Starting with a girl having oral sex with a dog - it was a "teenage thing" apparently - 'Sleeping Dogs' manages to go nowhere but downhill. Supposedly a film about truth and honesty, 'Sleeping Dogs' ends up making you feel so dirty that you will feel the need to go for a long hot shower afterwards. Anything to wash away memories of this horrible film.

Amy (Page Hamilton) is an alarmingly dim main character. As a silly and bored 18-year-old college student she once went down on her dog. That's bad enough but, eight years later when her loving fiancé, John (Johnson), who seems to have an unhealthy obsession with disclosure, cajoles her into revealing her murky sexual secret, she eventually tells him the truth.

With a decidedly dodgy leap onto high moral ground - especially after his own teenage sexual confession - he decides that he's revolted. But that's not the worst. As this happens during the weekend Amy brings John home to meet her uptight parents (Pierson and Friedericy), she is overheard by her loser crystal meth addict brother (Plotnick) who uses her confession to destroy her parents' sickly sweet image of her.

Although it's a one-note joke, it's one that, in the hands of some of the grosser gross-out comedy genre masters like the Farrelly brothers ('There's Something About Mary', 'Dumb and Dumber') or the Weitz brothers (the 'American Pie' series) could possibly have worked. As it is, Bob Goldthwait's uninspired direction can't make a mountain out of this unfortunate molehill and the whole thing falls flat on its under-funded, underdeveloped face. There's also an uneven balance between (theoretically) light comedy of the first part and a subsequent shift to a more serious dramatic tone in the second half.

Visually unappealing, horribly repugnant and, worst of all, not even funny. Avoid.

Caroline Hennessy