10/6/10

Hide and Go Shriek (1988) Ready Or Not, Here I Kill!

When it comes to ‘80’s slashers, there’s nothing I like better than the non-franchised one offs that spewed forth in hopes of getting some of that Freddy and Jason money. In the past week I’ve talked about three very different ‘Me Decade’ slashers in Trick or Treat, The Horror Show, and Maniac. Today I’m turning my attention to another one of these one shot wonders, and this one has to have one of the best names in movie history, Hide and Go Shriek. While the movie poster might bring to mind a scene from Liam Neeson’s Taken, the film itself is pure eighties nostalgia. From the girls puffy hairdo to the nerdy kid outfitted in an Opus t-shirt and jams, this flick took me right back to those years of bad fashion choices. It also took me back to those last few years of the eighties when horror films could just be fun.

After graduating high school, a group of eight teens decide to have an all night blow out in John’s father’s closed furniture store. They plan to be up all night drinking, eating chicken, and having plenty of sex, but when they discover that they’re not alone in the store, panic sets in on the group. They soon find themselves menaced by an unseen killer, but is it the creepy ex-con who lives in the basement, one of their group, or someone completely unrelated whose story will have to be filled in at the last moment? (Spoiler alert, it’s the final choice there.) If they can hide through the night, they can look forward to all the opportunities of a post-high school world, but with a crazy killer seeking them out, they may never make it.

Though Hide and Go Shriek will never be counted among the classic slashers of the ‘80’s it does deserve to be remembered. Especially for such a late entry into the genre, the film feels very influenced by giallo style with the set design and plot both featuring a nod to the Italian thrillers. Numerous scenes are awash with shadows lit by green and red gelled lights bringing to mind Mario Bava’s stunning work in Blood and Black Lace, and the film’s ultimate reveal smacks of the same sort of perverse sexuality so popular in gialli. Hide and Go Shriek also does a really fine job of misdirection, and my suspicions went from one place to another until the final, albeit nonsensical, reveal. I suppose that is not really fair. The ending does makes sense, but it comes out of nowhere. Even so, it leaves the film with a satisfying conclusion that pays off the whole picture. Unfortunately, it happens so very late in the film that I can’t discuss the details or the character who ultimately is the killer. That in and of itself is a real shame, and if anyone has seen this film, then they know why.

Hide and Go Shriek was the first and only film directing from former Halloween II and Megaforce editor Skip Schoolnik. (He would go on to direct episodes of K-Ville and Angel) It’s a real shame that he didn’t get a chance to direct more cinema. While the film suffers in part from having a pitch dark locale as the setting, Schoolnik and Evil Dead 2 cinematographer Eugene D. Shlugleit did a really good job exploiting the shadows and rarely losing any of the action to them. I would love to see this title get a home on DVD where a brighter, more defined print could really clear up the film’s small technical foibles. Where it did really suffer was the acting department, while most of the kids are serviceable none really impress. They were just your typical group of ’80’s movie teens, the jock, the slut, the nerd, the class clown, and so forth. Only future Karate Kid 3 and Bold and the Beautiful star Sean Kanan and Ria Pavia (Candyman, Dream a Little Dream) had any kind of career to speak of after this film.

Hide and Go Shriek is a great slasher to check out f you have a chance. I’ve been looking around and I can’t even find a low end DVD anywhere. While it won’t make you forget films like The Burning or The Prowler, it will satisfy any slasher fans who love good old cheesy VHS goodies. If you can’t get enough of me talking about out of print horror from the VHS era, make sure you check out The Gentlemen’s Blog to Midnite Cinema and the 412ft Review. Every week I’ll be featuring obscure films that didn’t survive to the digital era, and for the next month, just like here at the Lair, it’s going to be all horror all the time. So check that out, and come on back here tomorrow as we roll one day closer to the Halloween Top 13 (Don’t forget to get those entries in!)


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I couldn't find a trailer out there for the flick, but I did find this compilation of the all the deaths from the film. Obviously it's pretty spoiler-iffic, but if you don't care about that kind of thing or just want to see some movie deaths, here it is....

1 comment:

  1. I have this movie on VHS somewhere! I need to dig it out!

    ReplyDelete

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