Much like Peter Parker gets his Spidey sense, I experience a similar sensation, whenever danger arises in the area my hair stands on end. Much like I’ve touched one of those electric static balls. It might be a great addition to my crime fighting skills against the evildoers of the world but to be honest I look absolutely ridiculous! How can I tussle with the bad guys when I look like one of the hair bear bunch, rather than a terrifying wolf? Well I burst out into fur ball mode again but I was ready. I knew something bad was going down as I pulled out my most prized weapon from my utility belt, a water spray bottle to calm those hairs. I can’t fight proper looking way too cute.
What had caused my hair cuticles to react in this fuzz ball spasm you may ask? Well something sinister, something otherworldly, something, well, pretty damn gross truth be told. A parasitic alien slime slug and hell come with brimstone and fire was that thing getting near me. I sat with my claws extended, baseball bat in one hand and my trusty water spray in the other. I’d wait to see how this one panned out.
Tagline – A new breed of criminal.
The beginning opening scene of The Hidden sets up the utter carnage to come. Oozing neon green slime like titles introduce the players as 80’s synth techno sounds drone though. A lone raincoated man blasts a shotgun through the Wells Fargo Bank on the black and white CCTV footage. Jumping in the hijacked jet black Ferrari 308 GTS the bespectacled bank robber looks more like a bank clerk! Ramping up the stereo to maximum volume he floors the Ferrari on his escape. As the cops try and keep up on his tail, no one is safe as they race through the Los Angeles streets. This guy is deranged, he has no fear, he’s either a complete psychopath high on angel dust or something else is up? Not a time to be carrying sheets of glass across the road!
With innocent law abiding citizens turning into crazed super violent lunatics with a passion for smashing, robbing banks, stealing fast cars and obsessively amping up 80’s rock tunes to eleven. Something wasn’t adding up and Los Angeles Police Department detective Thomas Beck (Michael Nouri) was stumped! What the hell was going on, they needed answers. Lucky help was on it’s way of sorts?
In walks FBI agent Lloyd Gallagher (Kyle, can never work out if he’s a good actor or not but his usual dazed and confused look always seems to work, MacLachlan). He’s somewhat of an oddball, timid and a little awkward, a rookie agent but he’s determined to track this maniac down. Under some duress Tom and Lloyd are partnered up to head the investigation. This psycho perpetrator shouldn’t be hard to track down as the mayhem and carnage unfolds before them. One step behind, can these two catch up with this mad man and most importantly can they become friends and turn this science fiction action film into a buddy movie too?
Tom Beck – “I want to ask you if I’m crazy, or does this seem just a little bizarre?”
Lloyd Gallagher – “Yeah, it’s a little bizarre.”
Tom Beck – “I knew that. I just wanted to know if you knew that.”
I rented this bad boy VHS from Ritz Video Rental at the bottom of my road sometime around 1989, not long before they were bought out by Blockbuster Video. The incredible thing about The Hidden is it’s pacing, right from the get go this movie is firing on all cylinders. This could easy be put in the so bad it’s good category but it’s just way too good to be considered bad in any way. It’s mad funny, actioned packed and filled with surprises, you also get superb cheesy lines and quotes. It’s filled with sports cars, car chases, shootouts, strippers, alien blobs, laser guns, special effects, blood, gore and a whole heap of explosions and Terminator like music. This film is a true cult classic.
A few observations.
- Director Jack Sholder states this is his favourite film. He’d directed A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge a few year prior to The Hidden. Looking through his filmography I noticed a movie called Renegades from 1989 with Kiefer Sutherland and Lou Diamond Phillips. I remembered renting that but can’t recall the film at all, might have to look into revisiting that for a laugh.
- Keep an eye out for cheeky Claudia Christian in her debut film role, she is fondly remembered for playing Commander Susan Ivanova in the science fiction space saga Babylon 5
- I read Michael Nouri turned down the role of Martin Riggs in Lethal Weapon made famous by Mel Gibson. Incidentally Mel Gibson was considered to play Nouri’s part of Tom Beck. Someone got the better deal!
- Michael Nouri falls in love with Jennifer Beals a steel working welder with a passion for dancing in the mega cheesy Flashdance. A couple of films of his I fancy seeing are Gangster Wars (1981) where he plays “Lucky” Luciano and The Imagemaker (1986) which looks delightfully bad.
- The soundtrack is composed by Michael Convertino who supplies all the electronic, ambient scores in between the 80’s songs which include rock bands like Shok Paris, Hunters & Collectors and The Lords of the New Church and Concrete Blonde. Full soundtrack credits line up can be found here.
This is our first shindig together as The Video Store Action Heroes. A four collective of like minded movie fanatics. I hope you’ve enjoyed this first post from me and be sure to check the gangs posts on the links below.
As always it’s all about movies and good old fashioned fun. Feel free to comment if you wish, let me know if you’ve seen this one or get to see it. Keep watching those screens. Big love Mikey Wolf