Director: Charles Band
Screenplay: Benjamin Carr
Starring: Michael Citriniti, Rhonda Griffin, Mel Johnson Jr.. Jaqueline Lovell, Tracie May, Jerry O’Donnell
Running Time: 80 mins
Reviewed by Guy Adams
88 Films, over the course of 2013, have become a veritable repository for questionable cinema. Regular readers will know that, coming from me, that’s a compliment.
They are the UK distributors for Charles Band’s redoubtable Full Moon features. Full Moon filled VHS shelves in the nineties with an almost inexhaustible torrent of exploitation fare. From their horror heavy-hitters like the PUPPET MASTER series to child-friendly offerings such as their mini-dinosaur franchise PREHYSTERIA. They made them cheap, quick and fun and soon built a fan base who relished every naughty minute. In recent years, the studio has revived itself with absurd, horror comedies like the EVIL BONG movies or THE GINGERDEAD MAN (the title of its first sequel, GINGERDEAD MAN 2: PASSION OF THE CRUST is simply a work of genius, though I’ll admit to not having seen the movie!)
HIDEOUS, coming as part of 88 Films Grindhouse series, is a perfect example of what made Full moon great for those, like me, who love that kind of thing. We open in a sewage plant where a mutant baby is fished out and sold to a dealer in ‘biological oddities’. When the eventual buyer of the specimen is robbed at gunpoint by a woman wearing nothing but black hot pants, Doc Marten boots and a rubber gorilla mask, a clash between the dealer’s main clients ensues. Said clash is further complicated when the collection of mutated specimens turn out to not be as dead as everyone assumed.
At which point I either have your wallet’s attention or I don’t.
I found HIDEOUS great fun. Like many Charles Band movies, it never takes itself seriously, it’s several deformed tongues being firmly lodged in one of it’s slime-covered cheeks. It’s grotesque, witty and so utterly good-natured and entertaining that I recommend it wholeheartedly. Do bear in mind though, that my taste for these things may have a sharper edge than yours. If you come at me with your disc and receipt down at the line screaming ‘This was trash!’ I will simply look you in the eye and reply: ‘Yes, but it’s BRILLIANT trash, what did you expect?’
The disc comes with an audio-commentary from Michael Citriniti and Mel Johnson Jr. (the movie’s rival collectors), one of Full Moon’s regular Videozone features covering the making of the movie, a selection of trailers and a reversible sleeve. For the obsessive compulsive trash fans amongst you (of which I am sadly one) the Grindhouse collection comes numbered and in their own, distinctive red cases.