Tag Archives: mark hartley

Hartley On Hough

Hartley on Hough
Mark Hartley (left) and his filmmaker of the month John Hough (right)

When Mark Hartley first suggested John Hough as the filmmaker he’d want to talk about, we won’t deny it: we went scurrying to IMDb to see who he was and what he’d made.

We’d definitely heard of many of those films, such as Twins of Evil, Watcher in the Woods, Escape From Witch Mountain, American Gothic, but these works were not heavily branded with the director’s name in the way of a film by, say, the Coen Bros film or David Lynch.

Hough is a jobbing director, and probably the first one we’ve ever talked about on the show. That in itself makes this a special episode. But we were also keen to see who the director behind Not Quite Hollywood, Machete Maidens Unleashed!, and Electric Boogaloo – three documentaries that were absolute celebrations of a type of film that rarely gets the time of day – would choose.

His choice definitely didn’t disappoint. Even some of Hough’s films that may seem like write-offs hold some merit, and this discussion of a lesser-known name of genre cinema is, we’re confident to say, one you won’t hear anyone else.

In addition, we talk about some of the month’s new releases, including Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars, Susanne Bier’s Serena, and Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler. We also look at whether childhood nostalgia clouds our judgement when it comes to bad films, or allows us to see them more clearly than we would with a critical eye.

All of this in our one hour show! Which you can listen to on iTunes, on Stitcher Smart Radio, or right here.

Hell Is For Hyphenates – November 2014

Filmmaker Mark Hartley (Not Quite Hollywood, Machete Maidens Unleashed, Patrick, Electric Boogaloo) joins the show to talk the new releases of November 2014, ask whether nostalgia ever trumps critical thinking, and explore the filmography of little-known genre director John Hough.

The John Hough Cheat Sheet

John Hough

Want to be knowledgeable about our filmmaker of the month without committing yourself to an entire filmography? Then you need the Hell Is For Hyphenates Cheat Sheet: a suggested double that will make you an insta-expert in the director we’re about to discuss…

JH Films

THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE (1973) and DIRTY MARY CRAZY LARRY (1974)

Normally, when we recommend two films in our Cheat Sheet, they’re films that are not only great watches, but represent the filmmaker’s entire body of work. But how do you represent John Hough’s work? This is a guy who did Hammer Horror, war thrillers and Barbara Cartland TV movies. There’s no easy pair of films that can sum all that up. So this time, we’re going to simply suggest two of his best films. The Legend of Hell House is a tremendous horror, with great performances, terrific sound design, and superb direction. If you’ve been wondering why our guest Mark Hartley has picked Hough, the work he does in The Legend of Hell House will put that question to rest. But even better than that is his next film, Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, a wild thieves-evading-cops road movie with Peter Fonda, Susan George and Vic Morrow. It boasts a brilliant script, and Hough’s direction is insane in all the best ways. Both of these films are a tight ninety minutes, and don’t waste a nanosecond. If you want to watch a pair of great genre films this weekend, you couldn’t do much better than these two.

Substitutions: If you can’t get The Legend of Hell House, try the Hammer horror Twins of Evil (1971). If you can’t get Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, try the assassination thriller Eyewitness (aka Sudden Terror) (1970).

The Hidden Gem: We always strive to recommend an off-the-beaten-path work from our filmmaker of the month, but pretty much everything Hough qualifies as off-the-beaten-path. Still, if you want a schlocky, supernatural horror flick starring John freakin’ Cassavetes, you might want to seek out 1982’s Incubus, even if just to see one of New Hollywood’s most compelling actors say the word “sperm” several hundred times in the most serious manner possible.

The next episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates, featuring Mark Hartley talking John Hough, will be released on the morning of November 30 (AEST).

Our Next Hyphenate: Mark Hartley

Mark Hartley
Filmmaker and November 2014 Hyphenate Mark Hartley

We’ve been keen to get Mark Hartley onto the show since the very beginning. Hartley’s trilogy of kinetic film documentaries – Not Quite Hollywood, Machete Maidens Unleashed and Electric Boogaloo – are celebrations of the type of cinema often ignored or dismissed by academics and documentarians, and we knew that whichever filmmaker Hartley picked to talk about on the show would be in a similar vein.

And sure enough, he’s gone with Ingmar Bergman.

No, not really.

He’ll actually be talking about the films of John Hough.

Directed by John Hough

Not sure who John Hough is? It’s not a name you hear often. Hough has an eclectic filmography: he directed Hammer horror Twins of Evil in 1971, Disney’s The Watcher in the Woods in 1980, the adventure adaptation Biggles in 1986, and a bunch of Barbara Cartland TV movies in the ’90s. You really can’t pin him down, which is what makes him such a fascinating choice.

Why did Hartley go with Hough over all other filmmakers? You’ll have to listen in on November 30 to find out.

John Hough
Our next filmmaker of the month, John Hough