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Film: Mooch Goes to Hollywood
Director: Richard Erdman
Performers: Higgins the Dog, Richard Burton, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Vincent Price, James Darren, Jill St. John
Production Information: Saint Claire Vision, 1971
Breed(s) featured: Border Terrier mix

Hollywood — maker of make-believe, land of broken promises, Lotus Land, Cinderella City, Tinsel Town…

Hollywood, Hollywood, weaver of fantasies, the dream factory hub of the entertainment universe…

Hollywood that lures young hopefuls from town and village, factory and farm, all seeking the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

For some, the dream is realized. For others, their hopes and aspirations are shattered on the shoals of despair. But still, they come. Behold them: dewy-eyed, innocent, vulnerable, a flood of femininity, a deluge of daintiness. Will they soar to stardom, and find a permanent niche in the Hollywood heavens? Or like the moth in the flame, plunge like a meteor into the abyss of oblivion? What does fate hold in store for them? What is their destiny? Let us seek the answer through the eyes of one of these young hopefuls as we follow her quest of the impossible dream. A young hopeful… like Mooch. (as introduced by Richard Burton)

You’ve got to see it to believe it, although it’s really quite terrible. From its effusive narration (absolutely sizzling with the sultry sounds of yesteryear, thanks to the honeyed accent of Zsa Zsa Gabor) to gratuitous bikini babes to the strange re-gendering of Higgins the Dog (of Benji fame, who was male) as female… well, somehow the writers even managed to sexualize a backlot drama about a mutt in search of canine stardom.

Mooch considers a gig as a Playboy bunny, and even a burlesque dancer, but Zsa Zsa encourages her to keep her clothes on!

Getting a makeover like Jill St. John

I suppose it goes with the territory — innocence lost is always more poignant when pressed upon the figure of female, child, or a sense of both rolled into a doe-eyed, anthropomorphized animal. There’s no denying that Higgins the dog is cute, and all that shaggy adorability surely does a number on the brain chemistry of all but those with the bluntest dendrites.

Speaking of chemicals, you know what else goes well with this movie?

Dogfish Head, 90 Minute IPA

This IPA’s 9% ABV will boost the entertainment value of even the most poorly-conceived movie, whether or not it stars a cute dog.

Availability: Part of the Canine Collection 3 DVD set. Also available to stream or download on Archive.org.

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