The Hidden (film)

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The Hidden
Hiddenposter1987.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jack Sholder
Produced by Stephen Diener
Dennis Harris
Jeffrey Klein
Lee Muhl
Michael L. Meltzer
Gerald T. Olson
Robert Shaye
Written by Bob Hunt (pen name of Jim Kouf)
Starring Michael Nouri
Kyle MacLachlan
Music by Michael Convertino
Cinematography Jacques Haitkin
Edited by Michael N. Knue
Maureen O’Connell
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release dates October 20, 1987 (1987-10-20)
Running time 96 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $5 million
Box office $9,747,988

The Hidden is an American science fiction film produced and released in 1987 by New Line Cinema. The film was written by Bob Hunt (pen name of writer/producer/director Jim Kouf) and directed by Jack Sholder. The cast featured Kyle MacLachlan and Michael Nouri with supporting roles by Clu Gulager, Chris Mulkey, Ed O'Ross, Clarence Felder, Claudia Christian and Larry Cedar.

This film received a MPAA rating of R, and was filmed in color with mono sound. The DVD version was remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. At the time it was released it was an independent film and had been produced for less than US$5 million. A sequel, The Hidden II, directed by Seth Pinsker was released in 1993.

In the documentary Behind the Curtain Part II, Jack Sholder, director of The Hidden, had this to say about the film:

Most people who know my work would say that The Hidden was my best film. And I would tend to agree with them... When I watch The Hidden, I feel like I've pretty much gotten it right.

Plot[edit]

Jack DeVries (Chris Mulkey), a quiet citizen with no criminal past, robs a Los Angeles Wells Fargo bank, kills all of the security guards inside, and leads the Los Angeles Police Department on a high-speed chase. The chase ends when DeVries encounters a police blockade overseen by LAPD detective Thomas Beck (Michael Nouri). DeVries is shot several times, smashes through the blockade and crashes the Ferrari he is driving. DeVries is taken to a hospital, where a doctor informs Beck and his partner, Det. Cliff Willis (Ed O'Ross) that DeVries is not expected to survive the night.

Upon his return to LAPD headquarters, Beck and his supervisor, Lt. John Masterson (Clarence Felder), meet FBI Special Agent Lloyd Gallagher (Kyle MacLachlan), who informs them that Beck has been assigned to work with Gallagher to track down DeVries. When told of DeVries's condition, Gallagher rushes off to the hospital.

Meanwhile, at the hospital, DeVries suddenly awakens. Disconnecting his life-support equipment, he approaches the comatose man in the next bed, Jonathan P. Miller (William Boyett). After DeVries forces Miller's mouth open, a slug-like alien emerges from DeVries' mouth and transfers itself into Miller's body. Gallagher arrives to find DeVries dead on the floor and Miller's bed abandoned. Gallagher tells Beck to put out an alert on Miller, who refuses, because of Miller's lack of a criminal history.

Miller goes to a record store where he beats the store's owner to death. He then goes to a car dealership, where he kills three men and steals a red Ferrari. He then visits a strip club, where the alien leaves Miller's body and takes over the body of a stripper named Brenda (Claudia Christian). She kills a man and takes his car. Gallagher and Beck pursue her to a rooftop, where they mortally wound her in a gun battle. As Brenda dies, Gallagher points a strangely-shaped, alien weapon at her; however, she leaps from the roof. As Masterson arrives from his house to take charge of the scene, the alien transfers itself from Brenda's dying body to Masterson's dog.

Frustrated by Gallagher's continuing refusal to explain the strange phenomenon of ordinary citizens turning into crazed killers, Beck arrests him and puts him in a jail cell. Beck soon learns that "Gallagher" is an imposter, impersonating the real agent Gallagher, who is dead. When Beck confronts "Gallagher" with this information, "Gallagher" tells him that he ("Gallagher") is an extra-terrestrial lawman and that they are in fact pursuing an alien thrill killer who has the ability to take over human bodies. Beck dismisses the story as insane and leaves "Gallager" incarcerated in a jail cell at the police station.

Back at Masterson's house, the alien leaves the dog's body and takes over the lieutenant's body. In the morning Masterson goes to the police station and seizes a number of weapons, sparking a shootout between himself and the station's police officers as he attempts to track down "Gallagher". Convinced of "Gallagher"'s story by Masterson's behavior, Beck releases him from his cell, and the two confront Masterson. During the resulting shootout, Masterson confirms that "Gallagher" is an alien law enforcer named Alhague who has been pursuing the alien ever since it murdered his family and his partner on another planet. Though Beck manages to stop Masterson, Alhague/Gallagher reveals that his weapon can only kill the alien when it is between bodies, thus requiring him to be present when it is transferring hosts. They are unable to stop the alien from abandoning Masterson's body for that of Beck's partner Willis, who then escapes the station.

Using Willis' credentials, the alien tries to gain access to Senator Holt, a likely presidential candidate, at the hotel where the senator is staying. Alhague/Gallagher and Beck follow Willis, and a shootout ensues between Beck and Willis, during which Beck is severely wounded. As Willis, the alien corners Senator Holt and enters his body before Alhague/Gallagher can stop him. "Holt" then calls a press conference and announces his candidacy for the presidency. Alhague/Gallagher is forced to attack Holt in the middle of the press conference; though shot several times by the police and the senator's bodyguards, Alhague/Gallagher is able to get close enough to use a flamethrower on Holt. As the alien emerges from Holt's charred body, Alhague/Gallagher kills it with his weapon before himself collapsing.

Taken to the hospital where Beck is being treated, Alhague/Gallagher discovers that Beck is close to death. Witnessing the emotional suffering of Beck's wife and daughter, Alhague/Gallagher transfers his form from Gallagher to Beck as Beck dies. When she sees her miraculously "recovered" father, Beck's daughter initially hesitates when he reaches out to her, but then smiles and takes his hand.

Cast[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

Composed and performed by Michael Convertino.

Release[edit]

The film was released theatrically in the United States by New Line Cinema in October 1987. It turned out to be a modest hit for the company, grossing $9,747,988 at the box office.[1]

The film was released on VHS and laserdisc by Media Home Entertainment in 1988. In August 1997, New Line Home Video re-released the film on VHS.

In 2000, New Line Home Entertainment released the film on special edition DVD. The film was re-released in a set including the sequel The Hidden II in 2005.

Awards[edit]

  • Jack Sholder won the Grand Prize at the Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival in 1988.
  • Jack Sholder won Best Director at Fantasporto in 1988. It was also nominated for Best Film at that festival.
  • Michael Nouri won Best Actor at the Catalonian International Film Festival in 1987. Jack Sholder took Prize of the International Critics’ Jury at the same festival.
  • At the 1988 Saturn Awards, Michael Nouri was nominated for Best Actor, Jack Sholder was nominated for Best Director, Jim Kouf was nominated for best writing, and The Hidden was nominated for Best Science Fiction Film.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Hidden". boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 2011-03-29. 

External links[edit]