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The Hidden (1987) - Blu-ray Review

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The Hidden (1987) - Blu-ray Review

5 beersI’m not sure there is a more timely release date for The Hidden than right now.  This forgotten and largely ignored tale of cops and aliens is a fun festival of all our recent greatest hits.  A creepy crawly alien taking over the mind of a wannabe president?  Wowser.  I am all ears … and antennas!  Combining everything that made the buddy cop picture of the 1980s work, The Hidden transcends that genre with its wild incorporation of some pretty quirky science fiction elements, including an alien who likes big guns, fast cars, fondling itself, and some old school heavy metal.

And most of that is in the opening scene! 

Truthfully, The Hidden begins with a pretty shocking scene inside a bank as a man guns down a line of customers.  The bank robber, Jack DeVries (Chris Mulkey), empties a Wells Fargo Bank of its money AND its security guards and then, because DeVries seems aware of everything, smiles at the security camera.  He then, seemingly without a care in the world, gets in his car and speeds away, leading the Los Angeles police department on a high speed chase straight into east LA and it all ends in a fiery explosion but not before DeVries, riddled with bullets, is able to step out of the wrecked car and smile at the cops.  And then he goes BOOM!    

Released almost exactly 30 years ago, The Hidden remains a BLAST as this epic hunt for an alien invader arrives, fully engaged, with an impressive 1080p debut, courtesy of this awesome 2K restoration from the Warner Archive Collection.  The film stars Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks), who plays an FBI Special Agent from Seattle, Washington…

…hmm….BUT HE'S AN ALIEN!  Whew.

Michael Nouri (Flashdance) portrays his assigned partner, a grizzled Los Angeles detective, who just wants to go home to his wife and kids.  Quit breaking the law, asshole crooks!  The two men, at first unsure of each other, learn how to work together in order to apprehend a series of suspects – including a car salesman, a stripper, a presidential candidate – who are all being controlled by the same alien organism. 

This slug-looking, splintery-legged alien travels from host to host via a person’s mouth.  What it sees is exactly what it gets.  From Lamborghinis to rock music (especially Concrete Blonde), this alien dips its toes in the complete American experience.  This, of course, includes the taking of life.  Guns!  Women!  Beer!  All we are missing from this list is a bit of Jesus.  But there’s no soul salvation here.  Nah, this alien is hell-bound and hellbent and, running over the handicapped and the elderly with his fast-moving vehicle, there’s simply no one on earth that can stop him.

And that is where MacLachlan comes into play.  Obviously, FBI Special Agent Lloyd Gallagher (MacLachlan) has to bring his human counterpart up to speed.  And, in a way only MacLachlan can (with odd phrasing and humor), Gallagher tells his LA all about his past history pursuing this alien and what it is going to take (meaning a BIG weapon) to actually rid the earth of this foul presence.  And Los Angeles is the perfect hiding place for such vermin. 

Written by Bob Hunt and directed by Jack Sholder (A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2), the film features outstanding character support from the talents of Clu Gulager, Chris Mulkey, Ed O'Ross, Clarence Felder, Claudia Christian and Larry Cedar.  It is violent, yes, as it is a product from the 1980s but it is also, thanks to MacLachlan, quite fun.  His spin on what it means to be alien means long pauses, a funny drunk scene, and a beginning look at what would eventually be his take on the Dougie character from Twin Peaks: The Return

From beginning to end, this b-movie works to create an atmosphere that is fun, fast-moving, and thrilling.  We even get a satisfactory ending to the carnage for a change.  It is truly sad that a lot of people don't know about this flick.  

Space Invaders gets real with the violent shenanigans of 1987’s The Hidden.  Scoop up your copy now! 

P.S.  Hollywood, don’t remake this.  Please.

The Hidden (1987) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
98 mins
Director
: Jack Sholder
Writer:
Jim Kouf
Cast:
Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Nouri, Claudia Christian
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
It's only human on the outside...
Memorable Movie Quote: "Yo, hippy, what kind of dude are you?"
Theatrical Distributor:
New Line Cinema
Official Site:
Release Date:
October 30, 1987
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 3, 2017
Synopsis: An alien parasite with the ability to possess human bodies goes on a violent crime spree in L.A. A human cop, detective Tom Beck, and an alien cop posing as a young FBI agent Lloyd Gallagher both pursue the parasite who frequently changes his human hosts.

The Hidden (1987) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Warner Bros.
Available on Blu-ray
- October 3, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Thanks to the fine work Warner's Motion Picturing Imaging, the new 2K scan for this release, presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, crackles with its vivid LA locations.  Warner Archive Collection has done fans of the little-known cosmic caper a solid with their handling of the film’s 1080p debut.  Colors are bold.  Black levels are intense and shadows are thick with edges that keep their shapes together.  This is a sun-drenched shoot and it works under a modern day scrutiny.  Sure, it is a low budgeted release – originally from New Line – but so much of the gamey-looking effects are forgivable when you consider just how effective the movie is as a whole.  The disc’s default settings are for the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 to play when you initially watch the disc.  However, the original DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 has also been included.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  •  The commentary is provided by director Jack Sholder and Tim Hunter.  It has been ported over from the DVD release.

Special Features:

Included with the release is a short in which Jack Sholder discusses the film’s effects and a trailer. 

  • Special Effects Production Footage Narrated by Jack Sholder (8 min)
  • Theatrical Trailer

The Hidden (1987) - Blu-ray Review

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