The Animal

The Animal certainly reeks like something produced from a squatting position. Rob Schneider, fresh from playing a man-whore in Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, stars as man-beast Marvin Mange, a cop wanna-be who survives a car accident after a mad scientist (Michael Caton) reconstructs his body with the internal organs of animals. Suddenly, Marvin is more interested in humping inanimate objects than in Rianna, a pet lover played by original Survivor cutie Colleen Haskell in what is charitably being called her acting debut. The film offers Schneider the Olivier-like challenge of lifting his leg and licking himself like a dog, plunging his head into an aquarium to bite into a catfish and engaging in a relationship with a goat that even Larry Flynt might draw the line at. Funny? Yes, for about five minutes. Apparently that's enough to please a crowd. The Animal, like Deuce Bigalow, feels as if it's an Adam Sandler reject; in fact, Sandler's company co-produced both films, not to mention David Spade's recent Joe Dirt, all of which will live long in unforgiving memory. Sandler's partner in crime is Revolution Studios, whose debut product this year was the vile Tomcats. The Animal offers another mother lode of raunchy innuendo wrapped in a PG-13 rating (how much did it cost to pay off the censors for that one?). There's a formula for this type of cynical product: Take a comic from SNL who will work cheap (Schneider earned a mere million bucks), get him to behave like something not human and grab a grateful director from the fringes (Luke Greenfield was making a short film when he won his feature-directing break) who will not complain about having to pass off one pathetically thin joke as a full meal. The attitude being: Why bitch if the suckers are buying?

From The Archives Issue 319: June 12, 1980