Mysterious FBI agent Lloyd Gallagher is on the hunt for an equally mysterious criminal, one that turns over-weight men, strippers that never take their clothes off, and small animals into sociopathic killers.
The Hidden is your typical, low-budget sci-fi action film that was produced with the VHS rental market in mind. It’s basically about an alien worm-thing that enters people through the mouth and makes them do bad things. I never really got a feel for the alien’s character. It isn’t out to rule or destroy the world, or even to get home, it just wants to screw around.
We see the alien rob a bank, go to a strip club, smash up a record store to steal a Sansui boom-box and some generic rock cassette tapes. Did he really come all the way to Earth just for that?
Kyle MacLachlan, who was in Twin Peaks and Desperate Housewives, plays the mysterious FBI agent who is trying to find the alien. Actually, F- it, he’s an alien, too. It’s not much of a spoiler, as it’s quite obvious from early on. He’s a detached, unemotional kind of alien; kind of like Spock, but not as smart. For the most part, MacLachlan plays the character with just enough uncanniness to makes us believe that he could fit in with humans, while still standing out. The one exception is when he is invited home for dinner by the human cop assigned to work with him. What follows is a very creepy scene with MacLachlan talking about the cops daughter and how special she is.
The cop is Tom Beck, played by Michael Nouri, who also worked in television, most prolifically All My Children. He’s just a generic, action-movie cop; the ‘best man on the force.’ He’s suspicious of the mysterious FBI agent, but follows the evidence where it leads. I don’t remember much else about him.
One of the people the alien infects is a stripper named Brenda Lee Van Buren, who is played by Claudia Christian (Susan Ivanova of Babylon 5). I think she only has two lines in the entire movie, and despite being a stripper, she doesn’t show much (sorry if I got your hopes up); Even still, it’s a nice science fiction crossover.
There’s really not much else to say. The alien jumps from body to body, there’s a lot of shooting back and forth, and some stuff blows up. There’s a lot of violence, but it isn’t horribly graphic, and the alien effects and make-up are rudimentary, and not all-together effective.
If your expectations are suitably lowered, The Hidden is worth watching, but not going out of your way for.
This double feature DVD (which includes The Hidden 2) features anamorphic widescreen video, which looks good, barring in mind that the movie didn’t look all that great to begin with.