Canine Controversy — A movie poster parody gone wrong

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jaws useI’ve worked in radio and at various magainzes/newspapers since the late ‘80s. My friends have it ingrained in them that when a news story pops up, they should let me know. I’ve told them that now, with movie reviews, they should stick to film related stories.

With that, I got a call from my friend Bob in Santee. He told me he went to enjoy the special Wienerschnitzel is having — $.99 chili dogs. As he walked up there last Saturday afternoon, he saw a few news crews. He poked around to see what was happening, and this is what he had to report.

A father was complaining about a calendar that was given to his child as part of their kids meal. It was a parody of famous movies, showing the movie posters with dogs put in the place of the movie stars. I asked “Were they wiener dogs?”

Bob responded, “I don’t know, why does it matter?”

I said, “Well, I’m just not sure why Wienerschnitzel would care about dogs, unless they were ‘wiener dogs’. But go on. You had me at ’99 cent chili dogs.”

As Bob continued, I wondered why Wienerschnitzel would think that a kids meal should include a calendar at all. Toys work well, but calendars? But I digest (just ate some chili fries from Wienerschnitzel).

Santee local Dallas Stewart claimed that his 3 ½-year-old son peeled a sticker that was on the movie poster. It showed a nude woman underneath.

It was on the month of July. That month showed a parody of the Jaws movie poster. It’s the perfect month for that, as the movie takes place around a July 4th tourism weekend in a beach community. They fear that the Great White attacks will keep people from hitting the beaches.

I couldn’t help but chuckle at all this. I remember a few months back when local songwriting legend Jack Tempchin (Already Gone, Smuggler’s Blues, Slow Dancing) got Wienerschnitzel into the news. He admitted to writing his Eagles hit Peaceful Easy Feeling at the Wienerschnitzel in Hillcrest. They put a plaque up to commemorate it.

I asked Bob if the July picture was the same as the famous Jaws movie poster, which showed a great white coming up underneath the woman swimming. He confirmed it was. That lead me to more questions. I’m wondering again, why Wienerschnitzel would think that a dog, coming up to attack a woman – with the name “Paws” replacing “Jaws” – would be appropriate for kids; or in light of the dog attacks (which I’m guessing rarely involve wiener dogs)…perhaps any type of dog preparing to bite somebody isn’t in good taste (no pun intended).

Couldn’t the dog have been swimming up on a big hot dog it was going to take a bite of?

And why, if this picture showed a nude woman swimming, couldn’t an artist paint clothing on her? Wouldn’t it be more expensive to put stickers on each of these calendars? And didn’t some genius in the corporate office think that, perhaps somebody might peel a sticker off? I mean, the first day we got the Rubik’s Cube, we found the joy in peeling stickers off and placing them elsewhere.

I was also thinking about what the cost would be to do this. I remember when I interviewed Graham Nash (The Hollies, Crosby, Stills, & Nash). He told me how expensive it was for them to make an album (Déjà vu) that had a photograph on each cover. They wanted it took look like a family photo album, and David Geffen was balking at the $.63 cents extra it cost for each album to have one of these stuck on the cover by hand. Surely it was costing Wienerschnitzel more to paste stickers on each naked swimmer. But I digress (the joke is really only funny once in a story).

The Wienerschnitzel corporate offices have been notified, and the calendars have been pulled. I tried researching to find more about this canine controversy. I wondered what other movies they parodied – Dog Day Afternoon…Cujo perhaps?

All I found online was one of the other movie parody months they created. The Godfather was changed to “The Dogfather,” because again – nothing is more appropriate for a kids meal than a parody of a film in which people and horses are killed. But hey…as long as it’s a fast food place that isn’t using horse meat in their products…


  • Cardig

    Did Bob get a calendar?? Wondering myself what other movies would have been in it.
    All Dogs Go To Heaven?? Explain death to your kid while munching a hotdog
    Dogma?? Religion goes well with a shake.
    Air Bud?? Need some air after eating some chili

  • Julie Parker

    Why was a kids meal prize even newsworthy? A letter or call to corporate headquarters,maybe.. but a news station? Always amazed at people's thought processes…

  • joshboardfox5

    Good point, Julie. It was probably a guy hoping he'll make millions suing. I'd settle for a year of free chili dogs.
    Cardig: I'm guessing movies that are ACTUALLY about dogs wouldn't work, because you don't have parody if you have, say, 101 Dalmations…instead, you have Dog Day Afternoon, and instead of Al Pacino, you have a dog with a beard and gun in his hand (can't remember the movie poster, but you get the point).

  • Abbs

    OH my. Wonder how long it'll take before Daddy has a lawsuit going over this—if he already doesn't–because poor little Timmy is "scarred for life"….WAAAAAAAH. What a non-story. Get a life–your kid has probably already seen more than that on cable t.v.

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