Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy
There's a power-mad space slug slithering among (and through) the innocent citizens of L.A., and it's up to a hardboiled cop and a detective from way up north to stop it in this wonderfully straight-faced sci-fi action fl... more »
Probably my favorite little-known horror film.
unigusgus | North Hollywood, CA | 05/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you're all stocked up on the requisite horror/sci-fi DVDs and are looking to go deeper in your collection, here is a little gem from 1987 that I guarantee will please. Everyone has a movie they love that nobody else saw - this is one of mine. You can get a feel for the story from the Amazon blurb above. My testimony is for the fun of the film. It's not gory, or even necesarrily bone-chillingly scary. It's just extremely entertaining and really well done (it's cousin in this genre is TREMORS, for the fun and campiness of it all).But what makes this DVD worth BUYING is its extras, especially the commentary by director Jack Sholder. This guy is a B-movie director if ever there was one, and his resume isn't all that impressive: Nightmare on Elm Street 2, Renegades, some other forgettable 80's films, and the recently abysmal Supernova. But gosh darnit if he didn't make a good enough film to warrant some director's audio commentary, and boy does he go to town. You can tell he's probably a real jerk to work with, and quite impressed with himself. And his cranky disposition makes for some great dirt on the making of this film. He disses the star, Michael Nouri, and even blasts the poor acting of some of his bit players. This is a guy who likely makes few friends with his commentary, and it's VERY entertaining, especially after having enjoyed the film for your first time. On top of that, he's a pretty practical low-budget director who shares the tricks of what he did and adds depth to one's appreciation for the film.So to sum up - a great little movie on its own merits, with great director's commentary to warrant purchasing the DVD."
unigusgus | 10/14/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This gets compared to "The Terminator" a lot, but I actually think this film is even better than THAT sci-fi classic. Maybe because it's deeper and uses the L.A. locale to great effect. Or maybe it's the acting, which is terrific. Even the lower-billed actors create an indelible impression (like a pre-Law and Order Richard Brooks). But there's other layers to this film that I think are overlooked - this is a really satirical film. The alien is obsessed with loud music, fast cars, and in the end, power. All very human qualities, I think. And then there's the emotional undercurrent of the story. This is a film that doesn't rely just on action but on the sadness of Kyle McLachlan's character, especially when it is contrasted with the happiness of Nouri's home life. That aside, this is also a kick-ass action film. This flick should be examined by those who want to know how to create an exciting story with minimal expostion. It starts out with that tremendously horrifying bank robbery, followed by a car chase that gets more violent as it goes on. And there's a number of bloody shootouts, each one more relentless than the previous. The final one in particular is scary because you just know the guy is not going to be stopped no matter what. And there's a real sense of terror as certain characters become hosts for the alien. And I don't think I've seen a film that better captures Hollywood's sleazy non-film industry underbelly."
A past favorite confirmed!
Arwyn | Greece | 06/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I had seen this movie about 15 years ago as a teenager and it had left a special impression on me. I confess that I was not and am not much of a fan of bloody, shoot-and-kill movies, so I don't remember why I, a young girl, had rented "The Hidden" back then (probably because I liked Kyle MacLachlan at the time, teenage thing), but I was not disappointed. And now, seeing that I could get it on dvd, I risked ordering it, knowing that my memory could be playing tricks on me and my taste may have changed since then. End verdict: I love it even more!
How can I describe this movie without spoiling it for anyone?... I'd say watch it without knowing much of the plot. Just the basics, that it's a cop thriller with a sci-fi twist. It's fast paced, well scripted and, most of all, very well acted. MacLachlan is particularly good as the mysterious, sorrowful Lloyd Gallagher. The special features are a few but okay, with the Director's Commentary a real flood of behind-the-scenes information and plot explainations (it even explains the called-by-some strange connection between Lloyd and Beck's little girl).
A few warnings: The film is rated R for a reason, it shoots up a lot of people and it's not at all shy at showing exactly how a bullet hits and creates a bloody mess. It also has some bad language that childern should better not hear. It's not a big budget movie, it doesn't have the super duper special effects, but it makes the best of what it has with realism and style.
May I add a correction to the DVD description? Unfortunately, from the Special Features, the
"Scenes from the original screenplay, including the original ending // Photos, production sketches, storyboards" that Amazon lists are NOT included in this version, or at least in the dvd I got from Amazon.com this past week. I admit that I'm a little disappointed by that, but luckily the Director's Commentary sheds enough light on the original versus final script.
Bottom line: As a fellow reviewer put it, "The Hidden" is indeed a hidden little gem. It has guns, expensive cars and shoot-outs, it has aliens and cops, but it also has performances, nice dialogs, humor and, believe it, emotion. I think that every movie fan, male or female, that can judge a good cult movie when they see it, will smile when the end credits fall."
Even if you don't like horror...
Arwyn | 03/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Hidden" is usually placed in the horror section of the videostore, which is a genre I don't usually watch. The only reason I picked this one up is because Siskel and Ebert said it was one of their secret pleasures. This movie is so much more than a horror film! It's witty and funny, satirical as well as full of pathos. Even though I've got this film in widescreen VHS, I'm going to get the DVD version because of the commentary track; I really want to know why the filmmakers made certain choices and what they think of them now that the film's several years old."