Bark bark folks, Leonard Maltese here again, with another furry film review. This week, I was invited to attend a raucous and repulsive Puppy Party, and oh my! I feel gross for doing so. Chaotic and reprehensible to the max, this “film” gets ZERO BONES. Read my full review below.
Review by Leonard Maltese
Imagine, if you will, someone making a film that had absolutely no plot, and even less of a point. A film that is populated with seemingly dignified creatures, who for the duration are portrayed as putrid, pathetic animals, scurrying about naked, growling, grunting, recklessly gnawing and clawing at everyone and everything, in a desperate bid to achieve nothing. And on top of it all, you’re made to believe that what you’re watching is not only normal, but fun, and quite adorable.
I don’t have to imagine this. Because I’ve been there. I was invited to the Puppy Party (currently streaming on Netflix) and I was foolish enough to RSVP. Unless you’re a very young human child who is eager to learn the basics about different canine varietals, I’d advise you to stay the heck away from it. Far, far away…
I mean, look at THIS:
There is over an HOUR of that!
Let’s start from the beginning. Now, I can only speculate as to the curious decision of having no opening credits whatsoever before we’re immediately thrust into the presence of Milo, an outwardly amiable yellow lab, who serves as our host and narrator. Is it to disorient us? Or is it the film’s way of introducing us to its overall disarming and anarchic style? Whatever the answer, it comes across as well as the rest of the film: Cheap, ugly, and nihilistic.
Milo, who sounds pretty upbeat for someone who spends all his time in the company of maniacal drooling fools, addresses the audience as if we’re right there with him (the only prospect imaginable creepier than watching this film). He first introduces us to his party guests, one breed at a time, as if that’s supposed to be the most interesting aspect of their characters. What if there was a movie made called People Party and the lead character started introducing the other characters not by name, but as “black guy” and “Mexican woman” and “Asian person”? It’s insane! Now, if this were an educational film that’s supposed to teach little kids about different dog breeds, then I could understand the generalities. But I have gathered in my infinite cinematic wisdom that this is not that kind of film.
After Milo introduces us to an exhausting amount of dog breeds (25 of them, even the throwaway Malamute) they proceed to run around, chase balls, wrestle each other to the ground, etc., all the while WE–the viewer–wait for something–ANYTHING–of consequence to transpire. Spoiler alert: IT NEVER DOES! Look, I’m a dog (albeit a rather advanced one). I get that there are dogs–plenty of dogs, actually–in the world, who act the way these dogs do. And if this were some juvenile-aimed documentary introducing little tykes to the world of puppies, then yes, it would make perfect sense to showcase how the general populace of less-evolved pooches behave and interact with one another. But what we’re dealing with here is a film that is far more perverse, a hybrid of Haneke and Pasolini at their most lascivious and self-hating.
What follows next is an extended sequence where the dogs stuff their fuzzy little faces with food, for what seems like an eternity. As a dog–and often a quite hungry one–am I supposed to find this entertaining? And if so, how? The only thing I love more than movies in this world is food, and to be forced to watch it be devoured with nary a chance of getting a sliver myself is ecaninulating (no one has invented the canine version of the word “emasculating” yet, so I had to make something up, sorry folks).
Ten minutes into Puppy Party a strange thing happens: The party ends. What happens then is Milo gives us a much-abridged history of all the dog breeds in attendance, seemingly to retrace the historical steps that led them all to this fateful party. Again, there is no drama to be had in any of this, as if the producers were just wanting to teach tiny human kids about the evolution of canines in the cheapest and most innocuous way possible. The light, flippant, bottom-of-the-barrel music score hammers home this theory, as does the rest of the abysmal production values, which can only be described–generously so–as PBS Ultra Light. But beyond the production’s paltry face, I can feel the all-powerful eyes of executive producer Spike Jones, Jr. trying to sear something awful into my brain, a projection of his brutal, hateful vision: That dogs, by and large, are horrid and despicable animals, completely reliant on human beings to survive, let alone live happy, fulfilling lives.
Being who I am–A DOG–I could never endorse a movie with that kind of message, even if it were well-produced and entertaining. Puppy Party is neither, not once during its interminable 62-minute running time, and it easily ranks as one of the worst films I have ever seen. ZERO BONES!
Might I suggest to the producers of this insulting and nauseating drivel: Next time, try making harmless, non-fiction edu-tainment programming for pre-schoolers. With a little tweaking, Puppy Party may even qualify as such.
Disagree with my review? Bark at me about it down below!