The straight-to-DVD-or-Netflix movie is one thing, but what do you call a film that’s apparently so dead it doesn’t even rate the video bin? How can a film be so bad that its producers don’t want to even earn at least some lunch and subway-pass money from this or that video platform? I understand write-offs but what’s the point of throwing a movie into a ten-foot-deep hole and covering it up with dirt?

Sienna Miller during filming of Beeban Kidron’s Hippie Hippie Shake

Case in point: Beeban Kidron‘s Hippie Hippie Shake, a piece-of-shit adaptation of Richard Neville‘s memoir about running Oz, the famed London counter-culture weekly, in the late ’60s. Shot in late ’07 and then gradually and sluggishly abandoned by distributors (including Universal), it’s not purchasable or rentable anywhere. I tried to watch it on and…nothing happened.

Don’t those nude scenes of Sienna Miller matter to anyone?

I think it’s because ’60s hippie movies always put out some kind of impossible-to-stomach, go-away-and-stay-away atmosphere. Four and a half years ago I wrote that “I’d love to see this Tim Bevan-Eric Fellner production do it right, but haven’t hippie films always been a problem? Isn’t there some kind of curse upon any film trying to reenact or reconstitute that old love beads-slash-Bhagavad Gita-slash-Moody Blues vibe? Isn’t there something immensely difficult if not impossible in trying to make that incense-and-peppermints chemistry seem palatable by the standards of 21st Century culture?”

Three years ago I wrote that “the rep of this poor misbegotten film has gone from intriguing to worrisome to there-must-be-something-wrong to massive fartbomb.”

Roughly 18 months ago Sydney Morning Herald reporters Gary Maddox and Steve Meacham wrote that “more than three years after the film was shot in England, rumours that Hippie Hippie Shake has turned out dismally have proved to be accurate. After a promised release failed to eventuate last year, the British production company, Working Title, has confirmed it will not reach cinemas. A distribution source said: ”There are cases where movies just come out really…badly.”

And yet in late ’08 two reviews were posted that said Hippie Hippie Shake was at least watchable — one from British blogger Matt Robinson and another from AICN’s “Harry Palmer.”