Hot to Trot Preview

After the breath of formulaic and dull air that is License to Wed, it feels like time to paint ourselves into a corner for Chain Reaction. It’s an annual tradition whereby we see how far we can sink ourselves into the dregs of major Hollywood releases before expertly extricating ourselves like a pair of bad movie Houdini’s. There is no further we can sink than our next film (connecting through Wagons East! via John Candy), which truly puts the Street Cred in the StreetCreditReport.com cycle. That’s right! We’re watching Hot to Trot! This is the Bobcat Goldthwait vehicle in which John Candy voices a stock tip providing horse… do I need to say anything more? Let’s go!

Hot to Trot (1988) – BMeTric: 35.9

HottoTrot_BMeT

HottoTrot_RV

(The delay in the regression to the mean is tripping me out. But I think what this is saying is that this film is aggressively bad to a point where almost anyone who watches it agrees with this fact … but there is something ridiculous about it that allows you to, now, watch it with irony. For an 80s film to have such a high BMeTric is a rarity as IMDb votes couts drops off dramatically for films released pre-2000, so this is something we’ve have plenty of time to plan for.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Here’s a fresh concept from the 1980s: a comedy about a talking horse. Goldthwait plays a semi-imbecile who gets stock tips from a whinnying pal with the voice of John Candy. As comedies go this is the equivalent of Black Monday. Coleman, courtesy of the makeup department, wears a pair of horse teeth here; They are funny.

(Mixed signals from Leonard here. Are the horse teeth funny or not. The rest of the review is dripping so thoroughly with irony it is hard to tell. Is it a fresh concept?! We may never know! The Black Monday joke too, so much to unpack with the review. I have a feeling this is a good sign. Leonard was juggling many thoughts and feelings about this film, it is so dense.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mRE4Hoe5dQ 

(Hooves don’t fail me now! Ah there is something about 80s comedies that are so comfortably ridiculous. I think I’ll feel right at home … although 80s comedies also tend to be overly serious and often boring, so I guess we’ll see?)

Directors – Michael Dinner – (Known For: Heaven Help Us; Future BMT: The Crew; BMT: Hot to Trot; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Director for Hot to Trot in 1989; Notes: A television director (and executive producer) of shows like Justified and Sneaky Pete now. He was a singer in the 1970s:

I’m 95% sure this is him.)

Writers – Stephen Neigher (story & screenplay) – (BMT: Hot to Trot; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Hot to Trot in 1989; Notes: His name is … Neigher. Besides that can’t see much besides that this is his only feature film, and he most did one off television episode scripts for most of his career.)

Hugo Gilbert (story & screenplay) – (BMT: Hot to Trot; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Hot to Trot in 1989; Notes: Nothing. The search lead me to the book Frame by Frame II: A Filmography of the African American Image, 1978-1994, where it is noted that Harry Caesar plays Gideon Cole … nothing about Gilbert, I just had nothing else to say.)

Charlie Peters (screenplay) – (Known For: Ruth & Alex; My One and Only; Future BMT: 3 Men and a Little Lady; Krippendorf’s Tribe; My Father the Hero; Blame It on Rio; Her Alibi; Music from Another Room; BMT: Hot to Trot; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Hot to Trot in 1989; Notes: Taught screenwriting at USC and was brought to LA initially to help Columbia with PR after the David Begelman embezzlement scandal. Juicy stuff.)

Andy Breckman (uncredited) – (Known For: Rat Race; I.Q.; True Identity; Future BMT: Arthur 2: On the Rocks; Sgt. Bilko; BMT: Hot to Trot; Notes: A script doctor, which explains the uncredited role here. Has an ongoing feud with Don MacLean (the singer of American Pie) from when he was a singer as well:

)

Actors – Bobcat Goldthwait – (Known For: Blow; Hercules; Scrooged; One Crazy Summer; World’s Greatest Dad; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Freaked; Tapeheads; Sleeping Dogs; Future BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Burglar; Destiny Turns on the Radio; Shakes the Clown; Hansel & Gretel; Mrs. Winterbourne; Radioland Murders; BMT: Hot to Trot; Grind; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor for Hot to Trot in 1989; Notes: Primarily a director now, his most well known film is probably World’s Greatest Dad with Robin Williams. It claims he has directed nearly 300 episodes of Jimmy Kimmel Live as well, which is interesting. He was a staple of my mid-afternoon Comedy Central viewing as a child in One Crazy Summer specifically.)

Dabney Coleman – (Known For: WarGames; Rules Don’t Apply; You’ve Got Mail; Tootsie; Stuart Little; The Towering Inferno; 9 to 5; Dragnet; On Golden Pond; The Man with One Red Shoe; Bite the Bullet; Battle of Midway; Cloak & Dagger; Moonlight Mile; Rolling Thunder; This Property Is Condemned; Melvin and Howard; The Muppets Take Manhattan; Recess: School’s Out; North Dallas Forty; Future BMT: Inspector Gadget; The Beverly Hillbillies; Clifford; Amos & Andrew; Domino; Young Doctors in Love; Meet the Applegates; Viva Knievel!; BMT: Hot to Trot; Notes: He voiced the principal in the show Recess. Was somewhat well known for his short-lived television show Buffalo Bill as well.)

John Candy – (Known For: Home Alone; Spaceballs; Uncle Buck; The Blues Brothers; Stripes; Vacation; Heavy Metal; Cool Runnings; Little Shop of Horrors; JFK; Splash; Planes, Trains & Automobiles; The Great Outdoors; The Rescuers Down Under; Volunteers; Delirious; Only the Lonely; Follow That Bird; Future BMT: Armed and Dangerous; Cannonball Fever; 1941; Who’s Harry Crumb?; Rookie of the Year; Canadian Bacon; She’s Having a Baby; Career Opportunities; Summer Rental; Once Upon a Crime…; Brewster’s Millions; BMT: Nothing But Trouble; Wagons East; Hot to Trot; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actress for Nothing But Trouble in 1992; Notes: I love John Candy. We went through this in the last Chain Reaction of course with Wagon’s East. Instead of a normal note let’s reminisce in BMT history: remember when John Candy played his own twin sister in Nothing But Trouble … yeah that was weird.)

Budget/Gross – $9,000,000 / Domestic: $6,436,211

(Wow. I’m not sure I trust the budget number for a movie this old, but at the same time it makes sense. That though is still a very low domestic total. The 109th highest grossing film of 1988 right above, gulp, Mac and Me. Not great.)

#33 for the Family – Talking Animal (Live action) genre

hottotrot_talkinganimal

(Amazing. It started the craze! Talking animals are amazing, so not surprisingly it just kind of general trends upwards … I’m not sure what is up with that gap, maybe the genre collectively moved to VOD (like Santa Paws?), but Jungle Book at least kind of put it back on the map, so maybe they’ll be a renaissance. Fun fact: The point when the trend takes off for real is with Babe in 1995, which probably also marker the point of no return where CGI was used for the talking bits instead of doing it Mr. Ed style (with peanut butter and stuff). This movie also only really beats Gordy as far as gross is concerned.)

#17 for the Horse genre

hottotrot_horse

(Not a real genre, but fun nonetheless. The peak in the mid-2000s might be due to Seabiscuit, but it is hard to tell.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/16): No consensus yet.

(My consensus: A one-note update to the Talking Horse genre merely brings profanity to the table. Justifiably considered terrible, it is somehow worse than even rock bottom expectations. There are a few reviews which suggest it isn’t sooooooo bad, but none offer anything beyond a glimmer of a hope in the comedy department. None of the reviews are from the time though. I do think it goes hand in hand with the IMDb vote analysis above: I think there are people who watch it now and think “oh that isn’t as bad as I thought it would be”, which might explain the modest regression to the mean in recent years.)

Poster – Sklog to Blog (Oh God. Oh man!)

hot_to_trot

(That… is… unfortunate.)

Tagline(s) – “When I talk, you’re going to laugh yourself hoarse.” (D-)

The funniest talking horse movie ever! (F)

(True blue double tagline film. And both seem like taglines that would be written ironically for a modern “purposefully bad film”. The first being a stereotypically bad pun and the second being almost self deprecating. I give the first a point for delivering on the pun.)

Keyword(s) – horse; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.1 Battlefield Earth (2000); 86.8 BloodRayne (2005); 85.3 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 85.0 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987); 83.3 Dungeons & Dragons (2000); 82.2 The Legend of Hercules (2014); 80.2 xXx²: State of the Union (2005); 79.2 Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009); 75.5 Hercules in New York (1970); 72.6 Jonah Hex (2010);

(Loving it. Obviously this list is dominated by sword and sorcery type pictures, but the occasional bad western like Jonah Hex is always welcome. I’m not even going to try and remember where the horse in Superman IV comes in, we have to watch that for BMT anyways.)

Notes – After Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985), Tim Burton was offered to direct, but declined. (Good idea Tim)

Elliott Gould was the original voice of the horse. After a poor test screening of the film, the horse’s half of the script was rewritten by Andy Breckman in an effort to make the film funnier. John Candy was hired to re-record the horse’s voice; he ignored the new script and improvised the dialogue instead. (That is the beauty of such films you see, you can rewrite half of the script and punch it up indefinitely)

Reportedly, when Bobcat Goldthwait was given a script of the movie, he wrote “Why would I do this?” on the cover. His agent responded by drawing a dollar sign over it. (This is a straight cash grab job brother, get in get out)

Joan Rivers was originally cast as the lead. (Interesting, I guess after Spaceballs she was hunting for acting jobs)

During the race at the end of the movie Don asks for Fred to inspire him like the old guy from Rocky. He is of course referring to Burgess Meredith who voiced Don’s father. (fun fact)

Virginia Madsen claimed to have made this movie for two reasons: one, so that her sister’s children could see the film; secondly, for the money. She admits the movie was an embarrassment, but she was not ashamed to take the role, since she needed the money at the time. (Everyone is doing it for the money!)

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Bobcat Goldthwait)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Michael Dinner)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Stephen Neigher, Hugo Gilbert, Charlie Peters)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (The Horse I assume)

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