind the little prick.
|'Get my agent on the horn, PDQ!'|
It is at this point that the film, like so many other ERH classics, transcends its hare-brained origins and the jarring inadequacies of its execution and unfetters itself from traditional filmmaking techniques and, indeed, any form of conventionally accepted Western logic.
Fred orders his half of the firm’s conference room painted mauve, ineffable Samurai florists are briefly engaged then as readily discarded and, in a scene that prefigures the austere majesty of Nathan Barley’s Cremaster Cycle by some years, Don stands erect in a vast minimalist living space pretending to be a statue while a stout Mexican maid hoovers around him and the soundtrack swells with accordion music. In another, a vast menagerie of birds and animals fill the (suddenly heavily ornamented) apartment and reduce this canticle to conspicuous consumerism to a psalm to squalor. A more fantastical Buddhist extension of Bunuel’s Exterminating Angel is hard to imagine.
|'If you show me one more fucking photo of you and John Cusack, I swear...'|
The outcome is unimportant.
The notion of the underdog is (momentarily?) in flux.
Dabney’s swearing like a docker.
Originally published in Little White Lies #10