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EpicSki › General Articles › Hot Dog The Movie Background Notes

Hot Dog The Movie Background Notes



I'm a Squaw Valley ski bum turned computer nerd. I'm 51 and started skiing when I was six. I am a former Head Mogul Skiing Coach of the Squaw Valley Freestyle team (1984). Also, a former ski school director at Slide Mountain (1983). Skied the National Freesyle Championships (Moguls) in 1981 and 1982. Coached at the Nationals in 1983.

I quit skiing in 2000 after several knee injuries and my doctor told me to quit skiing moguls. What is the point of skiing? I'm a bump junkie and I always end up on West Face. Over the last four years, I've had a knee operation, wrist operation, shoulder operation, shoulder injury on the other side, and broken bone in my hand. These days I am into dirt biking. Hoping to get back into windsurfing and maybe skiing next season.

I was hired by the producers of Hot Dog, the Movie as a skier for the mogul contest. The lighting was bad, so mainly they filmed the principals and a few extras. There might be 3 turns by me in the movie. As we waited for the clouds to pass, we were used as extras.


The film stars Patric Houser as a young and ambitious ski bum named Harkin Banks who is determined to prove himself in a freestyle skiing competition at Squaw Valley. Along the way he teams with a pack of fun-loving incorrigibles (whose leader, Dan O'Callahan is played by David Naughton, picks up an Austrian arch-nemesis named Rudi (John Patrick Reger), and enters a love triangle with a young woman named Sunny and the more mature Sylvia Fonda (played by Playboy Playmate Shannon Tweed in one of her first major film roles).

The script was written by a Squaw Valley local who was in the movie business (Mike Marvin).

Rudi and the Rudettes was a tribute and slight joke on his friend Rudi Zink and Rudi's following. The real Rudi is nothing like the movie Rudi. Rudi is nice, American, SV local, and one of the absolute best mogul skiers ever. His technique puzzled many people and he was so smooth, he didn't score that well in the crash and bash judging back then. Rudi was 10 years ahead of everyone back then.

George Theobald (the punker) is the only actor who did his own skiing. I use to compete against George in moguls and he was an excellent all around 3 event freestyle skier.

Many of the actors had two or three stunt skiers. Watch the opening run. The ski brand changes 3 times in one run! A few of the stunt skiers were friends of mine. We sat in the theater and they picked apart all of the bloopers.

The wet T-shirt contest was held in the now gone "Lone Star". The action got out of control and my friends at the filming say the best parts didn't make it to the movie. It was a drunken naked breast fest by the time they stopped filming.

As much as the two top women battled on screen, when the cameras stopped, they looked like best friends.

The snowball fight was nasty! The movie crew spent hours making snowballs. This was spring snow and many set up into hard ice rocks. In the first take Shanon Tweed got hit in the face with one. She freaked. Getting hit with an ice ball feels like your skin is ripped open. The director told everyone, "DO NOT THROW SNOWBALLS AT THE PRINCIPAL ACTORS!!!" The extras were fair game. If you watch the scene, I'm in the back wearing a blue jogging top. I was not about to get hit in the face for what they were paying me. I flip over the table and make like a gunfighter in an old western after a couple of snowballs fly. I spent the afternoon drinking the beer as any good local would do (which pissed off the director, who kept having to fill our pitcher) and trying to get a date with another extra. Not a bad day, since I didn't get nailed with an ice ball and got paid to drink beer, but not a ski day either. After a few days of not skiing much, I quit.



Hot Dog the Movie Trailer (1984)



Mitch Ryder:


Related Content:  Hot Dog FreeStyle The Old School Includes posts by old school hot doggers.

Comments (2)

Thank you, this is awesome. Watching HOT DOG for bazillionth time right now!
Cool recollections, one correction, Lynn Wieland, AKA Banana pants also did her own stunt skiing.
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