Friday, August 10, 2012


(October 1987, U.S.)

As science fiction films of the 1980s go, THE HIDDEN may have been New Line Cinema's answer to John Carpenter's THE THING (1982) and THE TERMINATOR (1984) in which a creature "not quite of this Earth" is seemingly indestructable while inhabiting human bodies to survive. Now, take that and combine it with some violent, buddy-cop elements that had already been seen in LETHAL WEAPON (1987). Add it all up, throw in the guys from FLASHDANCE (1983) and BLUE VELVET (1986) and you've got THE HIDDEN. However, despite the apparent recycling of many 1980s film ingredients, THE HIDDEN remains one of the most thrilling and fun science fiction films in my collection.

Our alien from another planet in question appears to be on Earth for no other good reason than he despises his own planet and wants to conquer ours. He's a colorful type, though, who while inhabiting the bodies of ordinary, law-biding citizens, seems to have a genuine taste for the finer things in life that include good food, hard rock music, half naked women and super fast Ferraris. What's not to love about the little stinker, right?

On the side of Earthly law and justice, we have Sgt. Thomas Beck (played Michael Nouri) and FBI agent Lloyd Gallagher (played by Kyle MacLachlan) in hot pursuit of the alien all over the city of Los Angeles. Beck is dumbfounded as to why seemingly good, law-biding citizens are suddenly turning into violent, murderous monsters. Gallagher seems to be one step ahead of the alien and it's not too difficult to figure out early on in the film that he's really an alien (a good one) himself in human disguise. Because any guy who doesn't enjoy a good bottle of beer and doesn't know how to consume an Alkaseltzer tablet in water is definitely not from this planet! The alien, meanwhile, appears to have a final agenda in mind as he jumps from body to body and that's to untimately inhabit the body of a United States presidential hopeful. Not a bad plan to take over our planet, I suppose. In the end, of course, as sci-fi cliche would have it, the alien is destroyed and the good guys prevail. Well, one of them does anyway. In a final act of friendship and selflessness, the good FBI alien that Gallagher is, gives his own life to save Beck's. Good for him!

Favorite line or dialogue:

Tom Beck: "You know what bothers me about these two guys DeVries and Miller?"
Lloyd Gallagher: "Neither has a criminal record. They both lead normal lives until a few days ago, and now they're killing people."

1 comment:

  1. I love this movie. It has a simple familiar premise, straightforward action, and some really great lines. I need to create a list of great science fiction films from the 1980's that did not rely on spending most of their budgets on special effects. This and "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai", will probably be at the top.

    Favorite line "I like your car".