The Underground is our recurring feature, resurrected from an all-time great CHUD column, the aim of which is to get the word out on projects outside the Hollywood studio system.  Studio films have big promotion engines behind them.  The Underground caters to everything else: from indie films, to cult films in the making, pet projects, guerrilla films, internet shorts, etc.

Harry Dean Stanton Partly FictionHarry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction

Distributor: Adopt Films

Their Skinny: PARTLY FICTION is a mesmerizing, impressionistic portrait of the iconic actor comprised of intimate moments, film clips from some of his 250 films and his own heart-breaking renditions of American folk songs. Stunningly lensed in color and black and white by Seamus McGarvey, the film explores the actor’s enigmatic outlook on his life, his unexploited talents as a musician, and includes candid reminiscences by David Lynch, Wim Wenders, Sam Shepard, Kris Kristofferson and Debbie Harry. The fragile soul of an actor emerges from the poignant collage. Uncensored, unguarded moments with wry humor pockmark scenes filmed at locations including Stanton’s home and his favorite local watering hole, Dan Tana’s in West Hollywood. Stanton discusses his friends Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson, how his family influenced his musical leanings, the women he almost wed, and his preference for film over theatre. In the end it is an unflinching, unabashed, romantic Valentine from one artist to another, from a galvanizing truth teller to a yarn-spinning survivor.

Oliver’s Skinny: Harry Dean is one of the absolute institutions in Hollywood.  Hearing what he has to say is a no-brainer.

Is There Going to be a Review? It’s looking good.

How Do the Chewers See It: 

  • Village East/New York, NY  – 9/11/13
  • Landmark Nuart/W. Los Angeles, CA (Harry to appear after main show for Q&A and intro 9:30 show.)  – 9/13/13
  • Arizona Underground Film Festival/Tucson, AZ  – 9/13/13
  • Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane/Austin, TX  – 9/27/13

Official Site

Combat GirlsCombat Girls

Distributor: Artsploitation Films

Their Skinny: This searing coming-of-age teen drama follows two suburban girls – from vastly different backgrounds – who both become ensnared in the Neo-Nazi youth movement. Twenty-year-old Marisa is a hardcore believer, a semi-skinhead whose body is adorned with Nazi tattoos. Fourteen-year-old Svenja is a sheltered, spoiled, straight-A student who becomes fascinated with the group because of her Neo-Nazi boyfriend. They begin as adversaries, but soon become best friends, though their loyalty to each other is shaken when Marisa decides she wants to leave the group. Like American History X and Romper Stomper, Combat Girls is extremely dynamic, powerful filmmaking.

Oliver’s Skinny: I got no skinny as of yet.  But the screener is on my desk, beckoning to me.  Personally, I’m hoping for a good curb stomping somewhere in here.

Is There Going to be a Review? Yes, later this week.

How Do the Chewers See It: It’s available on VOD, DVD and digital download on July 9.

Official Site

HuntThe Hunt (Jagten)

Distributor: Magnolia Pictures

Their Skinny: The Hunt is a disturbing depiction of how a lie becomes the truth when gossip, doubt and malice are allowed to flourish and ignite a witch-hunt that soon threatens to destroy an innocent man’s life.  Mads Mikkelsen plays Lucas, a highly regarded schoolteacher who has been forced to start over having overcome a tough divorce. Just as things are starting to go his way, his life is shattered. An untruthful remark throws the small community into a collective state of hysteria. The lie is spreading and Lucas is forced to fight a lonely fight for his life and dignity.

Oliver’s Skinny: Saw it.  Good stuff.  Mads Mikkelsen is owning with this and Hannibal right now.

Is There Going to be a Review? Already written, waiting for July 10.

How Do the Chewers See It: It premieres in Theatres on July 12.

Official Site

Hot FlashesThe Hot Flashes

Distributor: Vertical Entertainment

Their Skinny: The Hot Flashes is about a basketball team of unappreciated middle-aged Texas women, all former high school champs, who challenge the current high school girls’ state champs to raise money for breast cancer prevention. Sparks fly as the women go to comic extremes to prove themselves on and off the court, become a national media sensation, and gain a new lease on life.

Oliver’s Skinny: Good cast, could be funny.  Virginia Madsen had me at “nonexistent gag reflex.”

Is There Going to be a Review? Has not been discussed.

How Do the Chewers See It: Opens in select theatres in the following cities on July 12: Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Denver, Phoenix, Dallas, Austin, Oklahoma City, Miami, San Jose.

Official Site

Hell BabyHell Baby

Distributor: Millennium Entertainment

Their Skinny: HELL BABY, a comedy scripted by Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant (Night at The Museum, Reno 911!: Miami) marks their co-directing debut. Jack (Rob Corddry) and Vanessa (Leslie Bibb) are an expectant couple that moves into the most haunted fixer-upper in New Orleans — a house with a deadly demonic curse. Things soon spiral out of control for Jack and Vanessa, as well as their-not-so-helpful neighbor F’Resnel (Keegan-Michael Key), Vanessa’s friendly psychiatrist (Michael Ian Black), Vanessa’s Wiccan sister Marjorie (Riki Lindhome) and the detectives assigned to look into the rising body count (Rob Huebel and Paul Scheer). Only the Vatican’s elite exorcism team (Garant and Lennon) san save them — or can they?

Oliver’s Skinny: All outta skinny.  But the trailer looks funny.  

Is There Going to be a Review? I’m open to it, definitely.  Somebody give me a jingle.

How Do the Chewers See It: Premiers on Ultra VOD July 25 and in theaters and on Premium VOD September 6.

Official Site

Got a movie or project that belongs in the Underground?  Hit me up here: davidoliver64@netscape.net