Sherlock: Undercover Dog
Director: Richard Harding
Benjamin Eron, Brynne Cameron, Anthony Simmons
I know, I know - you are thinking, "Why?" Why on
I review a movie with a title like Sherlock: Undercover Dog?
After all, there are unquestionably movies that, from the title and the
art on the video box, you know immediately will be painful to watch.
I did know that this movie was going to hurt very much. You probably
also thinking, "I wouldn't watch a movie like that if I was paid!"
Unknown Movies is different than other web pages; not only will I
review movies that are obviously from Stink City even before putting
in the VCR, but I will especially do so if I'm paid good money. No, I
bribed by anyone associated with the making or distribution of this
film - a freelance reviewing assignment had me review this among the
movies I was assigned, and watching it got me another 23 Canadian
That's enough to buy a decent bottle of booze up here, and though I'm
really a drinking man, I really felt like taking a walk to the liquor
after watching this movie.
Where to start with this movie? How about the video box.
On the back
it says it is rated "K - Kids must be present when viewed by a
After watching this movie, I would say that's because the producers
afraid that parents would fall asleep while watching this movie, and a
kid would be there to wake them up. For one thing, there's a dreary
score that sounds like it came from an outdoor montage sequence from
TV show Full House. However, I think there's more of a chance
will stay awake, only because their groans of contempt and disgust will
be keeping themselves awake.
Just look at what happens in the first ten minutes:
Billy, a boy about
ten years old, is on the ferry between California and Catalina with his
mother and his (I assume) stepfather. A tame white rat has gotten
the ferry, and once it makes its presence known, 99% of the passengers
on the ferry shriek and run around the ferry into the control room,
the ferry to violently steer side to side. Meanwhile, Billy's real
prepares to meet his son on the docks. Since he's an inventor and in a
children's film, he, of course, has glasses, sloppy hair, and
out-of-fashion clothes. Are you groaning yet? If not, you probably will
when you're told that the golf cart he uses to putt around the island
off before he's ready, dragging him behind as it speeds down the hill.
(The footage here is sped up, and it's obvious it was sped up in the
room after the footage was transferred onto a video master, making it
even cheesier.) Of course, when the cart stops, it's right on the foot
of a cop, and this is the first of many sequences in the movie where
same cop gets his foot run over by a golf cart. We find out that the
managed to successfully dock despite its wild ride, but not without
- as the camera slowly pans up from the water to a docking ramp, we
retching noises while we see chunks of vomit splash down onto the
As I said, all this happens in just the first ten
minutes. Oh, I left
out the part about the Scottish detective at the docks with his dog.
dog's name is - brace yourself - "Sherlock Bones".
It's one ugly dog, with its eye patch and rotting red bandana around
neck, and he looks like he needs a good bath. Oh, why is a detective
Scotland doing all the way out here in Catalina? Well, he's
some drug smuggling going on there, though why he traveled all the way
here for a local problem is not answered. Neither is why he didn't
the island authorities that he was there on a case, though maybe it is
so it makes it easier for the smugglers, once they find out about him,
to kidnap him, and keep him tied up hostage in their bases of
(These are kinder, gentler drug smugglers, folks.)
Reunited, Billy and his dimwitted father drive home, and
journey they discover Sherlock lying beside the road, injured during
escape from the drug smugglers. They take him to the local vet, and
we are introduced to her daughter Emma, who is about the same age as
Emma's first words, said as she rushes into the veterinarian clinic,
"Mom! Mom! It was so gross! There's vomit everywhere! They had to hose
down the entire dock!" (Later she brags to Billy and his father, "I'm
- neat, huh?") Back to the story. While Billy is alone with Sherlock,
discovers that Sherlock can talk! Sherlock never explains here or
else in the movie just how he can talk and have intelligence greater
any of the people on Catalina, but that's not the concern now. He is
about his kidnapped policeman master, and enlists Billy's help.
he doesn't seem to be that concerned about his master being in
danger, because he'll only speak to Billy (and later Emma), leading to
countless scenes where Billy tries to tell people Sherlock can talk but
Sherlock stays silent and everyone thinks Billy has gone insane or is
irresponsible and oh must I go on? It's never made really clear who
will only speak with children, though it may be that if he talked to
adults, his master would be saved and the movie would be finished in
than five minutes.
I don't think it's necessary for me to tell you what the
acting or directing
is like in this movie. If I were pressed into finer detail, I would
it very difficult. Looking back at my notes, I find random scribblings
from a madman. What I can make out is the following: "...Sherlock on
dragging Billy across floor - see visible cables pulling dog...",
dressed in a bikini...", "...Sherlock urinating on a 'No Dogs Allowed'
sign", "...Father walking up to talk to woman watering with hose. She
quickly and guess what...", "Strange title for a movie when dog
minor character", and "Will this movie ever end?" It did, but it was
longest 80 minutes I've been through for a long time. I realize that
I've written about this movie may make it sound like it's one of those
so-bad-it's-good movie, but believe me, it is just bad. Not
bad in its quality, but quite reprehensible in its content when you
its target audience.
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See also: Rivals, Secret Agent Club, Star