Back Issues: The Hustler Magazine Story

4.7 Overall Score
Editing: 4/10
Direction: 4/10
Nudity: 6/10

The occasionally interesting story.

We've heard most of these before.

Back Issues: The Hustler Magazine Story

Dir: Michael Lee Nirenberg

Larry Flynt, Jimmy Flynt, Nina Hartley, Ron Jeremy, William Nirenberg


As far as documentaries go, Back Issues: The Hustler Magazine Story, is pretty straight forward, but pointless. At first I was intrigued by the initial set up of the film, a son recounting his father’s career at the magazine and possibly the effect it might have had on their family, but I quickly lost interest when it became a series of bullet points that needed to be hit in order to recount every event that occurred since the magazines inception through to the present.

The movie does a good job of recounting all the trials and general controversy that surrounded the magazine during its early years, as well as all the personal turmoil of its creator, Larry Flynt. But unless you have never seen The People VS Larry Flynt (Milos Forman, 1996), born directly into the internet age, making magazine porn pointless, or been living under a rock for the past 20 years, you are probably already somewhat familiar with everything that this film presents. Needless to say, about 30 minutes in I was already wondering how much time was left. The only saving grace is the occasionally interesting interviews, provided mostly by ex-Hustler photographers, or porn stars Nina Hartley and Ron Jeremy. My theory behind the blandness of this film is that the filmmaker realized that his father didn’t have much to say about his brief employment with the magazine, and had to fall back on recounting the story of Hustler, which seems likely, since every interview between the two seems very repetitive. Stylistically the film follows a traditional format, inter-cutting the interviews with images from the magazine, ironically covering the vagina shots Hustler was famous for delivering. What stood out was its punk rock soundtrack, featuring bands like The Circle Jerks, and The Adolescents. This did give the film a sense of energy, but unfortunately it was not enough to breathe life into it.

So, if you are unfamiliar with the Hustler and all the controversy, then give this film a go since it is a decent recounting. But if you know even a little bit, then I would just save the hour and a half running time for something else. Hell, maybe a quick google search for some bullet points might be all you need.



Author: Dan Folgar View all posts by
Dan Folgar received a degree in Cinema Studies from the University of Central Florida in 2008, and is currently working on an MFA in Fine Arts. He is an avid film watcher and an enthusiast who is prone to ranting. Follow on twitter @grim842.

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