ZERO STARS/**** Image B Sound C
starring Scott Hamm, Bree Turner, Walter Emanuel Jones, Roger Fan
written and directed by Robert Boris
by Walter Chaw A painfully amateurish reworking of Play It to the Bone set against the turgid, redneck world of backyard wrestling, Robert Boris's Backyard Dogs is the kind of head-scratcher that makes filmmakers of folks who never realized that making a movie was this easy. See, using the template provided, all you need is a digital camera, a bimbo who doesn't mind flashing the groceries a couple of times, and a rent-a-script that shows how an already terrible mainstream film might actually be made worse with a little effort. Backyard Dogs is so hideous that with only a little imagination it begins to function as something of a satire of both Kickboxer-type death sports movies and gay pornography. You know you're in trouble when the highlight of your film is an opening montage comprising real footage of idiots trying to kill one another in their backyards; you know you're in bigger trouble when the title of your movie comes from an early moment in which a character steps on a pile of dog excrement.