Aptly titled--though not in the manner its makers intended--HIDEOUS! is yet another underwhelming monster flick from the Charles Band fright factory. A sewer worker fishes a small, grotesque mutation out of the muck and contacts "freak broker" Belinda Yost (Tracie May). She buys it from him and sells it for big bucks to medical oddities collector Napoleon...read more
Aptly titled--though not in the manner its makers intended--HIDEOUS! is yet another underwhelming monster flick from the Charles Band fright factory.
A sewer worker fishes a small, grotesque mutation out of the muck and contacts "freak broker" Belinda Yost (Tracie May). She buys it from him and sells it for big bucks to medical oddities collector Napoleon Lazar (Mel Johnson Jr.), breaking an agreement she's had with rival collector Dr. Lorca
(Michael Citriniti). Belinda's secretary, Elvina (Rhonda Griffin), is in league with Lorca and contacts him, and Lorca has his girlfriend, Sheila (Jacqueline Lovell), intercept Lazar and steal the specimen. Though Sheila was disguised, Lazar realizes that she has robbed him, and arrives at Lorca's
castle with private detective Leonard Kantor (Jerry O'Donnell), Belinda and Elvina. While the two collectors argue, the new specimen comes to life and revives the other tiny mutations in Lorca's display room.
Discovering the empty cases, Lorca accuses Lazar of stealing his collection and locks his uninvited guests in a closet. They are freed by the sympathetic creatures, but when the humans try to capture the little monsters, the beasts turn on them. Elvina and Belinda are killed in death traps, while
the brawling Lorca and Lazar fall into an acid pit. Kantor and Sheila lure the creatures into the pit and leave the castle, not knowing that the freaks escaped and are hiding in Kantor's car trunk.
Once again, as with other Charles Band productions, the Romanian locations are more interesting than anything else in the film. Band's direction is slack, the little monsters are barely convincing (and barely articulated), and for every semi-witty line in Benjamin Carr's script, there's a scene in
which characters repeat dialogue and exposition that already has been spoken, in an apparent attempt to pad the slim story to feature length. The movie's trash highlight occurs early, when Sheila holds up Lazar at gunpoint while topless (in the middle of snowy winter, no less) and wearing a
gorilla mask; nothing that follows matches this moment's questionable inspiration. Though the mini-freaks are supposed to be the main source of the scares, they don't turn threatening until the movie's last act, and their murderous activities remain unexciting right up to the predictable open
ending. (Violence, extensive nudity, sexual situations, profanity.)
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