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…

Advertisements

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 …

Continue reading List of all FilmStruck titles (expiring 11/28)

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 …

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

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 …

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

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

Upcoming Screenings: Chekhov’s “The Black Monk,” November 14, 7 PM, Montclair State University

"The Black Monk," a loose adaptation of Anton Chekhov's short story by Newark-based husband-and-wife filmmakers Marylou Tibaldo-Bongiorno and Jerome Bongiorno, is a beautifully shot, erudite, heartbreaking tale of misbegotten love. Set in Jerome's native Staten Island, the film is small in scale but consistently rich in themes. Chekhov's spartan 1894 work tells of a scholar …

Continue reading Upcoming Screenings: Chekhov’s “The Black Monk,” November 14, 7 PM, Montclair State University

They Ought to Be on DVD, Part 1: “On the Make” (1989)

"They Ought to Be on DVD" is a recurring Hidden Films series dedicated to movies that received a New York City theatrical run—and thus a New York Times review—but no subsequent release in ancillary markets. Through interviews with cast and crew, we attempt to answer why. "I'm the first filmmaker to make a movie about …

Continue reading They Ought to Be on DVD, Part 1: “On the Make” (1989)