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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 Vates (Noel Palomaria) and his seasoned partner detective Tom Ellis (Charles Lanyer) battle an intolerant police department that is indifferent to these "misdemeanor killings". Jack (Malcolm Moorman) Is the killing machine seeking out the runaways and other lost souls who gather around the hot glow of Hollywood's neon underworld leaving a wake of mutilated bodies behind him. No other movie has ever captured the essence of the psychopathic sadist's mind with the precision of HARD.System Requirements:Running Time: 90 minutesFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: DRAMA/CRIME & CRIMINALS UPC: 798622348326 Manufacturer No: WLV3483
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The few victims who aren't garroted and castrated after being tortured and sodomized are transported to the cavernous basement of an abandoned theater where they are bound, gagged and strung up like slabs of meat to await further torture and possible execution.
The movie, directed by John Huckert, might be described as a crude, independently produced corrective to "Cruising," William Friedkin's ludicrous homosexual horror film of 1980. "Hard" isn't ludicrous, just unrelentingly grim and depressing. Almost as villainous as the serial killer in the world of "Hard" are the Los Angeles police officers the movie portrays as rabid homophobes.
The film's main character, Raymond (Noel Palomaria), is a freshman homicide detective who is deep in the closet when the story begins. While investigating the slaying and mutilation of a gay man, Raymond visits a bar patronized by the victim and encounters Jack, who, intuiting Raymond's homosexuality, aggressively pursues him, eventually breaking down his defenses. The two go home to Raymond's for sex. But when the detective awakens in the morning, he finds himself handcuffed to the bed. Instead of releasing Raymond, Jack makes off with his police badge and taunts him to come find him. When the detective's straight, hard-boiled police partner, Ellis (Charles Lanyer), shows up, Raymond's secret is out. Ellis is the only male officer to stand by Raymond, who is taunted and beaten up by two fellow cops. A subplot follows Jack's seduction of a married man (Michael Waite). Moving into the man's house as a supposed guest, Jack menaces his host's young son and arranges for the boy's mother to catch him in flagrante with her husband.
"Hard" is a nasty piece of work whose sadism and visual fixation on bluish, blood-stained corpses recalls David Fincher's "Seven".
This is a "gay movie" made for a certain audience. If you're not in that audience, don't bother. You can see the same thing, done much better, in 1 billion other serial killer movies. I do not subscribe, however, to the philosophy of many people who embrace any "gay movie", regardless of it's actual merit, with love and a 5-star rating.
Let's speak honestly. Is this movie very good? No. The acting is amateurish, the police procedural is comical, the killings are typically over-the-top. Wait a minute, didn't I just describe lots of B-movie, straight-to-video clunkers. You bet.
I did appreciate, however, that finally there was a different type of "gay movie". It's not a cornball coming-out comedy. It's not an AIDs story. It's not a message movie. The film has no agenda other than to be entertaining. And in that, you get lots of gore and lots of nudity and a certain amount of suspense. It is quite graphic. And most people would watch this type of film for just those reasons.
You can see better "gay movies". You can see better "serial killer" thrillers. This movie, however, throws no punches and is under no illusions of grandeur. If you need an empty-headed entertainment and you like this type of film--go for it. If you're in an artistic mood--give it a pass. KGHarris, 9/06.
I recommend it as an entertaining way, for those who love cop dramas, to spend an easy hour and a half of an evening.
As for the reviewer who found it "too gay", well he/she obviously has some personal problems that should have nothing to do with appreciating a well structured, B cop movie with good acting and reasonably good cinematography.
One would have to have an unusually _warped_ perception to see this movie as "porn" rather than the good B movie it is.