This section contains scenes of violence and other explicit material.

Short film based on a play by Michael O'Donnell
Directed by Dietmar Post
Photography by: Claudia Amber
Produced by: Lucía Palacios
Duration: 11:34 min
Year: 1996 / 2013
Language: English
Subtitles: German and Spanish (click cc once the film opens in the browser)
Original format: 16mm
Resolution: 720x576
Genre: Short film
Nationality: USA
Featuring: Starring Victor Pagan and Kelly Webb
Rated: Restricted for children under 18
Film Streaming: 72 hours
Recommended bandwidth: 1.5 Mbps
with free audio track
Movie theatres and film festivals can book the original 16mm print at



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    In 1998 the short film was invited to the International Film Festival in Rotterdam and screened with Michael Powell’s PEEPING TOM. Over the years it screened together with Werner Herzog’s film EVEN DWARFS STARTED SMALL. Here some excerpts from the official Rotterdam acceptance letter:
    “Our programme advisor Gertjan Zuilhof saw your film Cloven Hoofed and he would very much like to invite this film for screening at the festival. The film could be linked to a special programme we are preparing The Cruel Machine. The intention of the programme is to do justice to some very recent disturbing but great films. Films that revitalize the ongoing and urgent as never before creating debates about the really dark side of the image. By no means we are looking exclusively for the hard core or the extreme but we do not want to avoid it either. We would like to follow sincere, courageous and uncompromising filmmakers all the way. Maybe sometimes the films in this programme will be tough to watch, but they will deserve the effort. (…) We hope to present Cloven Hoofed to our mutual pleasure and advantage.”


    “Harsh theatrical monologue by a desperate man. Ray is a crack addict who has not scored for too long. Withdrawal symptoms cloud his paranoid mind. He sharpens his knife to take it out on his girlfriend who fled with his pipe and his crack. Sometimes his cruel and violent sexual fantasies are visualized, but in general the insane verbal ravings of the goaded Ray predominate.”
    Gertjan Zuilhof, Programmer, 27th Rotterdam Film Festival, Netherlands

    "Cloven Hoofed is simple, disturbing and great."
    Bryan Wendorf, Programmer, Chicago Underground Film Festival, USA

    “(…) About as far from a ‘date’ film as you are likely to find, this abrasive short has the same intensity as the best of the ‘80s underground efforts – except instead of their slapdash technique, Post recruits an expert crew for the project. It’s much appreciated.”
    Steve Puchalski, Shock Cinema Magazine, USA

    "Even though I have to admit that for my taste the film is too sinister, I am impressed with its downright painful intensity, especially when the man has his outburst of rage. The superimposition in the second part is interesting and original. It is the reason why the movie won’t be aired on regular TV, right?"
    Ralf Pingel, Scriptwriter, Cologne, Germany

    “Based on a play by Post's friend Michael O'Donnell, cloven hoofed opens with a man named Ray (actor Victor Pagan) sharpening a knife. But comparisons to traditional or derivative horror along the lines of Freddy Krueger end there. Ray's world is a dark, claustrophobic and minimalist space comprised of a space heater and a cage containing a cardboard box with a round hole in it. It is to this box that Ray spits his anger, a raw and desperate monologue that, combined with the film's milieu and the uncompromising camera work of director of photography Claudia Amber, simply pulses with danger.”
    Chris Lee, Film Critic, New York

    "Somehow disturbing! Is the film intended as a fragment or are we supposed to know more about the life and deeds of this individual who is a dead ringer for Rondo Hatton!? The guy is a bit too theatrical. But I liked very much the look and the mood of the film. Keep it up! When will we see your first feature-length film?"
    Graf Haufen, Splatting Image Magazine, Berlin, Germany

    "Typical New York art cinema in the style of Richard Kern and Nick Zedd."
    Stefan Reinker, Videodrom, Berlin, Germany

    “I like the shot composition most. Also the actor has a very interesting face. He’s been around the block I bet. It’s hard to get a face like that. Most actors are all so damn pretty and boring. I like the way his lips look when he is looking inside the box. The dialogue and the cadence both remind me of a not so innocent version of a Paddy Chayefsky play, or those old TV plays that were done in the 50’s. Robert Redford and John Cassavettes both acted in them. They had a sort of Twilight Zone feel to them, but with a certain underlying tone of melancholy and loss. I guess the beat generation had had an influence on the people’s feelings at the time. (…) I like the shot of him ranting as the woman fingered her vagina over his head. Is this how men really feel when they get mad at us? I suspected as much, but I never dared to imagine it as vividly as the film demonstrates.
    Tamara Hernandez, Director of MEN CRY BULLETS, USA

    “In a piece obviously made for the stage, the filmmaker took full advantage of the film medium. What makes the film most memorable is the line that it crosses to make the audience uncomfortable. The actor draws you in and you feel like a hostage. Direction was superb as was lighting and cinematography. The film left me with a deeply disturbed sensation in my gut and the feeling that I won’t soon forget this film. Like I was just hit in the stomach.”
    Jury of the Reject Film Festival in Philadelphia, USA

    “(…) A little too experimental/artsy.”
    USA Network - Sci-Fi Channel

    “(…) This piece is a focused, intense film with imagery not easily forgotten. Those of us who have had ex’s run off with our favorite jumper might find themselves empathizing with the protagonist.”
    Adele Hartley, Director, Dead by Dawn Film Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland

    “Post gelingt es, die Quintessenz eines möglichen Mordes einzufangen, indem er sich nicht auf das Spiel mit expliziten Gewalt- und Sexdarstellungen einläßt, sondern es beim Messerwetzen und der im Raum schwebenden Vagina beläßt. Der Rest ist rohe Textgewalt und das Hineinsteigern mit Worten in eine mögliche Bluttat, welche dem Betrachter vorenthalten bleibt. Dort hört der Film auf und das ist gut so, denn Pornographie fängt ja bekanntlich im Kopf an.”
    Patrick Buehler, Film Critic, Switzerland


    After his cinema premiere in Cloven Hoofed Victor Pagan has appeared in films, such as Animal Factory by Steve Buscemi, Sex and the City (HBO), and R-Xmas by Abel Ferrara.


    hofHaus Short Film Festival (Germany), 2007; 27th International Film Festival Rotterdam (Netherlands), 1998; Florida Anti Film Festival (USA), 1998; Williamsburg-Brooklyn Film Festival (New York, USA), 1998; 5th Chicago Underground Film Festival (USA), 1998; 3rd 1 Reel Film Festival-The Seattle Arts Festival (USA), 1998; 27th Festival Internacional de Cinema - Figueira da Foz (Portugal), 1998; Festival Internacional Valdivia Cine & Video (Chile), 1998; Reject Film Festival Philadelphia (USA), 1998; 1st Clair-Obscur Filmfestival Basel (Switzerland), 1998; Ohio Independent Film Festival (Cleveland, USA), 1998; MicroCineFest Baltimore (USA), 1998 ; 6th New York Underground Film Festival (USA), 1999; Fantasia Film Festival Montreal (Canada), 1999; New Filmmakers Series at Anthology Film Archives (New York, USA), 1999; Ocularis - Cinema Williamsburg (New York, USA), 1999; VI Festival Internacional de Cinema Independent de Barcelona (Spain), 1999; Semana Internacional del Cortometraje de San Roque (Cádiz, España), 2001; Dead By Daw Festival Edinburgh (Scotland), 2001; Modern Art Festival in Plovdiv (Bulgaria), May 1998; Volcano in London (England), September/October 1998. In association with The Halloween Society London; Kino Mikro and Theatre Lazina in Krakow (Poland), October 1998; The Terminal Bar and The Independent Prague Film Festival (Czech-Republic), October 1998; The House of Cinema in Sofia (Bulgaria), November 1998 (In association with The Union of Bulgarian Filmmakers); Kick The Machine a time-based media playground at Project304 in Bangkok (Thailand), Nova Gallery and Kino in Brussels (Belgium) Enthropia Gallery and Kino Wroclaw in Wroclaw (Poland).

    Movie theaters and film festivals can book the original 16mm print at


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