director Jack Sholder
I was introduced to The Hidden by a friend/video store clerk in the late 1980’s. He cited it as a surprisingly good and overlooked genre flick. We took it home and enjoyed it. At that time Kyle MacLachlan was known for only Dune (1984) and Blue Velvet (1986), so it was kind of novel seeing him outside a David Lynch movie. But more than anything, the friend was right, The Hidden was a good flick, an interesting idea about a parasitical alien criminal hijacking human bodies and raising hell, pursued by what turns out to be another parasitical alien cop whose wife, child, and partner have been murdered by the villain.
I don’t know how obscure The Hidden is these days, but I’d never gotten around to seeing it again, despite always remembering it fondly.
This viewing is one of a much different context and the things that stood out to me were a strange variety of things: great street scenes of Los Angeles of the day, good character acting and writing around the bulk of the cast, playing off the buddy cop genre with its sci-fi twist, good creature effects (used surprisingly sparingly), and overall, I’d say it holds up well. Never saw the apparently awful sequel.
Interestingly, I have recently watched The Brain from Planet Arous (1957), which while a very different movie features a similar plot about a criminal alien who takes over the bodies of humans while being pursued by other alien cops who do the same. I don’t know if there is any influence or connection here, but I’d be surprised if there wasn’t at least “inspiration”.
It’s also got the weird sort of unexplained thing about how these parasite aliens seem to love fast cars and heavy music.