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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Hidden

This movie lives in the netherworld between hokey and brilliant. You know what? I wouldn't have it any other way. I like this movie because it never manages to take itself seriously but does so in a very serious manner. That sentence probably comes off as highly contradictory to you right about now but frankly I don't really know how else to nail down the shenanigans present. I believe the correct term would be "black comedy". Let's just go with that, because I can't think of anything more appropriate than that, even though it doesn't quite hit the mark.

Watch the trailer:

Even the trailer you just saw doesn't begin to touch on what's what. I will try my best to tell you what it's all about: An extra terrestrial is taking over the bodies of otherwise law abiding citizens, turning them into dangerous criminals with an extreme taste for (to quote the back of the box) red Ferrari's, heavy metal music, and unspeakable violence. Only a mysterious FBI agent and an LA police detective stand in its way. If I try to tell you more than this, you won't believe me any more than you do already. There's really nothing you can do but take the premise I gave you and just go watch it.

This is Kyle Maclachlan's third movie believe it or not, and his character- FBI Agent Llyod Gallagher- is eerily similar to the one for which he would become synonymous- FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper of Twin Peaks fame. Twin Peaks premiered only a few years later and the comparison is completely unavoidable. The deadpan humor he delivers in both roles is off the chart. Even their names have that super bland ├╝ber official FBIish thing going on. The only real differences are that one wears a grey suit and is a fucking alien. His unwilling partner in this whole thing, Detective Tom Beck,  played by Michael Nouri (who you may or may not recognize as the foreman/boyfriend in Flashdance of all things) is constantly agitated either because of Gallagher's unwillingness to tell him what's going on or because he has hockey hair. I'm really not sure which. These two play off each other so perfectly you'd swear they were joined at the hip.

The mixture of science fiction, horror, and humor is really hard to pull off properly. We all know this, we've all seen the times it didn't work. I think most of the time the humor is completely unintentional and is caused by shortcomings in plot/cast/special effects (like for instance, I dunno- The Lawnmower Man maybe?) than it is to do will skillful film making. What's there not to like about this movie? It has aliens, funny bits, car chases, explosions, I mean come on do I have to spell it out? The only unfortunate thing about this movie is how little notoriety it has. The Hidden deserves some major street cred. What other movie have you seen where a fifty year old man gets his body stolen by an alien which then proceeds to steal metal tapes and a ghetto blaster from a record store, then a Ferrari, then goes to a strip club?

Aliens like sleaze and nudie cuties too...



As I am a tremendous schmuck and video interfaces for macs are expensive, I can't show you any clips to illustrate any of this because there are none on youtube unless you happen to speak Czech (as they all seem to be dubbed in said language). As I have yet to receive any views from the Czech Republic I will spare the rest of you any undue confusion due to language barriers. I apologize for the inconvenience and if anybody wants to remedy it point me to a reasonably priced interface so I can plug my VCR into my mac and get you what I know you so very badly want. The options are staggering and I don't know what to choose. Help a brother out here.

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