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By Phil Hall | June 20, 2001

Had the new film “Hack” been created by monkeys, the proper response would be: “Goodness, what clever monkeys… but we’d better shoot them in case they try to make another film!”
Unfortunately, “Hack” was not made by monkeys and homicide is not a practical course of action for preventing filmmaker Will Link from making another film. This abysmal mockumentary on the pretensions of student filmmaking is such a total failure on all levels that it is impossible to comprehend how such a mess could ever find its way on to a screen.
“Hack” (and what an appropriate title!) follows the unlikely adventures of a student at New York’s School of Visual Arts in his lame attempts to create a thesis project film on the subject of auto-erotic asphyxiation. Surrounding himself with a gaggle of equally untalented classmates, the production inches forward in fits and starts despite the total lack of talent by all involved in the process.
As the misguided cinematic ringleader, Phil Koerber gives the very, very worst performance of this year (and perhaps any year). Mangling comedy is a crime unto itself, but Koerber egregious attempts at double takes, pregnant pauses and bad Woody Allen inflections is nauseatingly amateurish that even the most sympathetic attempt at liking this film is submerged due to the horrible central performance. No one else who turns up on camera shows any signs of acting talent, though a supporting non-performance by a would-be Mæ West named Sage as a wannabe actress is so terrible that she could inspire a devoted camp following based on her inane attempts at being hip and sexy.
“Hack” has absolutely nothing to offer in praise. The directing is limp, the script offers no laughs, the editing looks like it was achieved with a butter knife, the cinematography is harsh and abrasive, and the key words “The End” take way too long in coming. But ultimately the main problem here is the concept. There really should be a moratorium on making movies about making movies. The process may be of amusement to those connected with the industry, but the in-jokes are worthless to non-industry audiences who are assaulted with these navel-gazing self-celebrations. (And the in-jokes relating to the School of Visual Arts is of no charm to anyone beyond its classrooms.)
If “Hack” is any indication on how filmmaker Will Link paid attention in school, then someone should grab his diploma and demand more lessons. Will, you are the weakest Link…goodbye!

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