Hit So Hard – Movie Review
By Ron Wilkinson Mar 25, 2011, 15:59 GMT
HIT SO HARD follows the journey of Patty Schemel, the openly gay drummer of Courtney Love\'s seminal rock band \'Hole.\' ...more
More political diatribe than rock band biopic. The unvarnished truth for those who can stand it.
“Hit So Hard: The Life and Near-Death Story of Drummer Patty Schemel” is one the baldest, most unvarnished looks inside the rock and roll industry you will ever see. Moreover, after you have seen this, you may not want to see another. Schemel’s experience working under the tutelage of mother Courtney Love is a life of looking into the face of death.
It is nothing more, or less, than that. After succeeding in driving her out of the band during the recording of “Celebrity Skin” (with the help of producer Michael Beinhorn) Love recruited her next drummer with an employment-wanted ad that requested, among other things, a whore from hell.
As audiences will learn from viewing this film, Schemel failed miserably in the whore from hell department, having a heart even after a series of drug addictions and near death experiences that would have killed a normal person. This film is the story of her life in big-time rock and roll and, peripherally, the story of Country Love and Kurt Cobain.
Schemel came close to being Nirvana’s drummer but was beat out by Dave Grohl. Even so, she became a permanent insider and landed the spot with Hole when their original drummer, Caroline Rue, left the band in 1992.
Although the film does not dote on Schemel playing the drums, the shots that are included are fascinating to watch. She is strong and confident, one tough lady. However, her strength would be tested to the limit in the months that followed after Hole struck it rich.
With a new contract and a high-powered studio and producer they wanted world-class drum talent, which Patty was not (at least not in the eyes of producer Beinhorn).
Actually, Patty was already a heroine user and alcoholic before she was crucified by Love and Beinhorn while making “Celebrity Skin.” The grunge-punk scene was a minefield of extremely attractive lethal hazards. Meth and heroine were everywhere, all the time.
They could not have possibly have been more available if they had been legal and free of cost. Neither the war on drugs nor the cost of the drugs seemed to have had any effect in this social circle.
All performers are a bit paranoid about getting their next gig. Rock performers are more paranoid than most and the better they are the more paranoid they are. Any human being would find it hard to believe they are sleeping on a friend’s couch one week and flying in private jets the next.
These are resilient people, but their toughness has a tendency to turn inwards and become a personal dare to defy death. Eventually the daily survival of the most degrading, humiliating and self-abasing behavior becomes a life style that takes on a life of its own. It is no longer about how much a person makes selling their art, or selling out their art, but how close they come to death.
The live footage includes some great shots of Schemel playing drums for Hole's second album “Live Through This” (1994), and the crowd/band hysteria at the Reading Festival, Big Day Out and Lollapalooza.
In 1995, at the top of her game, Schemel became the first woman on the cover of Drum World magazine. A few years later she had sold her possessions and was living in a parking lot near Temple and Alvarado Streets in Los Angeles.
After her recovery, Schemel formed new bands and is currently performing and volunteering as a mentor / music coach for girls. However, writer/director P. David Ebersole and co-writer Todd Hughes do not go into a lot of detail about that. Ebersole describes himself as a political filmmaker and this is a political film.
It is a film about screaming out loud against injustices that we feel incapable of correcting. It is a film about a primal scream, a film about despair. He is gay, as is Patty, and this is a film about gays as outsiders.
Score written by Patti’s best friend Roddy Bottum. Straight-up interviews with Patty, Courtney, Eric Erlandson (co-founder of Hole). Great shots of the band with pal and soon-to-be-dead bassist Kristen Pfaff and her replacement Melissa Auf der Maur. Brother Larry is joined by a righteous crew of punk feminist Lesbos who do not hesitate for one instant to tell it like it is. This is a tough film about tough people. Watch it if you dare.
Visit the movie database for more information.
Directed by: P. David Ebersole
Written by: P. David Ebersole, Todd Hughes
Starring: Patty Schemel, Courtney Love and Eric Erlandson
Release Date: New Directors New Films Festival---New York
MPAA: Not Rated
Runtime: 101 minutes
FROM THE WEB
Further Reading on M&CCourtney Love Biography -
Courtney Love Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sites
COMMENT on Hit So Hard – Movie Reviewcomments powered by Disqus
Latest Headlines in Movies
- 1. 'How to Make Money Selling Drugs' trailer released (VIDEO)
- 2. Rush Pictures
- 3. Rush thrills with a new trailer
- 4. Now You See Me actors show their magic
- 5. Casting notes: Ginny Gardner Time Travels to Michael Bay’s Almanac