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By Michael Ferraro | May 12, 2005

“When I’m gone Foxy, if a human tries to adopt ya, you rip out his throat, you run for your life.” – Hammish’s advice to his dog, Foxy.

Hammish is everything society doesn’t want from its citizens. He’s a degenerate, a hoodlum, a drunk, and even a rapscallion. Friendless and without family, Hammish has nothing to contribute to the world except chaos. Karmatically speaking, it’s this chaos that kills him, when one of his countless enemies decides to slip some poison into his grub.

Knowing his time is running out, he turns his attention to Foxy, his faithful canine companion. Hammish holds her close and tells her everything she needs to know about life without a master.

The best part of the Hammish character is that he never changes. Instead of ranting on and on about his life’s mistakes, he shows no remorse about his behavior. He doesn’t use his last few moments of his life making a transformation that we have seen all too many characters do with their dying breaths. Zellner keeps him in check by having Hammish accept his fate. The only thing he cares about now is giving the best advice he can to the only thing he probably ever loved; Foxy.

If you’ve ever seen a Zellner Brothers picture of any kind, whether it be one of their countless shorts (“Flotsam/Jetsam,” “Rummy”) or even their brilliantly odd feature (“Frontier”), you should know what to anticipate. They seem invincible to repetition and they give the impression that they are willing to try anything. With this film, however, they show they can even add their own uniqueness to such a simple story with the most straightforward message.

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