Movies from the Black Lagoon

THE HIDDEN - 1987, Rated R

By Tom Doty - For The Floyd County Times

A tough L.A. detective must team up with an oddball FBI agent when law abiding citizens go on violent rampages in this excellent Science Fiction/Action flick from the awesome 80s.

This one starts off with a bang as the credits roll over the footage from a Bank security camera. Pretty soon a guy steps into frame and begins blasting security guards with a shotgun. Next he exits the bank and pops in a Heavy metal tape before taking off in his super conspicuous Ferrari. He is ridiculously easy to spot and the chase is on.

The bad guy(Jack Devries) leads officers on an exciting chase that takes them through a city park and various downtown locales until a road block stops this pursuit cold. Devries just plows through it but takes enough lead to fill all of Bejing’s pencils. Detective Tom Beck ,who had been searching for Devries, shows up in time to grab a firearm and join in . They pump bonus rounds into Devries as he emerges from the vehicle and finally goes down.

Beck is later assigned to help an FBI agent (Lloyd Gallagher )on a new case. Turns out Gallagher is looking for Devries so Beck simply directs him to the county hospital where no amount of life support is going to keep Devries alive much longer. However nothing is simple here.

By the time Gallagher arrives we have already witnessed Devries stumble out of bed and approach his roommate. This guy is in bad shape too. His name’s Jonathan Miller and he’s suffered a major coronary after ignoring the symptoms of heart disease for way too long. Now he has a new problem as Devries bends over him and regurgitates an enormous slug like creature out of his mouth which promptly slithers down Miller’s throat.

Gallagher arrives after the fact but takes all this in and immediately rounds up Beck. He informs him that they must now search for Miller whom he says was Devries’ partner.

Meanwhile Miller heads out on the town and immediately begins acting just like Devries. He kills an underpaid music store clerk for a boom box and some Metal tapes . Next it is off to a diner where he juices up the tunes and proceeds to chow down with all of the decorum of a tiger shark. Unfortunately this body is in bad shape so Miller procures a new sports car(illegally of course) and heads to a strip club to plan his next move.

Beck and Gallagher eventually bond but it is rough going. Gallagher isn’t very forthcoming about what they are dealing with and he has some oddball habits of his own. He is blatantly naive about procedure, gets drunk on only one beer, and wouldn’t know Alka Seltzer from peanut butter.

The pair develop a rhythm eventually and head out after their prey but this space slug is already in a new body. It will jump to several others while Gallagher tries to convince Beck that their prey is inhuman. Sadly this only makes him look so nuts that Beck opts to arrest him. Will he come to his senses before it is too late?

Dig up this 80’s treasure and find out because it is totally worth it. The film has some excellent shootouts thanks to the fine direction of Jack Sholder(Alone In the Dark). This guy knows how to stage an action sequence but he is equally at home directing the gross out stuff(he also made the first “Nightmare on Elm Street” sequel).

The cast is letter perfect with Michael Nouri in 80’s action mode as Beck. The quirky Agent is well rendered by Kyle Machlachlin who would go on to perfect the odd F.B.I. guy in ‘Twin Peaks.” Claudia Christian (Babylon 5)has a small but notable role as a stripper who becomes a temporary home for the evil critter. Great stuff .

Best Line: “He killed 12 people, wounded 23 more, stole six cars, most of them Ferraris. Six of the ones he killed he carved up with a butcher knife. Two of them were kids. He did all of that in two weeks. If anyone deserves to go that way it sure as hell was him.”

THE HIDDEN – 1987, Rated R

By Tom Doty

For The Floyd County Times

Tom Doty is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.

Tom Doty is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.

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