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The Time Has Come For A Robust National Discussion Regarding Kevin Bacon’s HOLLOW MAN Rain Poncho

Anything less than a robust discussion simply will not suffice.

Photo by Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images. Banner Society Illustration.

I’d like to talk more about this.

  • Hollow Man is a movie I have definitely seen. I can prove this, and will.
  • At some point during production or promotion, Hollow Man cast and/or crew members were gifted with Hollow Man rain ponchos.
  • This is pretty good swag, as these things go. It’s a practical item that appears to have been thoughtfully constructed. You can see some mesh vents for breathability, and it comes with a hood.
  • It’s also apparently of solid make, as Kevin Bacon appears to have not only kept it around for 20 years, but kept it in frequent enough rotation that he can easily lay hands on it when it is lightly raining out.
  • Or maybe he’s got a crate of them in his mud room, but I prefer to think of this as his trusty Hollow Man poncho, hanging just inside the back door, on a shared hook with his battered but beloved Tremors straw cowboy hat.
  • Most importantly, it’s a good joke on the plot of the film, which – [TILT]
  • … okay, I’ve definitely seen this movie, Kevin Bacon is invisible for part of it, because medical science, but the entire plot of the film appears to have fled my brain.
  • Sure, it’s been two decades since this movie was released, but here’s why this is weird: I am also positive, and have confirmed with contemporaries, that not only have I seen Hollow Man, I’ve seen the director’s commentary track on the DVD.
  • Here is the only memory I have of the Hollow Man director’s commentary track: Paul Verhoeven explaining, in his vaguely sinister Dutch accent, “For zis scene, ve had to digitally animate ze breast.”
  • That’s it. The entire movie is lost to me, but I hung onto that. Why?
  • Have you ever looked at that decade and a half or so where Paul Verhoeven was making American blockbusters? Because from 1987 to 2000, at intervals of two or three years, he directed the following movies, in this order: RoboCop, Total Recall, Basic Instinct, Showgirls, Starship Troopers, and Hollow Man.
  • Maybe Hollow Man broke something in Verhoeven. It has clearly broken something in me.
  • I was absolutely positive he had also directed Deep Blue Sea; it appears he did not. I have Verhoeven/Renny Harlin oeuvre blindness, please respect my condition.
  • Verhoeven is also not responsible for the Sharon Stone-fronted ‘90s Western The Quick and the Dead; that was Sam Raimi.
  • I feel slightly skeeved at having written any of this down, but how is it possible I’ve retained no knowledge of a movie I clearly saw enough times to sit through a director’s commentary? There is a hollow place in my brain, if you will.
  • Then again, perhaps the entirety of the experience remains intact in some far-flung corner of my mind, and it is only rendered invisible by wearing a poncho.
  • Please don’t ask Kevin Bacon about this; he’s just trying to grill some vegetables for his family in inclement weather.