Sleeping Dogs Lie Bobcat Goldthwait

Sleeping Dogs Lie is based around a moment that sounds like the punch line to a joke by long-forgotten ’80s comic Bobcat Goldthwait. You remember the crazy guy with the screwy voice in the Police Academy films, right? Actually, Sleeping Dogs Lie is a 90-minute Goldthwait joke that’s rarely funny and tries to avoid becoming a Farrelly Brothers yuck-fest by throwing some tragedy and relationship issues into the mix. The film opens with a scene where college student Amy (Melinda Page Hamilton), in a moment of weakness, fellates her dog. (No, they don’t show it but even if Goldthwait had the audacity to shoot such a scene, it would hardly make this "risqué” film more enjoyable.) Years later, while deep in a relationship with John (Bryce Johnson), she reveals her dark secret after he asks her to be completely honest about everything. As you’d expect, it all goes pear-shaped and Amy’s life begins to spiral downwards as her dirty deed follows her around like a bad stink. Though a movie with such an audacious plot has the potential to flip the predictable circumstances, Goldthwait flounders. He’s unashamed by his subject matter and while he doesn’t go all out and blow it (no pun intended) out of proportion, it all really comes down to the fact that he isn’t a talented screenwriter. Some characters provide laughs, like Amy’s meth smoking, keyboard playing delinquent brother, but the Elvis and Roy Orbison sex stories and make-out fantasies between girl and dog try too hard. The commentary is an opportunity for the in-need-of-a-hit Goldthwait to bask in his film’s controversy. He reveals how a one-time manager refused to shop the script because he feared that studios would question the writer/director’s mental health, takes pride in how the SPCA got involved over fears of bestiality and tells an anecdote about how a woman cried at a screening. However, he best sums up his film by self-deprecatingly passing if off as "that dog/blowjob movie,” which he means as a joke but is a perfect way to sum up a bad film. Some things are better left unsaid and some movies are better left unmade. (Alliance Atlantis)