Following the concerts and backstage events of an alternative rock band from the 1990s named Hole, Hit So Hard opens up with video footage from the group’s 1994 world tour. The drummer, Patty Schemel (as herself), was an avid music fan and came out as a lesbian at a fairly young age. After meeting with the legendary Kurt Cobain by chance, the woman formed her very own grunge band with Melissa Auf der Maur, Eric Erlandson and Cobain’s at-the-time wife, Courtney Love. The documentary depicts the artist’s life from early childhood to her troubled teenage ears and heroin-ridden adulthood, when she made it on the cover of “Rolling Stone” magazine.
Born in a secluded hometown outside of Seattle, Patty Schemel had great ambitions but never imagined herself becoming as famous and close to her dream life as she became. Unfortunately, alongside success came substance abuse, addiction and anguish, after which Shemel was never the same. Living with Love and her husband, the woman started using heroin heavily and later on became addicted to crack-cocaine. Shortly after Cobain’s suicide, the band’s bassist Kristen Pfaff was also found dead in her apartment due to opiate intoxication. In 1998, record producer Michael Beinhorn decided to replace Schemel and the woman was forced to resign. The former drummer reflects on her life on the streets of Los Angeles, her heavy drug use and her successful recovery.
“Emotions run raw in this behind-the-scenes look at drummer Patty Schemel and her drug-fuelled run with the 90s grunge rock band, Hole.”
— Hollywood Reporter
“Part character study of the film’s titular star, part documentary on US grunge outfit Hole, Hit So Hard offers a fascinating insight into the many trials and tribulations of being one quarter of one of rock’s most notoriously excessive, on-the-nose bands.”
— Cine Vue
“Structured around Schemel’s Hi8 footage from those dark and heady times, the film hews closely to her biography, touching on her early drumming and drinking (ages 11 and 12, respectively), her coming out, and her central role in the Northwest music scene before unflinchingly recounting her path from being Hole’s most crucial and well-known drummer to drug addiction, homelessness, and recovery.”
— The Austin Chronicle
Did You Know?
Because the film’s budget was fairly low and it wasn’t enough to pay for Hole’s music rights, former band members Eric Erlandson and Courtney Love granted the producers permission to use the songs free of charge. Patty Schemel was the one to reach out to P. David Ebersole, the movie’s director, and talked him into editing and putting together Hit So Hard. Given that Hole’s members had not talked for over 10 years since Cobain’s death, Ebersole stated that the film “was a part of their healing process”. Review our Gay Themed Films Here