When an average citizen goes on a murderous crime
spree, a Los Angeles detective joins up with an odd F.B.I. man
to pursue him. At the hospital, a weird slug creature goes from
the injured criminal's mouth into that of a dead man, who comes
to life and splits the hospital.
The revived dead man kills a guy, steals a Ferrari, and pigs out
at a restaurant. He ends up changing bodies numerous times, continuing
his crime spree. The F.B.I. agent reveals that he's really a good
The F.B.I. agent kills the slug/alien as it's swapping bodies.
Later, he sacrifices his life to save the dying cop.
THE HIDDEN, Directed by Jack Sholder, is a well made Sci-Fi action/crime
The film opens with black and white security camera footage at
a bank. The Music, by Michael Convertino, is intense yet dreamy.
Soon, armed guards approach with money bags. A guy in an overcoat
pulls out a shotgun and shoots them, grabbing their money bags
Outside, and in color, the robber kills a cop who pursues him,
then escapes in a black sportscar, loud rock music blaring. After
leading the cops on a merry chase, the thief encounters a police
roadblock and is shot. Later, badly injured, he's taken to the
Michael Nouri (Love & War) is the L.A. cop assigned to the
case. When his police boss, Clu Gulager (Return of the Living
Dead), informs him that F.B.I agent Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks)
will be working with him on the case, Nouri is bummed.
Meanwhile, at the hospital, the badly injured bank robber grabs
a roommate who's just gone flat line and sends a large, black,
slug-like thing mouth to mouth into the dead guy. The FX, here,
by Special Effects coordinator Gregory C. Landerer, are gross
but great. Soon, the recently dead guy exits the hospital and
goes on a crime spree.
Like in all good buddy cop films, the initial friction between
Nouri and MacLachlan is considerable. The emotional, swarthy Nouri
and the cooled out, pale MacLachlan, giving a performance similar
to a Zombie Ricky Nelson, are a great oil and water match that's
fun to watch.
The Screenplay, by Bob Hunt, has some good lines. After explaining
to Nouri that a body hopping alien is behind the crime/murder
spree, MacLachlan remarks, "I guess a career in the police
didn't really prepare you for this, did it?"
A scene where MacLachlan has dinner at Nouri's house with his
family is my favorite. MacLachlan, who is actually a good guy
alien, comes off particularly strange as Nouri's wife tries to
engage him in dinner table chat. The fact that a quiet scene like
this does not disrupt the films great forward momentum has a lot
to do with Hunt's tight script, as well as Sholder's masterful
The Photography, by Jacques Haitkin, is rich, well lit, and polished.
More care seems to have been taken with lighting and camera set
ups than in most modestly budgeted pictures.
The Special Visual Effects, mainly center around a silver ray
gun MacLachlan uses a few times. Credited to Dream Quest Images,
they're okay, although a key FX scene, late in the film, is a
bit disappointing. More money might have helped.
If you like fast paced Sci-Fi, with characters you can care about,
THE HIDDEN is for you. If you don't like violence, loud rock music,
or occasionally gross FX, THE HIDDEN should remain so.
If you enjoyed THE HIDDEN, your best bets are: DUNE and I COME IN PEACE.