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Overall Rating
3.12

Awesome: 17.65%
Worth A Look: 23.53%
Average: 11.76%
Pretty Bad47.06%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 11 user ratings


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Oh, Heavenly Dog!
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by Scott Weinberg

"Chevy Chase as a dog. How appropriate."
2 stars

In 1980, Chevy Chase starred in a Benji movie. While he has since spent his entire career searching for another co-star to match his talents so perfectly, Chevy doesn't actually APPEAR in this movie at all save for the first ten minutes. While the noted absence of Chevy onscreen may actually sound like an endorsement, there's really no reason to search out this silly little caper comedy...unless you're writing a book on the stupidest movie concepts ever conceived.

At the height of Chevy Chase's popularity, producers would offer him the moon to appear in a movie for them. For those young'ens out there who refuse to believe it, Chevy was huge circa 1980. I swear. His first two major movies, Seems Like Old Times and Foul Play were enjoyable diversions, and both films have enjoyed a healthy life as video-store favorites. But Chevy's renowned laziness is all too apparent in Joe Camp's Oh! Heavenly Dog!

The gimmick here was apparently to combine three types of movie:

1. The ethereal 'God-related' comedy that was so popular back then, when movies like Heaven Can Wait and Oh, God! were big hits at the box office. Certainly the usage of the word "Oh!" offers a clue into the creativity involved, or lack thereof.

2. The caper/mystery comedy that Chevy had done previously in Foul Play. Granted, Chevy was the straight-man in Foul Play and had almost nothing funny to do, but that doesn't seem to matter.

3. A Benji movie. In the late seventies and early eighties, Benji was a big star. Nowadays, the dog would just be created by CGI and would also be annoying, but this pup had a loyal following around the time that disco died. This was Benji's third starring role! That's more than David Spade has!

So we have three separate movies trying to be smooshed into one. Oh, and if you went to see this movie hoping to see Chevy Chase, you were in for a nasty trick. The plot starts out with our hero being killed, but upon arriving at heaven, he's told that he is not worthy yet, and must now return to earth as a dog and sniff out his own murderers!

How any studio chief allowed this script to get past the "throw it in the garbage on your way out" phase is simply beyond my comprehension. Sure, Benji is a cool little dog, and it's just wonderful to watch all his neat tricks...but where's Chevy? We get to hear his dialogue in voice-over! That's right. Voice-over. So we end up with more than few scenes that sound like this:

"Hey, I'm a dog! Woof. How'd this happen? How am I gonna find out who killed me? Ooh, a fire hydrant. Woof. This 'being a dog' thing really sucks."

And so on and so on. Luckily for the audience members still not in a coma, this movie also stars Jane Seymour. As bad as this movie may be, it's still a movie that features Jane Seymour for over 100 minutes. That automatically earns any movie 2 stars, since Ms. Seymour is easily one of the most gorgeous creatures ever to walk this planet.

Although this movie is universally panned, I'd be willing to bet that nobody's really even seen Oh! Heavenly Dog in the past five years. The box at the video store is growing mold. But it's really not an awful movie. As a time-filler for dog-loving kids, it could be a safe bet. Fans of quality filmmaking can look elsewhere.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=2793&reviewer=128
originally posted: 12/09/00 13:26:41
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User Comments

3/02/14 josie cotton is a goddess It's not THAT bad. 3 stars
2/04/14 xgskzneju USA 2 stars
1/28/08 mr.mike recall it as the beginning of the end for Chevy's movie career 3 stars
8/18/05 Chris A favorite . DVD is sharp and clean {ws} 4 stars
6/18/05 Katherine Chase, Seymore, Sharif, Elton John, Wings-great cast, great movie! 4 stars
1/29/05 ralph a true movie expert 32 yrs old rehashed jibberish 2 stars
10/11/04 Wendy Butkins I loved this movie---- I have kids of my own now and I want to buy it for them. 5 stars
12/03/03 Joe Ricciardi One of my favorites-great story 5 stars
7/13/03 Chris Branning Hey, this was a cute, fun, film that I still remember very fondly. Gooddiversiononanyday. 4 stars
10/31/02 Mike Heron I have to love it, I was a driving extra in it in Montreal :-) 4 stars
3/20/01 Jax There's still plenty of us Benji fans out there. If you love Benji, who doesn't, see it!!! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  11-Jul-1980 (PG)
  DVD: 09-Aug-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  02-Jul-1980


Directed by
  Joe Camp

Written by
  Rod Browning

Cast
  Chevy Chase
  Jane Seymour
  Omar Sharif
  Robert Morley



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