Synopsis by Mark Deming
Tom Kale (Joe Reynolds) works as a security guard at a motel, where he wiles away his significant amount of free time talking with desk clerk Gordon (John Durbin) and engaging in a furtive affair with housekeeper Diane (Suzanne Carney), despite the fact she's married. A not-entirely-welcome interruption of this routine occurs when Tom's brother Derek (Jay Underwood) and his girlfriend Carmen (Margot Demeter) arrive for a visit. There's a bit of tension between the two brothers; Carmen was Tom's sweetheart until she left him for Derek, and while Tom works on the low rungs of law enforcement, Derek and Carmen support themselves by knocking over convenience stores. As it turns out, Derek and Carmen are mixing business with leisure with their visit; they intend to rip off the motel's safe and want to know if Tom is interested in helping. Dead Dogs was the feature-film debut for director Clay Eide; it received enthusiastic reviews and the American Independent Award after its screening at the 1999 Seattle Film Festival.