A young ski champion (Patrick Houser) picks up a hitchhiking runaway (Tracy Smith) on his way to a competition where the two fall in love and participate in pranks with the rival Austrian team. It’d be easy to dismiss Hot Dog as just another teen sex comedy, and while it certainly delivers more than its fair share of boobs, sex, and beautiful bods, it’s also a bit more than that — and in ways that might divide audiences.
The film contains a ton of impressive skiing footage. For me, it was too much — although the final downhill race is certainly a highlight. But if you’re a ski fan, you might enjoy Hot Dog more than you might imagine. But the emphasis on skiing does take away from the teen sex comedy aspect of the movie, especially as the run time wears on.
I thought the first twenty-five minutes of the film were actually it’s best. In those opening scenes, you really start to like Houser and Smith’s characters and enjoy the escapist quality of their road trip together. But once they arrive at the competition, their relationship gets severely sidelined. The movie re-focuses its attention on other characters, including the good ski team called ‘The Rat Pack’ (headed by American Werewolf in London‘s David Naughton) and the nefarious Austrians, headed up by John Patrick Reger. 1982 Playmate of the Year Shannon Tweed also makes a supporting turn as a ski instructor who likes to bed the boys — and while I’m sure she was cast for particular endowments, she also gives a good performance.
Hot Dog‘s aim is a little too scattered for me to recommend whole-heartedly. If it had committed to its central character relationship more, it could have been a winner for me. But there’s still enough scenery and beautiful people having fun to make it worthwhile for fans of 70s and 80s teen sex comedies.