C.H.O.M.P.S. (1979)

C.H.O.M.P.S. (1979)
Article 3774 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-2-2011
Posting Date: 12-14-2011
Directed by Don Chaffey
Featuring Wesley Eure, Valerie Bertinelli, Conrad Bain
Country: USA
What it is: Faux shopping cart movie

A young inventor tries to win his job back at a security agency by creating the ultimate burglary prevention device – a robotic dog. However, there’s an industrial spy at the agency who wants the dog and the plans for a competitor…

So this is what happens when American International and Hanna-Barbera productions join forces – an imitation of a Disney shopping cart movie, with some familiar names in the cast (Valerie Bertinelli, Jim Backus, Conrad Bain, and Chuck McCann and Red Buttons as a pair of incompetent burglars) and the kind of plot you’d expect, but lacking the special effects expertise of its model. No, it’s not very good, but it’s not significantly worse than Disney’s own comedies from the period, and it’s harmless enough. Technically, since C.H.O.M.P.S stands for Canine Home Protection System, the title should be C.HOM.P.S, but that’s nit-picking; in truth, the most annoying things about the movie are the presence of an unnecessary and uncredited voice-over on a big dog named Monster who throws in some gratuitous light cussing, no doubt to avoid the dreaded G rating, and a repetitive melody that shows up whenever the robot dog springs into action. I’m not sure just how cost-effective this robot dog would be; given its propensity for leaping through doors, windows, walls when its in action, you’d think the damage it would do would end up outweighing its benefits.

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