Hot Tomorrows (1977)

Hot Tomorrows (1977)

“That’s what’s so great about old movies: you get to enter the land of the dead.”

A death-obsessed aspiring writer (Ken Lerner) goes out on the town with his buddy (Ray Sharkey) and has a series of odd adventures across Los Angeles.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Death and Dying
  • Los Angeles
  • Writers

Writer-director Martin Brest’s feature debut is, unfortunately, little more than a slightly-higher-budget b&w student film. There is nothing at all inherently interesting about the protagonist, who fantasizes about his great-aunt’s death to a morbid degree:

… hangs out watching Laurel and Hardy films with a clueless friend (Sharkey):

… gets to know tiresome strangers — including a sullen, drunken dwarf (Hervé Villechaize) — at a night club:

… visits a morgue just for kicks (and free coffee):

… and obsesses over the elderly women he sees around him.

This one will strictly be of interest to hardcore devotees of Brest.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • The unexpectedly creative closing sequence

Must See?
Nope; you can definitely skip this one. Listed as a Sleeper and a Personal Recommendation in the back of Peary’s book.


One thought on “Hot Tomorrows (1977)

  1. First viewing. Not must-see – ~ though I liked it more than what’s indicated in the assessment.

    Probably because I don’t agree that “{t}here is nothing at all inherently interesting about the protagonist”. I include myself in saying there are most likely many who share his genuinely curious preoccupation with death – esp. as it relates to the meaning of life. I felt for him.

    This is a hard-to-find flick. Yet if you somehow happen upon it – and if you have an affinity for ambitious independent films – this one is surprisingly cohesive for something so eccentric.

    It’s mildly humorous in black comedy style – but, at 70+ minutes, you might be wanting a bit of expansion. It’s true that the last 5 minutes are the best.

    Of note in the cast is George Memmoli as ‘Man in Mortuary’. Memmoli is more subdued here than in his memorable spots in ‘Phantom of the Paradise’, ‘Mean Streets’ and ‘New York, New York’.

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