Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me

About The Film

Written and Directed by Joel Hershman, HOLD ME, THRILL ME, KISS ME is a raunchy screwball comedy with a romantic subplot that follows a small-time criminal (Max Parrish) hiding from his nutty ex-fiancée (Sean Young) and the law in an El Monte, California trailer park. As he bides his time waiting for a phony passport, he meets an oddball cast of characters, and finds himself juggling the affections of two sisters, a sadistic porn star (Andrea Naschak) and a demure virgin (Adrienne Shelly). HOLD ME was an instant cult classic that collected numerous festival awards, and earned rave reviews from film critics and cinephiles alike.

HOLD ME THRILL ME KISS ME was written in 10 days and made in 18 on a budget of under $200,000. Director, Joel Hershman pitched the idea off-the-cuff when an action film he was scheduled to shoot fell-through due to budgeting. Knowing the film company had $200,000 to work with, Joel conceived the idea of shooting a film inexpensively in a trailer park and filling it with a zany cast of characters. Fortuitously, Hershman met actress Diane Ladd (ALICE DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE, CHINATOWN, WILD AT HEART) at a party and told her about his upcoming film. She asked him to send her the script and that night Hershman went home and wrote a character specifically for Ladd who signed on immediately to play Lucille, an aging hypochondriac Southern Belle. Sean Young (STRIPES, BLADE RUNNER, NO WAY OUT), a neighbor of Ladd’s at the time, learned of the film through Ladd’s involvement and signed on to play the obsessed heiress, Twinkle, in a hilarious self-parody of herself. Rounding out the cast is indie darling Adrienne Shelly (WAITRESS, TRUST, THE UNBELIEVABLE TRUTH) as Dannie, the naïve love interest, newcomer Max Parrish as Eli/Bud/Fritz, the handsome small-time criminal taking refuge at the trailer park, and Andrea Naschak (former adult star April Rayne) as Sabra, the sadistic nymphomaniac and topless dancer. Even 60’s radical drug guru, Timothy Leary, drops in as an over-the-hill con artist. Add an incredible underground/alternative soundtrack featuring the Pixies, Violent Femmes, Elvis Hitler, and the Cramps and you get a funny, fast-paced ride.

HOLD ME, THRILL ME, KISS ME was discovered by October Films at the Seattle International Film Festival where it played to a wildly enthusiastic sold-out crowd. The film went on to win the ‘Coup de Coeur’ (audience favorite award) at the Deauville Film Festival; played the Palm Springs International Film Festival, and several top European festivals including Taormina, San Sebastian, and Gothenburg. The film was wildly praised.

Everyone from Harvard professors to the Harley Davidson crowd has embraced this film. Underneath the sleaze and garishness lies a sweet, sensitive and good-natured film. Writer/Director Joel Hershman never judged or ‘commented’ on his ensemble of misfits – he embraced each and every one of them. That’s why there is such a broad range of die-hard fans. Fans of John Waters, Quentin Tarantino, Pedro Almodovar, the Cohen Brothers, and early David Lynch will love this film.