Though it's never deliberate, writer-director Steven Kane's "The Doghouse" is closer in spirit to the original American indies -- the low-budget psycho-slasher exploiters of the '50s and '60s -- than the au courant school. Pic seems to be about a ballplayer (Matthew Del Negro) whose own self-doubts and injuries spoil major league ambitions, but whose shrewish wife (Nahanni Johnstone) can't accepting his quitting. Sudden, crude shift into psycho genre is mishandled at every step and isn't going to help film attract much fest interest beyond marginal events.

Though it’s never deliberate, writer-director Steven Kane’s “The Doghouse” is closer in spirit to the original American indies — the low-budget psycho-slasher exploiters of the ’50s and ’60s — than the au courant school. Pic seems to be about a ballplayer (Matthew Del Negro) whose own self-doubts and injuries spoil major league ambitions, but whose shrewish wife (Nahanni Johnstone) can’t accepting his quitting. Sudden, crude shift into psycho genre is mishandled at every step and isn’t going to help film attract much fest interest beyond marginal events.

When Del Negro’s Mickey is released from his minor league contract, Johnstone’s Maureen is supportive, yet clearly sending signals that she wants him not to give up getting to The Show, where she can fulfill her lifestyle dreams. Fateful encounter at a high school reunion leads to Mickey’s employ under arrogant Dick (Alan Pottinger), while frustrated Maureen, in a dreadful piece of thesping, turns into a homicidal nut case. Misogyny on display is only thing that disturbs.

The Doghouse

Production

A Doghouse Prods. presentation. Produced, directed, written by Steven Kane.

Crew

Camera (CFI color), Stephan Schultze; editor, Debra Goldfield; music, Haim Shtrum; production designer, Terry Lalos; art director, Susannah McCarthy; costume designer, Martha Gretsch. Reviewed at Dances With Films Film Festival, West Hollywood, July 23, 2000. Running time: 94 MIN.

With

With: Matthew Del Negro, Nahanni Johnstone, Alan Pottinger, Tari Signor.
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