This Distracted Globe random header image

The Hidden (1987)

April 13th, 2007 · 2 Comments

The Hidden poster 1.jpg

After robbing a bank in Hollywood, a stockbroker climbs into a Ferrari and leads police on a high-speed chase, plowing over pedestrians in MacArthur Park. Detective Tom Beck (Michael Nouri) and his partners (Ed O’Ross, Richard Brooks) have been pursuing the stockbroker and help bring his crime spree to a halt. Shot up and burned, their man somehow survives.

With the case seemingly closed, FBI agent Lloyd Gallagher (Kyle MacLachlan) shows up looking for the stockbroker. He rushes to the hospital, but by the time he gets there, the stockbroker has unleashed a giant slug from his body into the mouth of a triple bypass patient, who gets up and disappears.

Gallagher stresses to Detective Beck the urgency in finding the triple bypass patient. Beck notices the FBI agent seems unusually devoted here. Gallagher states that the suspect killed his partner. After the patient leaves a trail of bodies at a record store and a Ferrari dealership, Beck and Gallagher are on his trail.

The Hidden pic 1.jpg

Beck takes the quirky FBI agent home for dinner with his family, where Gallagher reveals that his wife and daughter were killed by man they’re chasing. Police trace him to a strip club. By the time Beck and the hung over Gallagher get there, their suspect appears to have assumed the identity of a stripper (Claudia Christian from Babylon 5), who leaves a spectacular trail of destruction in her wake.

Beck demands an explanation. “Explanation won’t help you,” Gallagher responds. Beck has him arrested. In addition to confiscating a weird object from the FBI agent, it’s discovered that Lloyd Gallagher was killed a month ago in a forest fire.

“Gallagher” reveals that the suspect they’re chasing isn’t human, that the only time he can kill it is when it’s moving between bodies, with the weird object he brought with him. Now that it knows he’s here, they won’t have to look for it anymore. It’ll come after him.

The Hidden pic 2.jpg

Directed by Jack Sholder, written by Jim Kouf, produced by Robert Shaye and New Line Cinema – then a mini-studio behind three profitable Freddy Krueger pictures – The Hidden would fit nicely on the bottom half of a bill with The Thing or The Terminator. It’s not a masterpiece, but is a fast paced and exciting variation on similar themes, and one of the great B-movies of the ’80s.

The picture is good because it’s full-tilt from the get-go. The opening car chase is reckless, violent and executed with impressive precision. The body count is high, the bullet count way higher, and despite a limited budget, everything on screen looks good. MacLachlan is great as the stranger in a strange land and Nouri isn’t bad playing straight man. The various host organisms they chase are also well cast.

This setup would be mimicked in Fallen and The Faculty, but Jim Kouf’s script features not a dull moment, and displays enough vivid carnage to stand above its imitators. At the time, Kouf had his name removed from the credits, employing the pseudonym “Bob Hunt” after he got a look at the alien slug and was afraid the movie would sink his career. It ended up being one of the only well-reviewed films in his career.

The Hidden pic 3.jpg

Tags: Cult favorite · Drunk scene · Interrogation · Murder mystery · Paranoia · Psycho killer · Shootout

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Becca // Apr 14, 2007 at 6:49 am

    I’ve never been a huge fan of this movie but Claudia Christian was GREAT! in it.

  • 2 Piper // Apr 24, 2007 at 8:53 am

    Classic, classic movie.

    Completely forgot about it.

    Thanks for jogging the head a bit.

    It’s a funny story about Jim Kouf.

    The Puppet Masters did kind of the same thing with Donald Sutherland.

Leave a Comment