Do you remember that Miller Lite commercial with the racing wiener dogs? It had something to do with combining great taste and less filling and used the racing wiener dogs as a metaphor for…well…anyway…there was this commercial. And, evidently, there was some guy back in 1993 watching it on his couch who thought it was such a great idea that he got off the couch and created the world’s first Dachshund racing league.
I had no idea…
Thankfully, Shane Macdougall came along and gave us “Wiener Takes All: A Dogumentary” to shed some light on this relatively unknown sport. Before I begin, though, is it just me, or are two puns in the title of a movie two too many? I’m just wondering.
This is a great documentary for about the first 15 minutes. Then it gets good. Then pretty soon, it’s just okay. And then it becomes sort of tedious. Unfortunately, at that point, it’s still not over. And this is a short movie.
You know how long one of those wiener dog races lasts? About 7 seconds, give or take. If Mr. Macdougall (and his editor) would have just taken a cue from his subjects and made this into a short, they would have had a real crowd pleaser on their hands. At feature-length, it’s interminable. I’m not saying it’s a bad movie, it just has no sense of pacing. The laughs are few and far between and I can’t say there’s much dramatic tension to be wrung from a race featuring sausage dogs (even when the owners of a second place finisher lodge a formal protest following a particularly suspicious start).
If you own a Dachshund, you should definitely find a way to see this movie. God knows if anyone decided to race poodles competitively, my parents would be first in line to see the inevitable film made about it (they’d race Ollie, but he has pancreatitis, poor thing). My point is, this doc has a very specific audience…and if you’re not part of it, you will probably get bored pretty quickly.
There is one interview, though, at the beginning of the movie that actually made me check to ensure I was, in fact, watching a “dogumentary” and not a mockumentary. The man was quite earnest and took his wiener races very seriously. And to answer my own question, I just noticed another dog-related pun written in bright yellow letters across the top of the dvd box: “A year in the lives of the fast and the furriest”.
I guess two wasn’t enough.