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Film Review: Hide and Go Shriek (1988)

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SYNOPSIS:

Eight teenagers, after having just graduated from high school, throw an all-night party in a furniture store. They’re not the only ones spending the night in the store, though. A mysterious killer lurks among them … and hunts them down.

REVIEW:

HIDE AND GO SHRIEK is a slasher movie made after the Jason flicks started going straight to video. By ’87, seemingly every garden tool, face mask, and bad situation to shower in had been employed. So HIDE AND GO SHRIEK is far from unprecedented or original (granted, a homosexual prison relationship gone sour isn’t something you see every day … especially as the basis for a slasher movie villain). But HIDE AND GO SHRIEK is still formulaic to the maximum. Yeah, yeah, the killer doesn’t wear a mask, have a signature household impaling device; there’s no single survivor girl who refuses pot and still has her V-card. But A+B+C+D still = high body count, gratuitous nudity, and “twist” ending. Not to mention a lot of inane teenage dialogue. “Buzz off.” “You’re stupid, jerkface.” And didn’t anyone ever tell these kids, caught in the act = killed in the act? Geez.

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Eight friends–excuse me–“eight fabulous friends who have the whole night to paaaaarrtay”–pile in the Dodge Caravan. It’s off to a furniture store owned by one of their fathers.

This kid’s dad is a bit naive. He’s hired an ex-con with a bunch of snake tattoos, who, I assume, has done time for first-degree murder. Not only that, he allows the guy to live in his store. Well these recent high school graduates don’t know that–or don’t seem to care–when they go there to debauch all night.

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As it often goes in these movies, they drink beer, play stupid pranks, and have sex with each other. “You were done in about ten seconds. Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am!” Amidst these most familiar festivities they start getting slaughtered … or drowned in a faucet … or decapitated with an elevator … whatever. The weird thing about the killer, though, is, after he slays a victim, he puts on their clothes … and it takes a surprising amount of time for the remaining teenagers to figure this out.

Know this: when you hear someone talking like Michael Jackson in the distance, run.

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HIDE AND GO SHRIEK, make no mistake, is one sleazy movie. It’s pure trash, replete with nudity, dim lighting, and people bleeding out the mouth. It’s nasty, cruel, and, actually, sometimes, kind of creepy. A lot of that owes to its look. The majority of the film was shot in the dark. Its use of shadows and dingy colors gives it a great atmosphere. Coupled with the VHS grain, HIDE AND GO SHRIEK almost looks like film noir. The makeup fx are also well-done: there is no shortage of corn starch-based red stuff. And except for John Ross’s shameless Aerosmith rip-off, his mostly synth-based music score is fantastic.

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But overall the film is quite uneven. The screenplay tries a little too hard to make the story work, leaving some plot holes and real absurdities (who minds those, though, really?). The acting is, for the most part, horrendous. And while parts of it are trying hard to break the slasher movie mold, other parts are steeped in the conventions to utterly eye-rolling extents.

One convention it succeeds in completely shattering, though, is the final girl. You think you know who the final girl will be. They talk incessantly about her virginity, about how nervous she is for her first time. Of course, you think, she will be the survivor. Then, right before her “first time,” because she “wants it to be special,” she performs an all-out striptease. Not long after, she gets it worse than any other character. I really didn’t see that one coming, and it was–well–among the more ludicrous things I’ve ever seen.

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This flick’s a must for VHS collectors and die-hard slasher fans. Others will find some good chuckles at its unintentional humor. But it’s nowhere near as good as the first wave of slasher movies.

“I hate all this scary stuff!”

“Here, have another beer.”

One comment

  1. This movie is awesome!

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