Friday, 11 November 2016

Abner the Invisible Dog (4 Stars)

Watching this film reminds me why I like Fred Olen Ray so much. He can make films in any genre, whether they're horror, sci-fi, erotic or action films, and they're always proficient within the context of what he sets out to achieve. "Abner the Invisible Dog" is an outstanding family film. The expression family film is actually a euphemism for children's film. It's clearly targeting young children, i.e. pre-teens and early teens, but there's enough action that the whole family can sit and watch it together. I don't have any young children of my own to use as an excuse, so I sat and watched it by myself. If anything, I tried to watch it through a child's eyes, and I greatly enjoyed it.

It's Chad's 13th birthday. His father buys him a chemistry set from a toy shop. Unknown to him a thief had hidden vials stolen from a secret government laboratory in the box. In the evening Chad mixes the chemicals and lets his dog drink them. That's probably the easiest way to kill your dog, so a message should have flashed on screen:

"Don't try this at home!"

But it's only a film, so Abner the Dulux Dog didn't die. Instead, he started to talk. The secret liquid in the vial made him highly intelligent. Chad gives him the second vial to drink, and this makes him invisible. Unfortunately, Abner isn't quite invincible. Whenever he sees or hears cats he reverts to normal, losing his intelligence and becoming visible. I'm sure I could make an inappropriate remark about the power of the pussy making a clever man stupid, but since I'm reviewing a children's film I won't say it.

Danger comes. The thieves break into Chad's house to retrieve the chemicals, or better still they want to capture Abner to investigate the effects they've had on him.

This is an excellent comedy film. It's true, parts of the plot are too absurd to believe, but when a film is so funny who cares? The comic timing of the two thieves is brilliant. If you have young children please watch this with the whole family. Or never mind the children, watch it by yourself!

P.S. In Germany they've changed the dog's name to Albert. Click on the link below to order it from Amazon.

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