Hard (1998)

Director:John Huckert Produced by: John Huckert, John Matkowsky, Noel Palomaria Writter:John Huckert, John Matkowsky   

Running time:102 min  Country: Language: Genre:Crime, Drama, Thriller Subtitle:None 

Starring:Noel Palomaria, Malcolm Moorman, Charles Lanyer, Michael Waite, Paula Kay Perry,
Alex Depedro
, Bob Hollander, Steve Andrews, K.D. Jones, Ken Narasaki, Steve Gonzales


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When a series of brutal killings of young male hustlers awakens the police to the threat of a serial killer, rookie detective Raymond Fates (Noel Palomaria) and his seasoned partner detective Tom Ellis (Charles Lanyer) battle an intolerant police department that is indifferent to these "misdemeanor killings.

The Setup:
  A gay cop is sent after a gay serial killer. But the case threatens to expose his gay status to the department, and expose the audience to many trenchant observations on the intimidation gay cops feel. Why cant we all just love one another?
   Hard is about a gay serial killer and the gay detective who is forced to go after him. It has an interesting story: the closeted gay detective is abruptly forced out of the closet after the killer handcuffs him to his bed and makes off with his badge. He then becomes a suspect himself, and etceteras follow.
  The script needed to be revised one or two more times. The strong plot twist and themes are too muddled here to really come across well, and many of the main character''s actions are STOOPID. (For instance, this man, supposedly a detective, who has just endured a long ordeal with a serial killer, opens his door for anyone who says "pizza"when he didn''t even ORDER a pizza! [Good thing the land shark didnt stop by!] I personally thought the main character should be killed and that tends to take one out of the story). There is a good moment when he and his partner are under a bridge where they aren''t supposed to be when a body falls out of nowhere-- but this is never really developed. And for every moment like that there are three lines like "Where does all the hate come from?" [Im totally serious, thats an actual line.] This film had a strong idea and good elements, just needed to tie them together better.
  The second HUGE problem is that very few of the people on screen can act. The two leads are relatively good, but the rest-- whew. The worst is the detective''s partner, who cannot utter one single convincing line. At first I thought he was just being ironic. But no. There are times in this film when you just have to hold the sides of your temples. THE performance of the film belongs to the guy who plays Tex. I want someone to make "The Tex Story" now. He was the funniest and most convincing character in the film.
  This film CAN be lauded for not being overly politically correct, for showing butch-er gay men (who seem to never show up in other films), and for generally being brave and different, but there ARE a bunch of hideous clichés. Naturally, when the detective comes out, he MUST be beaten up. It''s just the way, isn''t it? And a lot of the angst over coming out is a little too played up, I think.
  I WOULD recommend that you see it, if you''re gay and interested in keeping up with gay film-- because this is the first film of this kind that I have seen, and very different from the typical "two-British-schoolboys-in-lovebut-can-they-tell-his-mother?" fare. And the production quality is generally good. But... the gay Scorsese is still out there, undiscovered.
Should you watch it?
  Yes, its good, youll like it.If youre interested in gay film.





Political Film Society, USA 2000

PFS Award
Human Rights

Verzaubert - International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 1999

Best Film
John Huckert 

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