The Jaded Lo­cal


Thirty-five years ago, the most sem­i­nal Hol­ly­wood ski movie was, um, re­leased on the pub­lic, ex­pos­ing them to the stunt ski­ing of Ta­hoe leg­end Rob­bie Hun­toon, the boozy an­tics of Squaw Val­ley mis­fits, a num­ber of ques­tion­able scenes, in­clud­ing a 17-year-old run­away be­ing roofied in a sauna by the en­tire Aus­trian freestyle team, and the re­peated ap­pear­ance of a pair of im­prob­a­bly shaped af­ter­mar­ket breasts. Mar­keted as a teen com­edy, Hot Dog: The Movie promised Amer­ica’s 13-year-old boys a utopia where Squaw Val­ley had 10,000 feet of ver­ti­cal, ev­ery­one shred­ded pow and smoked dope all day, and boobs ur­gently needed to be free.

To­day, it’s look­ing pretty dated, and I say it’s time for a se­quel. But what would a con­tem­po­rary Hot Dog look like? The orig­i­nal bla­tantly ex­ploited women as sex ob­jects and built its plot on a sliver of a story about the sport’s sanc­tion­ing body sell­ing the soul of pro freestyle ski­ing to cor­po­rate ad­ver­tis­ers. A proper se­quel would need a new ski genre, up­dated con­flicts and char­ac­ters, and a broader tar­get de­mo­graphic.

Maybe we start by in­vert­ing ev­ery­thing by chang­ing the gen­der of the hero, Harkin Banks, a plucky sheep rancher from Idaho with an out­side shot to win the over­all ti­tle at the Freestyle Na­tion­als. Banks could cer­tainly be a woman, but you wouldn’t want to use a model ath­lete from to­day as the pro­tag­o­nist be­cause model ath­letes to­day, male or fe­male, would spend all their spare time lift­ing weights, do­ing PT on their ACL, and In­sta­gram­ming healthy or­ganic meals—not pick­ing up run­aways at gas sta­tions and par­ty­ing all night.

I mean, maybe Lind­sey Vonn could swoop in at the end like a guest star from an ’80s afterschool spe­cial to beat the shit out of ev­ery­one in the Chi­nese Down­hill and leave the lo­cals with some pithy ad­vice about re­hab­bing from surgery. But I have a hard time imag­in­ing her ser­e­nad­ing a teenager with a folk song in a South Lake sex mo­tel.

And how would we adapt the stereo­typ­i­cal ’80s con­flict be­tween the rag­tag band of mis­fits and the preppy snobs? Cer­tainly, there are still snobs aplenty, but who would be the love­able mis­fits? You won’t find too many in Squaw these days—dan O’cal­la­han’s rat pack would be telecom­mut­ing from Sil­i­con Val­ley star­tups while Kick­star­ter­ing or­ganic dis­tillery/yoga stu­dios in Truc­kee.

The only log­i­cal band of mis­fits is the hard-work­ing back­bone of ev­ery ski town: Im­mi­grants. But the vast ma­jor­ity of His­panic or East­ern Euro­pean ski town lo­cals don’t ski or party be­cause they’re busy work­ing three jobs and hid­ing from ICE. If ski town Mex­i­can-amer­i­cans acted like O’cal­la­han and Co.—not work­ing, par­ty­ing, try­ing to get laid, etc.—the en­tire re­sort in­dus­try would col­lapse in­side a week.

But at least there’s no short­age of snobs.

The FIS is still aw­ful and ret­ro­grade, so the cor­rupt sanc­tion­ing body re­mains. But mod­ern freestyle skiers who would be go­ing to Na­tion­als are about as likely to be rag­ing be­fore the comp as Lind­sey Vonn would be be­fore a DH, or an im­mi­grant af­ter his or her sec­ond shift of the day. The orig­i­nal film did il­lus­trate, how­ever sketchily, the end of com­pet­i­tive Freestyle as a free life­style.

So who are the bad guys in 2018? Real es­tate de­vel­op­ers? Well, they al­ready won. Gi­ant evil cor­po­ra­tions tak­ing over ski ar­eas? Ditto.

The only mod­ern plot con­flict I can think of is the bat­tle to save the last ves­tige of ski town joy that hasn’t been de­stroyed or sold out: shred­ding pow in lo­cal back­coun­try stashes. Maybe that’s the pro­tag­o­nist’s fight, to save our good-times high-fivin’, safety-break-takin’, back­coun­try-powslashin’. Ex­cept… skiers might ac­tu­ally be the bad guys in this sce­nario. Be­cause ev­ery time some­one posts on the In­ter­net about the cool place they just shred­ded with the un­tracked pow, that place gets a lit­tle less cool, and a lit­tle more tracked. Our ad­dic­tion to high-tech nar­cis­sism is the real en­emy: fuck Face­book, In­sta­gram, and all that vam­piric garbage. A con­tem­po­rary Harkin Banks would prob­a­bly roll into town in a built-out Sprinter van that his par­ents bought (al­beit cov­ered in stick­ers from “spon­sors”), stoked to slay all the coolest lo­cal back­coun­try lines and doc­u­ment them via a POV we­bisode se­ries about his Rad Life­style.

OK, that’s all pretty de­press­ing. In­stead, let’s just re­make the orig­i­nal Hot Dog sim­ply for the es­capism. Up­date the ski­ing, get rid of the misog­y­nis­tic bits, and throw to­gether a mish­mash of Shred­ding and Good Times:

Hot Dog 2: Viva Vonn

Small-town sheep-herder Lind­sey Vonn rolls into town for Na­tion­als, meets up with Daniella Call­han­dro and her rag­tag band of Mex­i­can ski bums, slays sick pow in the back­coun­try (spray­ing kooks when they stop to In­sta­gram), hooks up with a hot dude in a hot tub, bankrupts FIS by drop­ping off the tour to ski pow and smoke dope, and then beats, um, Shaun White or some other an­noy­ing douche to win the Chi­nese Down­hill, end global warm­ing for­ever, and bank­rupt Vail.

The End.

Il­lus­tra­tion: Tyler Hart­lage

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.