Michael is a recovering alcoholicdrug user. Back on the wagon, hes now responsible for a young, beautiful, and pregnant wife. Hes working the graveyard shift at a gas station to support his new family, but the job drives him crazy. Then a wealthy stranger, Stuart, enters Michaels life, taking Michael through a tour of the seediest and slimiest parts of L.A. underbelly. Is Stuart leading Michael to hell, or salvation?
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*SPOILER ALERT* *SPOILER ALERT*A gas station attendant is bored with his low paying, sober existence.Peter Weller pulls up in a black Porsche and proceeds to get this partystarted. He wants to show Balthazar how to have a good time in L.A.after dark. Weller knows where all the hidden parties are. They startslow with some bars and some strip clubs. It's just a little taste forGetty to get excited. Then they advance to underground fights and S&Mclubs. Getty starts to lose his soul with the freaks in late night LosAngeles. It may be gone for good.Peter Weller knows how to party. This guy never sleeps. He lovesgetting as depraved as possible every night. Getty cannot resist thetemptation to party in the Shadow Hours with Weller. That pretty muchsums up "Shadow Hours". It's the Weller party hours. Rebecca Gayheartshows up as Getty's concerned, pregnant wife. She frowns on all ofGetty's nightlife activities. She's a downer, total buzz kill. Thanksto Weller, Getty knows how to have a good time. The movie might betrying to be some sort of cautionary tale about living life too fast orit may just be a B-movie with some cheap thrills. Either way, I enjoyedit. It was a party. Like all movies that try to show you the downsideof living wildly, they also have to show you the upside to a wild, wildlife. Getty was having more fun with Weller than he was pumping gas.Sometimes, you just gotta cut loose, footloose, kick off those Sundayshoes. Oooh wee.
"The explicit and raw scenes" referred to in the critic's quote in thenewspaper ads for this movie definitely do not refer to anything erotic orsexual. No, sexuality is far to complex and difficult a subject for boydirectors, so they always revert to the tried and true--extreme bloodyviolence. Nice performances by Getty and Weller, but what they had to saywas laughable, and overwhelmed by flashy camera work and an ending sooutrageous it was almost worth sitting through the dreadful array ofsadomasochism scenes to get to the ending which was worth a good laugh atthe ineptness on display. Just how far should an audience be required to goto suspend disbelief? The Russian roulette scene would have been laughableitself had it not already been done to death so many times before. Now it'sjust tired and predictable. Unfortunately boy-wonder auteurs have no lifeexperience on which to base their work so their "films" are nothing morethan a collection of scenes recycled from other movies, some better, someworse, but never original. And one last thing, movies about recoveringaddicts in a 12-step program should have a warning label so that innocentpeople won't be suckered into seeing yet another movie about some losertrying to clean up. Seen it. Seen it. Seen it.
I especially like this one movie. It completely got me on the screen.It's astory about a ex-alcoholic/drug addict that works in a gas station bynight.He has a wife and is starting a new life, but a guy starts to approachhimand making him offers of lusty and desirable things. We then enter theworldof this rich guy, a world of music clubs, girls, drugs and much more. Areally entertaining night world, that can easily temptate anyone.This film is also somewhat well directed for the kind of film that is.It'sa film worth seeing for everyone i think.
This film was entered into Sundance I believe and from there it went to the shelves of Blockbuster Video. Literally, that was the only place you could find it for nearly a year. It seems they declared it an exclusive rental or something. I was lucky enough to find a ten dollar copy in their previosly viewed section and immediately bought it. Amazon now seems to have it and I suggest if you have any interest in the film to buy it here and now because this movie has a weird tendency to be hard to find. The film itself was panned by critics but so were several of the great cult classics and I would love to see Shadow Hours become one. Despite the obvious low budget, the film has an excellent cast. Balthazar Getty, who plays the lead, was in David Lynch's film Lost Highway. People continually call him the poor man's Charlie Sheen but he really does have talent. And yes, Peter Weller was the guy who played Robocop. But forget that. In Shadow Hours, he is suave and convincing as the mysterious writer who is a bit more underground than, say, Bukowski. Rebecca Gayheart is here, too, in what might be the best performance in the film and she plays a woman in this movie, not some whiny high school ditz like in Jawbreaker. And Brad Douriff is, well, Brad Douriff. Peter Greene plays a police detective and is probably the best "tough guy" actor since James Caan or James Cagney. He played Ben Stiller's drug buddy in Permanent Midnight. As far as plot is concerned: Michael (Getty) meets Stuart Chapelle (Weller) while on the night shift at a 24 hour Los Angeles filling station. Stuart befriends Michael and, with Stuart as his guide, Michael is led straight into a private apocalypse with the strange LA underground as a backdrop. Gayheart is Michael's pregnant wife who is understandably concerned. But she never comes off as whiny like all other movie wives. And Greene gets involved because Chapelle may or may not be a murderer. In all, Shadow Hours is close to the vein of David Lynch but without the intricate plot and excessive symbolism. And you have to love how the film uses the classic idea of the Devil as a debonaire.
"Shadow Hours" is a well shot, well acted, impatient B-flickwhich gets moving quickly and keeps up the momentumthroughout. Although the film is a journeyman productionatbest, it creates a curious mystique by asking more questionsthan it answers and keeps the audience guessingto the end and beyond. Weller's character is particularlycompelling as he mentors a recovering addict, Getty, onlifewith a series of tours through the decadent underbellyofLos Angeles nightlife. Not for everyone, some will findthisfilm provocative and will be looking forward to betterofferings from this auteur in the future.
Although initially attracted by an image of what looked likehook-suspensionon the video cover, this movie was recommended to me by someone in thescene, and, afforded the opportunity to purchase it for under $10, i tookachance on watching it. Ultimately, i am glad, and i hope to share it withyou folks in HELL at an upcoming meeting.The "protagonist", Michael Holloway ( Balthazar Getty), a newly marriedimpending father, and a recovering substance abuser stuck in a depressingjob at a 24-hr. convenience store, appeared to me more a vehicle formovingthe plot along than a three-dimensional character.The insidious Stuart Chapell, (played by Peter Weller ) proved to be amuchmore intriguing individual, especially as his true nature becameevident.To me he was the epitome of a suave, amoral, cultured sadist, the typethatis so seductive and disarming as they lead a confused and impressionable'submissive" into the "abyss" of their own degeneracy.Distracted by the somewhat vapid "Eyes Wide Shut" - type beginning, anduninspiring, but ,i suppose, necessary, domestic details,and strangeimpressionistic repetitions, i did not realize where the film wasgoing -not so much plot-wise as thematically, so i was very impressed by theconclusionWhile the "scene" enactment's, both mild and intense, were very compellingand relatively believable,this was not a film about BDSM, but about thedarkside of human nature, and its inevitable persistence. ( i was wryly amusedthat a"mild" erotic BDSM club fell some where on the depravity continuumbetween campy male strippers, and what appeared to be ostensibly an opiumden, while "heavy" S/m directly proceeded a deadly serious game ofhigh-stakes 'Russian Roulette."!The ending surprised me, until i realized what Chapell was supposed torepresent..And then i began thinking about the movie "Quills", and about theinfluencea brilliant mind and Dominant personality can exert over others...whilebringing to the surface their suppressed, or less honorabledesires...In a word - Chilling - and definitely worth the price "admission"!~MWv~"What fresh HELL is this?"~Dorothy Parker~
If you thought the bizarre and errie world of THE CELL was scary andweird, you haven't seen nothing yet. SHADOW HOURStakes the viewer into the dark and seedy world that doesexist,in Los Angeles. From night clubs, to tourture clubs, to drugculture, to fight clubs, the viewer doesn't really missmuchof what else is dark in the city. Balthazar Getty (who looks similar to Charlie Sheen) is Michael Hollowaya man who use to be part of the drug cultureand it nearly cost him his life. But everything changedwhenhe met Chloe (Rebecca Gayheart) a girl who made Michaelgiveup his addictive illegal habits and go straight. So Michaelworks the graveyard shift at a gas station around centralLosAngeles. Night after night, people come in, give Michael money, pump gasinto their vehicles and then leave. One nightMichael takes part of his anger out on a customer, Stuart Chappell (PeterWeller). Stuart pulls up in a nice looking Porsche and wearing a expensivesuit. Michael feels guilty about yelling at innocent Stuart who only wantedgas, so he apoligizes to him, and Stuart accepts and wants to take Michaelout for a cocktail. However, Stuart isn't innocent, he doesn't want to takeMichael out only for a cocktail, and he didn't arrive to only get gas. Stuart shows Michael the undergroundworld of Los Angeles, from strip clubs to places where people watch peoplegetting torture. One good thing about SHADOW HOURS is the look and mood of the film. The picture starts off of fast motion cars speeding on a freeway, with thenumbers on a gas pump moving in rapidspeed, while music from Moby is being played on the soundtrack. If anyoneis going to make a movie that takes placearound in Los Angeles, one SHOULD play industrial music, especially by theartist Moby. Michael Mann protrayed Los Angeles to a prefction in his 1995classic HEAT. As the view saw the scummy and seedy realistic side of LosAngeles, the fast dance tempo of Moby was played on the soundtrack. And SHADOW HOURSdoes accomplish that in some of it's scenes, whichI really enjoyed. However, nothing much could be said for the rest of the film. The plotisn't anything special or new, it's more or lessa updated version of the dark figure leading the innocentfigureinto a dark world. And some of the scenes in the filmarenot that original, but others (including a sexual tortureclub)are very disturbing to watch. The only actor who stands out in this film is by Peter Weller. Hegives flamboyance to his character of Stuart thatyou wonder is this man really psychotic, or is he indeed the devil himself. But for the other actors, they pretty muchgive a paint-by-numbers performance. Getty doesn't really carry the movie,when he should be the leading actor carrying the film, he appears to be asidekick to the Weller character.Rebecca Gayheart also gives a generic performance as the pregnant wife whostays awake late at night and wonders what herhusband is up to. But a decent supporting performancesfromBrad Dourif as the gas station manager, and a unrecognizeableFrederic Forrest, help give the movie some color. I do see what director Isaac Eaton was trying to say in this film bygetting his message across. But it's nothing really new or unique. For asmall budget independent film, itdoes manage to show something promising, but in the endyoudon't walk out going "wow" it's more of a "ho-hum." ** (out offive)
I have a habit of briefly skimming over the descriptions of a movie on thereverse side of the box, so when I rented it, I thought I was renting asupernatural thriller (the box cover itself looks to have a supernaturalaspect to it). Well, it was not even close.But still, it was a watchable movie. It was interesting seeing the grittyunderworld of the city, especially since I'm from a small town of 15 -16,000 people. Peter Weller performed quite well, although I enjoyed hisperformances more in the Robocop movies and Screamers. Balthazar Gettyalsodid a bang-up job as well as a former druggie and alcoholic. One questionthough: how in the world was this character able to snag a wife likeRebecca Gayheart??!! That part, I must say, seems unrealistic and/orunfair.All in all, it was a watchable movie, but I probably would never watch ittwice. Oh, and for all of you homophobic guys out there, this movie has afew scenes of male strippers in it. Blech!
Shadow Hours is the best movie Balthazar Getty has done sinceLost Highway and is also probably the best movie Peter Wellerhas done since Robocop. Anyone who has spent considerabletime within a major city nightlife scene will be able to identify withthis movie. People who also like a film to leave a few questionsunanswered will also probably get a kick out of ShadowHours.The film has a great look to it, this film is so much slicker lookingthan any recent mainstream or indie film in the past few years.This is probably the slickest looking movie Ive seen since Blade.Kudos to the director and dp. The soundtrack is top notch as well.Weller is in top form here, his unique look and commanding voicereally make his character. Getty gives a good performance as well.The cast of supporting characters is really amazing. Every fewminutes you will see a familiar face pop up in a smallrole.The only small problem I have with the film is that a few scenesreferenced other movies a little too blatantly, but the film's mainstory is very original and intrigueing. Overall it is a great littlemoviewith alot of style and a thought provoking story. It was great to seea movie made for adults compared to all the pg-13 blandentertainment that the gutless hollywood studios have beenreleasing lately.This film is no direct to video cheapie my friends.
This review is from: Shadow Hours (DVD) This movie will easily become known as a cult classic!!! Twisted elements appear so regularly, that the viewer is taken into the domain of the characters naturally, not painfully or forced!!!
This review is from: Shadow Hours (DVD) Balthazar Getty gives an amazing performance as do Peter Weller, Rebecca Gayheart, and Peter Greene. Also look for Corin Nemec.This film is a riveting ride with the devil, a fall from grace. There are no lost causes but one (but even that character stays true to his calling). The film is not for the squemish (I have to admit I could not look at some of the scenes). A real film for adults -- not for children or adolescents.
When I sat down to watch this movie, I was really expecting a serious Bmovie, with the low production value and all. The movie really wow-ed me,but it wasn't just the high production value that got me, it was thewriting, directing and acting. The script and direction (both courtesy ofnew comer Isaac H. Eaton) were great. I watched the movie because of PeterWeller, king of all B-Movies. I was more than impressed by his performance(a definate stand out among this cast, or any for that matter) and the restof the main cast was great too. Interresting to see Peter Greene as a goodguy, and B'Zar and Rebecca Gayheart were perfect. All in all, this movie ismore than enough entertainment for a friday night, I throughly enjoyed itand recommend it highly. Without hesitation I give it10/10.
My girlfriend and I found this in a DVD shop for Â£2. She'd never heardof it before, but I remembered reading a review of it a few years agoin Empire. They said it was like a very low-budget Fight Club. Thisfilm isn't as stylish as it would like to be, but it's still enjoyable.The performances were all pretty good. It was good to see Peter Wellerplaying this kind of character after seeing him as Robocop and BradDourif was great as usual. I would have probably been a littledisappointed if I'd rented this, but having only paid Â£2 to buy it, I'mnot complaining. One to watch when you've had a few beers and there'snothing on TV.
I saw this movie at 3 in the morning just flipping through the channels and wow i found an amazing movie this film is why i love those wierd independent films Getty does a great job but Peter Weller is amazing ...Watch this beautiful little masterpiece.... THE SOUNDTRACK IS AMAZING!
I'm a tough sell when it comes to contemporary American films, and haveturned almost exclusively to watching foreign films or classics (ie: loved"Night of the Iguana;" admire Hitchcock), but when my 15 year old grabbed"Shadow Hours" off the shelf I thought I'd give it a shot for the sake ofmother\daughter movie night. Smart writing (a bloody rare attribute), terrific acting, fabulous score anda film noir look--I was hooked. Loved the jump cut gas station scenes, thecrazies, the repetition of certain phrases/themes, the progressive descentinto urban madness, and, Oh, Lordy, that Moby piece that tied it together atthe end. I've watched it twice, the second time with my husband, who is recommendingit to fellow 'good film' afficionados, and so on, and soon...Interesting to read B'zar Getty's bio. Note the tattoos on his hand in thefilm - they're the real deal.
Shadow Hours demonstrates to all filmmakers that when you're making amotion picture, being fast is a lot like being good. As long as you'vegot a talented cast and a rapid fire pace that's always plungingforward, that'll cover up a lot of deficiencies in plotting andcharacterization.Michael Holloway (Balthazar Getty) is a recovering drug addict workingthe graveyard shift at a gas station in one of the seedier sections ofLos Angeles. He wants to stay sober and take care of his pregnant wifeChloe (Rebecca Gayheart), but he feels more and more desperate andtrapped. Then one night, a man in a black suit and a black sports carrolls into Michael's life. He says he's a writer named Stuart Chappell(Peter Weller) and he takes a shine to Michael. Stuart offers Michael ajob as his assistant, which Michael eventually takes after the menialgrind of the gas station gets to be too much for him. Stuart takesMichael on a journey into the night, exposing him to greater andgreater depths of human debauchery and depravity until Michael'ssobriety, marriage and even life are at risk. While that's going on,there's another ill-defined and poorly executed storyline about apolice detective (Peter Greene) investigating a series of murders. Thisplot thread only exists to facilitate a more explosive and dramatic endto Stuart and Michael's more cerebral tale. It's vaguely explained,tangentially relevant and the actions of the detective don't make alick of sense.In a lot of ways, Shadow Hours isn't that good a film. Its story isbasic and shallow. Its moments of drama are inorganically contrived.Its moral is muddled and confused. It has a lot of characters thatdon't serve much of a purpose. Yet for all that, it's still fairlyentertaining.Much of that is thanks to the blazing speed that writer/director IsaacH. Eaton brings to the tale. His scenes are short and briskly editedwith a plentiful helping of visual montages to establish mood and tone,granting Shadow Hours a vitality and appeal that it doesn't entirelydeserve. This movie doesn't slow down to establish or explain a wholelot, racing from beginning to end like a flaming jack rabbit runningfor a pond. That swiftness makes the good parts of the story seemsharper and keeps the bad parts from lingering long enough to beannoying.The other significant positive to this movie are nice performances fromcharacters large and small. Peter Weller is perfect as the wickedlymysterious and tempting Stuart Chappell and also appears to be having alot of fun with the role. He takes a character that could have beenunbearably pretentious and removes all the starch from him with alow-key but precise portrayal that embraces the jumble of the story andturns it into an asset. The script is never clear about certain aspectsof Stuart Chappell, unintentionally I believe, and Weller takes that onand believably makes Stuart very human at some moments and quitesomething else at others.Balthazar Getty is good, though he's never asked to do much more thanconvey the essential decency in Michael without making him seem like aboy scout. Rebecca Gayheart does everything that can be done with theclichÃ©d girlfriend role. Peter Greene manages to make the policedetective seem like a legitimate character until the script leaves himhigh and dry. Corin Nemec and Brad Dourif also manage to fill up acouple of unnecessary roles with some wit and flair.In addition, Shadow Hours has an appreciable amount of female nudity,more than a hint of sexual perversion and some interesting snippets ofdialog about the nature of life and human existenceÂ or at least whatpasses for it in L.A.All in all, this is a low-budget, independent production that was worthmaking and worth watching. There are an awful lot of movies that don'treach that fairly low bar, so if you see Shadow Hours sitting on theshelf at your local video store, give it a try. It'll mostly likely bebetter than renting some other film you've never heard of.
I have yet to watch the entire film -- yet. I keep on catching it onShowtime at like 2:00 in the morning. I have Comcast, and I wish thatthey would just release the damned film on On-Demand, so that I couldsee it at a reasonable hour (i.e., on MY time, instead of DURING"shadow" hours...):)Anyway, the thing that moved me about the piece was the mood, plain andsimple. I love Peter Weller's performance in this flick. He was theonly thing that caused me to name a song of my own after the film --Shadow Hours. I may even title an album of mine using that name (ifanyone cares or doesn't know this, you can name a work anything thatyou want to -- without worrying about "copyright" infringement. Titlesare not copyrightable. Period.):)Again -- a worthy viewing. I agree with the most recent submission here-- yes, the story line isn't original, and yes, Michael Mann is abetter director than most anyway. I just got a kick out of Weller'scharacter and characterizations.Ciao.- Sammy
The devil feeds from your weaknesses and enstills good in temptation. "Shadow Hours" definitely understands this, and shows an interesting Luciferwho dwells in the seedy underworld of Los Angelos. To say the least, I wasn't blown away by the story's originality, butdirector Isaac H. Eaton has some brilliant style tricks to keep it fun andintriguing. He is an adroit director working with a mediocre script, andthe results are surprisingly good. Balthazaar Ghetty plays Michael Halloway, a recovering alcoholic whotries to support himself as well as his wife Chloe by working at a seedy gasstation on graveyard shift. In this environment, he's bound to see someinteresting things. It seems everyone who comes through has exhaustedthemselves with something...most likely some sort of sin. They are allrunning on empty as they scurry through the night. There are wonderfulsequences where gas meters rise as different things happen, communicatingthis theme perfectly. Anyway, he runs into a mugger and a homeless man (who symbolizes hisbottom of the barrel outlook), but most importantly, a writer named StuartChappell (played by Peter Weller, in easily one of his best performances). Chappell has a strange fixation on Michael, and he takes care of him,clothing him with nice suits, and giving him tons of money to gamble. Fromthe start, it is obvious this guy's a little shady, however. He neglectsthe fact that Michael is recovering on AA and influences him to startdrinking again. Soon, he plunges Michael into a truly harrowing underworldof fight clubs, gambling, drugs and sex. In one of the most disturbing scenes of recent memory, they go to abondage club where people get sadomasochistic pleasure from torture. Atfirst, I was angry that Eaton would use this smut to manipulate his audienceinto feeling shocked (like how Todd Solondz did in his terrible film"Happiness"). Then I realized, Chappell, a satan figure, is indeedmasochistic in that he feeds off his victim's pain. Little did Michael knowas he looked at these twisted acts, that he was being used as a partner toChappell's atrocity. When Michael becomes closer with Chappell, he realizes how much of alie this man really is. But the perks of being with him are too great, andsoon Michael goes too deep into the dark side, hurting Chloe and damagingthe new life he forged after leaving AA. I didn't like how the film ends. It takes an easy (and largely taken) way out, keeping itself on a level ofsimplicity. I believe Eaton is a genius director, but he sells himselfshort in "Shadow Hours". I did like a lot of things in this film. I loved the performances byGetty (who also produced), and more so Peter Weller. He plays Stuart asattractive, fun and seemingly caring, but always dark somewhere deep. Iliked how the story was paced and told, but it is lacking in overallfreshness. (2 and 1/2 out of 4)
One of my personal favorite movies of all time something about the mysterious stuart chappel (Weller) taking michael halloway (Getty)to all those crazy places keeps you drawn to the screen Isac H Eaton is brilliant because he made such a sick and twisted movie A GENUIS MASTERPIECE I thought the movie was shot great and Rebbeca Gayheart plays the worried pregnant wife perfectly this movie might not get to everyone but if you really watch it youll realize it is just like i said before A GENUIS MASTERPIECE.. IF YOU LOVE :partying all night until light out , a good fight, special cigars, blow, playing russian roullete or you just cant sleep at night Shadow Hours is for you I give it 5 stars
I started watching Shadow Hours one evening on Foxtel (Australia).Pretty soon I realized that I had to watch it all the way through asthe suspense regarding the mysterious rich man (Stuart) kept onbuilding. The movie is about a journey of a young man (Holloway) in tothe very dark side of city's night life with that mysterious rich man.Holloway was a former drug addict and is supporting his wife pregnantwith their first child by working through grave yard shift on a petrolstation (yes we call it petrol in Australia :). He gets acquainted witha rich guy who takes him to very strange clubs and places. That sparksa battle of conscious within Holloway and he finally manages to get outof way by following a rather hard way.The movie reminded me of 8mm in which Nicholas Cage goes deep in to thedark and ugly of porn, gambling and some very psycho stuff in pursuitof a missing girl. Shadow Hours also takes us to all these sick placeswhere at first you will not understand that what kind of people wouldwant to go through that sickening lifestyle. But, If you think a bitmore that probably you will realize that most of the people who hangaround these places and gets abused by people like Stuart are mentallyill and are probably not accepted by the society. By hanging aroundsuch places people like Holloway who often are at borderline of sanitycan be influenced in a terrible way. Anyway the movie was entertainingand thought provoking and I will recommend it to all people who liked8mm.