Potential. It’s a word that haunts my most private thoughts and causes me immense personal anguish. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been told that I had it. For some people, hearing that they have potential would probably be reassuring. Whenever I hear it, though, it sounds like a disease. To know that others are thinking about how good you CAN be, feels an awful lot like they’re condemning you for not having achieved that success already. When I look at the coworkers surrounding me during my 8-hour stints in that soul crushing penitentiary known as work, I can’t help but think, “Am I truly the same as these people?”
Friends and family who know me well assure me that I’m better than my station in life, and they’re quick to point out that I have something my coworkers don’t: potential. Apparently, it’s been growing inside me for decades, but my insurance can’t cover it’s removal. I want this potential excised. I want it removed from my body. Even now, as I think about it, my chest tightens. Maybe that’s where it is. In my chest. The only way to put this potential behind me, they say, is to fully realize it. Whatever that means.
I often wonder what causes one thing to become known and remembered for generations, while another thing which is similarly great gets overlooked and lost to time. This happens a lot with film. The Evil Dead gets to become a cultural phenomenon; encompassing 4 films, a TV series, a line of action figures, and more fandom than you can shake a boomstick at. Meanwhile, Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive is fondly remembered by cinephiles and splatter-fiends, but mention it in mixed company and you’ll likely get a lot of blank stares. Dead Alive is hardly a “hidden gem”, but it’s also never achieved the iconic status of the Evil Dead franchise. Today, I’m going to share with you some harder to find films that just never quite lived up to their full potential. Here is my monthly list of Hidden Gems: