Blu Ray Review-Richard Kern-The Hardcore Collection(the director’s cut)

Richard Kern in 2000, decided to put the majority of his short films together and release them as a set called The Hardcore Collection. Being that I am a huge fan of the majority of people in this, I had to buy a copy. I laughed at first and thought, “Richard Kern is going to give me Hardcore I have to see this”. Well, a few hours later, I was blown away by this offering of shorts. So much so, I deemed this dvd collection as my biggest movie influence, this inspired me to love the daring and bizarre. This collection while watching terms that will never be used are normal, average or boring. These films break so many taboos, that I quit counting after the first 7 shorts. To find out this was going to be released on blu ray with the original shorts and 7 new ones and a slew of bonus features, I can honestly say right now this is the greatest blu ray release since the blu ray player got introduced. Let’s discuss some of the shorts on this; I wanted to talk about the ones as a non-fan that may get your attention. There is this short called Sewing Circle, sounds innocent enough. Well, you have the lead singer of the Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black Kembra Pfahler getting someone to sew her vagina shut. As a lot of people who have seen them live know, this really happened and to watch it, is really not for the faint of heart. The Right Side of my Brain is a short that has Lydia Lunch in it, which a lot of these do, and Lydia really goes for the shocking sexual images which again a lot of these do as well, that people may not be quite ready for. But, also included in this is a young Henry Rollins as well in a way you may not be ready to see him.

Fingered is one of Kern’s more popular shorts, with Lydia Lunch who mans the telephone in this very obscene, very adult ode to both murder and misogyny. I know most people will dismiss this as porn, but shot in a black and white seedy style, this short really defines what Kern brings to cinema. It is brave, daring and almost poetic in terms of how it tackles both sex and murder; Kern makes the camera almost as its own storyteller. Horoscope is another that is so odd that you wonder where the line between art and insanity really is. A woman reads her horoscope and is watching a show called Studs falls asleep and has this weird dream of men dancing naked and her doing like some kind of fucked up cabaret. Holly Adams who I think is just absolutely beautiful plays the woman, and it is sad that she never really got a break, because she has this natural beauty and sex appeal that really made this short really shine and stand out. X is Y was another fun short, which I will be honest all the shorts on here are awesome and fun, but I wanted to talk about a few of the ones that are different. This featured the music of Cop Shoot Cop, to describe this short the best I can, women handling firearms in weird ways. Combined with the music, I loved this short a lot. This was just so odd that once it ended, it had me thinking hard about what I just witnessed.

Pierce is an odd short; you get to watch Audrey Rose get her nipples pierced. I think this does not need any more explaining. If you have fantasies of watching a woman get her vagina sewn shut, or watching a man get fucked by women with dildos, or to see the most abstract music videos, or to just see the most graphic art filled sexuality ever, this is your collection. This collection is not for the easily offended, it is over 3 hours of both color and black and white shorts with people like Lydia Lunch, Henry Rollins, Sonic Youth, Karen Finley, Nick Zedd, and etc. And the music of Butthole Surfers, Sonic Youth of course, Jim Coleman of Cop Shoot Cop, Cop Shoot Cop and Foetus. This blu ray is amazing, awesome and is just going to be watched over and over again. In today’s society and film making, people like Kern are a lost art and will never be duplicated again. This is quite frankly a must for anyone who loves to be challenged, pushed into places film does not push you. This is the bible of blu ray releases, and if there ever was a must buy product, I would put this at the top of the list.

10 out of 10