Tag Archives: john hough

Hi4H’s 2014 Year In Review

Hi4H 2014 Montage

2014 was a pretty great year for Hell Is For Hyphenates. We reached our 50th episode, we had our first ever live show at the Sydney Film Festival, we landed guests such as Lynn Shelton and Joe Swanberg, and, most importantly, we started this blog.

We thought this would be a good opportunity to take stock, and make some lists that isn't the traditional “Best Of” (those will come later). Please feel free to chime in with your own answers in the comments.

Top five Hi4H film discoveries (that you hadn't seen before)?

Paul: The Long Goodbye (1973, Altman - I'm restricting myself to one film per filmmaker, so just know I could've easily filled this list with Altmans: California Split and HealtH chief among them), M. Hulot's Holiday (1953, Tati), An Unmarried Woman (1978, Mazursky), Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (1974, Hough), Subway (1985, Besson).

Lee: I'm also gonna limit it to one per filmmaker to keep things slightly easier. Images (1972, Altman), Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969, Mazursky), Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (1974, Hough), Dracula: Pages From a Virgin's Diary (2002, Maddin), Beau Travail (1999, Denis).

Which new filmmakers to emerge in 2014 are you most excited about?

Paul: Can't I just say “Xavier Dolan” five times? No? Okay. But Xavier Dolan is my clear #1 here. While he's been making films since 2009, I saw four of his five features - two of which were premieres - in 2014. A preternatural wunderkind who brings a unique blend of social realism, melodrama and bold cinematic style to bear, with uncommon power and moxie. Ana Lily Amirpour (just for being supercool and singular of vision), Jennifer Kent (for bringing a dramatic, thematic approach back to horror), Damien Chazelle (while Whiplash blew others away more than me, there was an uncommon command of craft - and an interesting voice - I'm keen to see more of), Joe & Anthony Russo: with one film, these frequent sitcom directors managed to single-handedly restore my faith in the Marvel Studios model.

Lee: So, so many. Gillian Rospierre (Obvious Child), Desiree Akhavan (Appropriate Behavior), Damien Chazelle (Whiplash), Jennifer Kent (The Babadook), Charlie McDowell (The One I Love), Lake Bell (In a World…), Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night), Sophie Hyde (52 Tuesdays). I'm excited about what everyone in this group will make next.

Five filmmakers you'd like to see us cover on the show?

Paul: Because they're Masters: Martin Scorsese, Stanley Kubrick, Howard Hawks, Mario Bava. Because I want to examine their career in context: John Carpenter.

Lee: I'm gonna eschew the obvious names (Hitchcock, Scorsese, Kubrick), because they are givens, and go with Kenji Mizoguchi, Agnès Varda, Michelangelo Antonioni, Alexandr Sokurov, Douglas Sirk. Is that a bit of a pretentious list? If so, replace one of those names with, I don't know, Brett Ratner. Or, better yet, don't.

Given we're an Australian show, what were your favourite Australian films of the year?

Paul: 1) Cut Snake; 2) Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films; 3) The Rover; 4) The Babadook; 5) The Infinite Man.

Lee: 1) The Babadook; 2) Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films; 3) The Rover; 4) Charlie’s Country; 5) Canopy. The fact that this list was so difficult to curate speaks to what a great year it was for Australian cinema.

Most Anticipated Films of 2015?

Paul: 1) The Hateful Eight (was there ever any doubt??); 2) Inherent Vice; 3) Tomorrowland; 4) Foxcatcher; 5) Serial Season 2… oh, it has to be films? Okay… Mad Max: Fury Road.

Lee: 1) Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice; 2) Joss Whedon's Avengers: Age of Ultron; 3) Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight; 4) Todd Haynes' Carol; 5) Martin Scorsese's Silence.

Thank you all for listening this year. We hope you enjoyed it, and we hope you enjoy everything to come in 2015. We have some big plans we can't wait to tell you about.

Big thanks to everyone who helped us out over the year, from our guests to the good people at the Sydney Film Festival, and everyone who loaned us the DVDs and autobiographies we needed for research. Huge thanks to our loyal artist Caroline McCurdy, who did all of our amazing artwork and design.

In the meantime, 2014 isn't done yet! We have our final show for 2014 coming out on the morning of December 31, featuring Richard Watts talking about the films of Gregg Araki, so make sure you kick off your New Year's Eve plans with our latest show!


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


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