One of the films in my top ten list of Dog movies is C.H.O.M.P.S., a fun summer movie from 1979. C.H.O.M.P.S. stands for Canine Home Protection System. Of course, any territorial Dog can be a home protection system, but this pooch is a robot Super Dog, the world's greatest crime biter! Think of half Benji, half Bionic Man, and you're on the right track.
A crime wave is hitting the city, and inventor Brian (Wesley) invents a stealth security system that looks like an ordinary Dog, but actually has super hearing, super sight, immense strength and the ability to run at high speed, with a device right out of Six Million Dollar Man: slow motion to suggest the idea of running at very high speed.
C.H.O.M.P.S. stars Wesley Eure and Valerie Bertinelli, with Conrad Bain, Chuck McCann, Red Buttons and Rascal, the real live Dog that C.H.O.M.P.S. the robot is based on.
This is a 'pressbook' for movie theaters and others to help promote Chomps when it came to town.
I'm not sure how I found out about C.H.O.M.P.S. being in theaters, if I'd seen a commercial for it or my dad suggested to go, knowing I'd want to see any Dog movie like this. We went to a smaller neighborhood theater in McKees Rocks, a town about 15 minutes away down along the river. I was really into my portable cassette recorder at the time taking it to different places and capturing moments with sound, the way some might use a camera to take pictures.
I took my recorder to C.H.O.M.P.S. and recorded some of the sound of the movie, so I could listen back later and remember what it was like. I'd also recorded some from Superman and other movies around that time, making a sort of movie soundtrack mixtape.
I enjoyed the movie a whole lot, with the scruffy superdog and it's lively disco soundtrack by Hoyt Curtin, and that it was something special that dad and me did together. It must be in my top ten movies of a lifetime.
Here's an advertising photo I scanned, a glossy print that would have been used by newspapers and magazines to promote C.H.O.M.P.S. in their movie sections. I think newspapers got these photos weekly, which would have been a way to stay on top of an editor's desk.
This is Rascal, inventor Brian's real Dog '.. in whose image a new super burglar alarm system is invented..'