Combustible Celluloid
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With: Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Nouri, Claudia Christian, Clarence Felder, Clu Gulager, Ed O'Ross, William Boyett, Richard Brooks, Larry Cedar, Katherine Cannon, John McCann, Chris Mulkey, Lin Shaye, James Luisi, Frank Renzulli
Written by: Jim Kouf
Directed by: Jack Sholder
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 96
Date: 10/20/1987

The Hidden (1987)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Hide and Freak

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This 1980s sci-fi action film was one of those pleasant surprises thatturned out far more intelligent and exciting than it looked, and itholds up well nearly 20 years later. Michael Nouri plays Tom Beck, anL.A. cop on the trail of a brutal murderer with no previous record. Whenthe suspect turns up dead, Tom thinks the case is closed -- until an FBIman (Kyle MacLachlan) suddenly turns up with a new suspect. Withoutgiving too much away, it turns out that the killer is really an alienthat can occupy any earthly body it wants. Writer Jim Kouf (Rush Hour,National Treasure) and director Jack Sholder exploit this plot in everyconceivable way, constantly bringing new surprises and twists to thetable. Nouri and MacLachlan form a pleasant bond that helps humanize anotherwise gimmicky story. The great pock-marked character actor DannyTrejo (From Dusk Till Dawn) appears in an early role as a prisoner.

DVD Details: New Line re-released this film in 2005 on a double-feature disc with the worthless and forgettable sequel The Hidden II (1994), which actually recycles about 20 minutes of footage from the original. Extras include a commentary track by Sholder and director Tim Hunter (River's Edge) on the first film, plus a special effects featurette.

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