Thoughts on “Hellhole” (1985), thus far…

Hidden Films is breaking a golden rule: "reviewing" a film before we're even done watching it! Why not? Political writers write op-eds anticipating the results of an election. Sports writers write op-eds anticipating the results of a series. So why not a film review with a "cliffhanger" ending, something along the lines of, "Boy oh …

Continue reading Thoughts on “Hellhole” (1985), thus far…

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Troma’s “Student Confidential” (1987) Retold in Storybook Fashion

Let's face it: life can get pretty boring, no? And so the human race deserves a movie as brazenly bonkers as "Student Confidential." The tagline--rather than using lazy exploitation terms such as "powder keg" and "dynamite"--should simply have read "Drama by Troma." Yes, the studio most known for "The Toxic Avenger" released this totally-in-earnest examination …

Continue reading Troma’s “Student Confidential” (1987) Retold in Storybook Fashion

List of all Criterion streaming titles disappearing Nov. 29 from FilmStruck

As promised, here is the list of Criterion streaming titles (designated separately from FilmStruck titles, for some reason) that will disappear from streaming tomorrow when FilmStruck shuts down.   (nostalgia) ...And the Pursuit of Happiness ...But Film is My Mistress 13 Days in France 16 Days of Glory 2 or 3 Things I Know About …

Continue reading List of all Criterion streaming titles disappearing Nov. 29 from FilmStruck

List of all FilmStruck titles (expiring 11/28)

Hi all, Taking a brief time-out from covering specific films to do a quick obscure film public service announcement. As many of you know, Criterion's streaming service FilmStruck (which featured many rare, out of print films) is going under in three days. As always, I found out about this amazing product too late. So now …

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Kevin Shinick Reflects on His Sole Feature Directorial Effort “It’s About Time” (2005), “Disjointed” and “Mad”

Writer/actor/producer Kevin Shinick is most known for his prominent voice work on the cult TV hit "Robot Chicken" and the cartoon series "Mad" (as in Mad Magazine), which he also created. He began his television career with a leading role on "Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?" (1996-7), and performed both on and off-Broadway during …

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Director Jordan Ellis on How He Revived “Guns Before Butter”; Editing Bad Christina Applegate Dramas; and Why He Hates “American Beauty”

Jordan Ellis has directed music videos for indie darlings Thee Oh Sees and Liars , as well as the profanely funny mockumentary web series The Alpine Village People. Sadly, the title polka band, depicted in the show as a hard-partying, constantly touring set of malcontents, broke up before Ellis could finish the series, but what's …

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Edward Pomerantz on “Caught’s” 23-Year Journey from Page to Screen; the Magic of Edward James Olmos; and Bumping into Louis C.K.

Stories abound in Hollywood of bitter screenwriters who toiled for years to land a deal, only to watch their vision destroyed by a clashing director or meddling producer. How refreshing, then, to hear a story about a film shoot that was pure joy for screenwriter and director alike. "Caught," a 1996 erotic thriller starring Edward …

Continue reading Edward Pomerantz on “Caught’s” 23-Year Journey from Page to Screen; the Magic of Edward James Olmos; and Bumping into Louis C.K.

Smut for General Audiences: “Nothing Personal” w/Suzanne Somers (1980)

"To be quick about it, she's terrible. Her smile...communicates no amusement, warmth, intelligence or interest. We watch the smile as we would watch the opening of a garage door...it's a minor mechanical feat." -Vincent Canby, chief New York Times critic, on Suzanne Somers' performance in the 1980 flop "Nothing Personal." Before the mid-to-late 1960s, foul …

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A Moment’s Reflection on “Moment by Moment” (1978)

Most colossal flops are the types of bad movies you can't wait to take down. You can't fathom the chutzpah of the filmmakers. So misguided was the script, acting and/or storyline, you wonder what the hell they were thinking, how it got the "go" from anyone in any sort of power. Whole books have been …

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Grudgingly Independent: An Interview with Long Island’s Own Fred Carpenter

An earlier Hidden Films entry discussed "On the Make," a 1989 disco drama that had a brief theatrical run and then more or less disappeared. But that film's debuting co-writer and producer, Fred Carpenter, has stayed in the game ever since, eventually moving on to directing. He continuously shoots, on the cheap, in Long Island--where …

Continue reading Grudgingly Independent: An Interview with Long Island’s Own Fred Carpenter