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Hidden Obsession Reviews

Here's a new one: a mad killer stalks a beautiful woman in the woods. TV news anchor Ellen Carlyle (Heather Thomas) is due for a vacation and not a moment too soon. On her last night at work, a crazy vagrant breaks into the studio and takes Carlyle hostage until cameraman Joey (Nick Celozzi) subdues him. When Carlyle loses her ride, chivalrous Joey also drives her to her remote woodland vacation cabin. That same night, mad killer Lapier (Chicki), whom Carlyle helped lock up with her crack reporting, escapes from a nearby prison. Joey returns to Carlyle's cabin the next day and tries to lure her out of vacationing to help him cover the manhunt. He finds, however, that Carlyle has other plans with ruggedly handsome deputy Ben Scanlon (Jan-Michael Vincent), who had dropped by the night before to check up on her and wound up staying the night. Carlyle asks Joey to check up on Scanlon on the sly, and what Joey finds out is not reassuring. Scanlon had apparently been fired six months earlier, although he has somehow managed to retain both his uniform and police vehicle. Joey is unable to reach Carlyle because she is having a torrid affair with Scanlon, but it's not long before Scanlon's murderous personality emerges. Preparing to make Carlyle his latest victim, Scanlon is interrupted by Joey, allowing Carlyle to get the drop on him and kill him after he declares his love for her. "Love hurts," she quips as she pulls the trigger. HIDDEN OBSESSION is almost so bad it's good. Everything about it is exaggerated, from Richard Glasser's hilariously hyperactive music score to Thomas' unwittingly funny performance and Vincent's baffling apparent attempt to remake himself into a B-grade Patrick Swayze, to director John Stewart's amusingly transparent attempts to create red-herring suspense with meandering point of view tracking shots that wind up having no point of view. The script, by David Reskin, from a story by Stewart and Reskin, is a gleefully inane grab bag of slash-killer cliches chockful of wild coincidences and lapses of credibility. In a just world, viewers would get special thanks for getting to the end of HIDDEN OBSESSION (carrying a 1992 copyright and apparently re-titled from HIDDEN RAGE) without succumbing to convulsions of laughter or falling into a boredom induced coma. (Nudity, sexual situations, adult situations, violence.)