Nobody makes it. Nobody shows it. Nobody sees it. It's like it doesn't even exist.
Hardcore is written and directed by Paul Schrader and stars George C. Scott, Peter Boyle, Season Hubley, Dick Sargent and Leonard Gaines. Music is by Jack Nitzsche and cinematography by Michael Chapman.
Plot has Scott as a Michigan businessman whose daughter disappears after a church group trip to California. Venturing out to California in search of her, he hires a sleazy private investigator (Boyle) and quickly finds that his daughter has fallen into the seedy X-Rated world of pornography.
It's a very mixed bag, one minute it's over the top with unbelievable scenarios, the next it's potent, impressive and heart breaking. The battle between religious faith and the sins of the flesh is loud and broad, which does however give the pic its intellectual stimulation, something which one feels fights off the charges of this being exploitation trash.
There's also the noir angles to savour for the so inclined, the trawl through a seedy underworld inhabited by deviants and damaged waifs is riveting by way of the portrayals. Scott's character also has classic noir tendencies, he goes from homely religious business man to the point where he has to become one of the venal to find the answers he so desperately needs.
Behind the scenes thigs were not the best, with the usual artistic differences bubbling away, and this is never more evident then with the weak finale. It reeks of a compromise, a failure to really drive a stake through the hearts of the viewers. The promised horror never arrives, a true classic noir finale jettisoned in favour of candy coated heroics. Shame that, but this is still a fascinating and powerful pic. 7/10