K-9 Preview

Jamie, Patrick and Kyle (aka Three of a Kind (aka The Three Amigos)), fresh out of the hospital and with baby in tow, look over a ridge at the towering skyscraper that is Rotten Tomatoes HQ. Despite racking their brains for at least several minutes, they can’t figure out how they are going to get into the impenetrable fortress. Just then they hear a cough and notice that Rachel the Pretzel Girl has rejoined the gang. “Kinda forgot about you,” mumbles Jamie, ashamed, “sorry.” But Rachel doesn’t seem to hear him as she says a quiet hello to Kyle, who turns crimson red in response. Jamie and Patrick narrow their eyes at the pair and quickly snap their fingers. “Hellllo, we got an HQ to infiltrate, Rachel. You can talk to our ex-con BFF later,” Patrick huffs. But Rachel just waves them off and smirks in a way that lets them know that she’s got a plan and it’s going to work. We see a montage of them going over some blueprints and nodding their heads (“This just might work,” Patrick says). They try on some blond mullet wigs and moustaches (“We’ll pretend to be cameramen for a big time movie review show. Brilliant,” Jamie adds). They work on their hang gliders and high five (“Perfect way to get onto the roof undetected,” Kyle replies). Suddenly they all look at each other in confusion. If they are all cameramen from Hang Gliders Monthly, then who’s the reporter?! Suddenly another lady appears out of the bushes. “Lindsey Appleton!” Jamie exclaims, recognizing the hardscrabble investigative reporter from St. Mary’s Church. “That’s right,” she says smoothly, “I’ve been hard at work tracking your every move and I can get you into HQ. There’s just one problem… the RTHQ dogs.” That’s right! We are jumping into a classic with K-9, taking the chain from Problem Child 2 using Alan Blumenfeld. This falls into the microgenre of buddy cop films featuring dogs, which still continues to today (just look at Show Dogs). Interestingly, very few other animals have ever been a buddy cop… maybe even just Theodore Rex. Let’s go!

K-9 (1989) – BMeTric: 30.5; Notability: 38

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 12.8%; Notability: top 28.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 16.8% Higher BMeT: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, Cyborg, The Karate Kid Part III, The Fly II, No Holds Barred, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Cutting Class, Nightmare Vacation 3, Shocker, Pink Cadillac, DeepStar Six, The Punisher, Leviathan, The January Man; Higher Notability: Troop Beverly Hills, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child, Fletch Lives, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Harlem Nights, Leviathan, Pink Cadillac, Lock Up, Three Fugitives, Dead Bang, Renegades, Let It Ride, Millennium, Slaves of New York, The Karate Kid Part III, Who’s Harry Crumb?; Lower RT: Wired, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, DeepStar Six, No Holds Barred, Rooftops, She’s Out of Control, Millennium, Winter People, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, The Karate Kid Part III, The Salute of the Jugger, Chattahoochee, Nightmare Vacation 3, The Lemon Sisters, Three Fugitives, Troop Beverly Hills, Cookie, Her Alibi, Cyborg, Rude Awakening and 4 more; Notes: All the way up to 6.0 on IMDb, so pretty much in that “people kind of don’t think this is that bad” territory. Pretty weak overall. We clearly have a ton of bad 1989 films to go, I’m probably most excited for DeepStar Six.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Cop Belushi teams with a German shepherd (Jerry Lee) to crack a drug case. Dubbing this one a dog would be much too kind. Followed by two direct-to-video sequels.

(Kind of a weird review. First, there is no way the capitalization in “German shepherd” is correct right? According to wikipedia it is not, but who knows? The second bit is that Jerry Lee is the name of the dog in the film I’m pretty sure. The film credits Jerry Lee and Jerry Lee as well, but the dog was actually named Rando so I find that weird. But what can you do, right?)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCRZBon82Qw/

(I don’t mind the fake out at the beginning. It kind of works in this case, which is surprising. The rest looks aggressively dumb, although I kind of like that Belushi seems to be playing it like the dog is just a human partner. That is kind of funny in its own way.)

Directors – Rod Daniel – (Known For: Teen Wolf; Future BMT: Beethoven’s 2nd; The Super; BMT: K-9; Notes: Nominated for three Emmys for WKRP in Cincinnati. Retired from filmmaking in 2010 to focus on photography.)

Writers – Steven Siegel (written by) – (BMT: K-9; Notes: Most of his credits are related to this series. K-9000 is maybe the most interesting, a 1991 television movie spin-off that was meant to be a pilot for a potential television series. In the series the main character has an implanted microchip which allows him to talk with his dog partner.)

Scott Myers (written by) – (Known For: Trojan War; Future BMT: Alaska; BMT: K-9; Notes: Seems to have moved on to production in some degree as he was an executive producer of a reality television program in the mid-2000s.)

Actors – Jim Belushi – (Known For: Last Action Hero; Trading Places; The Little Shop of Horrors; The Whole Truth; Thief; Wonder Wheel; The Ghost; About Last Night…; Red Heat; Hoodwinked; Wag the Dog; The Fury; Return to Me; Salvador; Home Sweet Hell; Thunderstruck; Only the Lonely; Canadian Bacon; The Man with One Red Shoe; Cougars Inc.; Future BMT: Underdog; Snow Dogs; The Wild; Joe Somebody; Destiny Turns on the Radio; Curly Sue; Jumpin’ Jack Flash; Who’s Harry Crumb?; The Pebble and the Penguin; Race the Sun; Once Upon a Crime…; Mr. Destiny; Filofax; BMT: Pinocchio; Jingle All The Way; New Year’s Eve; Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return; K-9; Notes: Brother of John Belushi, he was a genuinely big comedy star in the late-80s/early-90s. Does a lot of television now including the recent Twin Peaks series.)

Mel Harris – (Known For: Raising Cain; Imagine That; Suture; The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie; Hangman’s Curse; The Lodger; Cameron’s Closet; Sonic Impact; Purple Heart; Future BMT: The Pagemaster; Wanted: Dead or Alive; BMT: K-9; Notes: Was married to the official White House photographer for Gerald Ford in the 80s, at which time she also won a decent amount of money on $10,000 Pyramid.)

Kevin Tighe – (Known For: Yours, Mine and Ours; What’s Eating Gilbert Grape; The Graduate; My Bloody Valentine; School Ties; Geronimo: An American Legend; Eight Men Out; Shadow Makers; Matewan; Mumford; Men of War; The Road Home; City of Hope; The Deal; Bright Angel; I Love a Man in Uniform; Future BMT: Race the Sun; Newsies; BMT: Jade; Another 48 Hrs.; K-9; Road House; Notes: I know him mostly as John Locke’s con-man father from Lost. His daughter Jennifer Tighe is also an actor, mostly in television.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $43,247,647 (Worldwide: $78,247,647)

(That seems like a lot of money. I’m pretty surprised they only managed to get a few direct-to-video sequels out of it. But maybe dealing with a co-star dog is just terrible enough that you have to make a ton of money to make it worthwhile.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 22% (2/9)

(My consensus: Only amusing to the most ardent dog fans. Tom Hanks’ dog film wasn’t good, so why should this be any different? Reviewer Highlight: We start with a standard drug movie and end up with so many monologues to the dog that the dialogue coach must have needed a pooper scooper. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – Tango & Patch

(That’s the name of the Tango & Cash sequel starring a dog named Patch after Cash has run off with Tango’s sister. Anyway, when a poster like this comes along I like to imagine what would happen if I saw something like this hanging in a movie theater as a coming attraction. I might faint. It does almost everything wrong. Bad color scheme. Bad font. But it does tell a story and it’s oddly pleasing despite being bad. So maybe a C-.)

Tagline(s) – Meet the two toughest cops in town. One’s just a little smarter than the other. (C-)

(I don’t really get this tagline. It’s long, so you would hope it gets where it needs to go… but does it? Like what does the second sentence have to do with the first? What does them being tough have to do with one being smarter than the other? On the other hand it is a nice little implied hit… that the dog is smarter than this big ol’ dumbo haha. So I can see what they wanted, they just reached too far for it. Double C-’s on this one.)

Keyword – dog movie

Top 10: Turner & Hooch (1989), Scooby-Doo (2002), 101 Dalmatians (1996), The Secret Life of Pets (2016), Isle of Dogs (2018), Alpha (2018), Bolt (2008), Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004), Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993), Beethoven (1992)

Future BMT: 68.8 The Shaggy Dog (2006), 67.3 Scooby-Doo (2002), 66.0 Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (2010), 64.6 102 Dalmatians (2000), 64.0 Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004), 63.9 Underdog (2007), 62.0 Beethoven’s 2nd (1993), 56.5 Snow Dogs (2002), 45.9 Beethoven (1992), 39.5 Top Dog (1995);

BMT: A Dog’s Purpose (2017), K-9 (1989), Marmaduke (2010), Show Dogs (2018), Air Bud: Golden Receiver (1998)

(Lame plot, but great look at how few of these we’ve actually watched. I’m looking forward to none of these, although running through the Beethoven series could be fun. The first two are the only theatrical releases, but I spy an animated television series from 1994! That’s fun.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 18) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Ed O’Neill is No. 4 billed in K-9 and No. 1 billed in Dutch, which also stars JoBeth Williams (No. 3 billed) who is in Jungle 2 Jungle (No. 3 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 6 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 4 + 1 + 3 + 3 + 6 + 1 = 18. If we were to watch The Pebble and the Penguin we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – Jerry Lee was played by Rando, a 3-year-old German Shepherd from West Germany. A year-long search was held to find the right dog for the role. Over 40 dogs were considered but none of the American German Shepherds were deemed suitable. Rando trained for 3 months with Karl Lewis Miller and learned to understand commands in English.

At the dinner party given by the gangster, there is a butler walking across a room behind a doorway. The butler is Michael John Robert Gill who was working with the catering staff hired for the film. After the filming, he actually served the food used in the scene to the cast and crew. Gill was not an actor but was actually a real English butler, and for seven years he was butler to British actor Laurence Harvey, prior to his death.

The game played by Dooley in his car is a Game and Watch from Nintendo. The game is called “Manhole” second version released in 1983.

Contrary to the claim made by Jim Belushi’s character that his car is a classic 1965 Mustang, the only ’65 mustang in the movie is the one at the end when they are driving to Vegas. Any others used in the movie are ’66 models.

Rando faking being dead or asleep after he is brought out of surgery into the recovery room wasn’t in the script. When the crew saw Rando doing it while filming, the camera crew was in a perfect position to capture him being sneaky in one take.

Two versions of Lyman’s death scene have been broadcast. In the first, when running towards a helicopter, he shoots Jerry Lee and is subsequently shot by Dooley. In the second, he shoots Jerry Lee and is then shot by the escaping helicopter crew.

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