Tuesday, October 18, 2011

HIDE AND GO SHRIEK (1988) - a standard slasher with creepy mannequins thrown in is American innovation I can get behind

VHS box courtesy of Fanpop.com

I’m sure transvestites are normally a classy bunch, so I guess the one in Hide and Go Shriek is the exception that proves the rule. He decides to take a lovely afternoon off from whatever it is transvestites do, heading to skid row to solicit a hooker. He drags her into an alleyway and boinks her against a brick wall before brutally stabbing her, letting her life blood gush out over a pile of gutter trash.

Back in the sanctity of the suburbs, two manly jocks lift some free weights, talking about how they are going get it on with the ladies, sweat dripping from their thespian starved mullets. One of the aforementioned porkees is a 32-year-old teenager who listens to the Teen Witch soundtrack on a little pink radio. This group of schmucky poseurs all decide that what they really need to help broaden their young lives is to lock themselves in a furniture store over night and have sex. Their ride over is punctuated by a rip off of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way”, while a character utters the titular phrase, falling pathetically short of brazen copyright defiance.

This song appears in the background of Hide and Go Shriek, which was released a year earlier. I have no explanation for this.

So the teens head over to “Fine Furniture”, bumping into the "new security guy", a creepy ex-con with a snake tattoo that apparently lives between the walls of the store. Now that they have the store almost all to themselves, the teens do some exploring and drink some beer, as they have just graduated high school and need to blow off some steam before the rigors of community college pounds their noggins into a pile of mush. They also wisely decide to turn off all of the lights so they don’t get caught. Basically, the kids wander around, mess with the mannequins, sneak up on each other, play hide and go seek, and have sex (not at the same time...nobody's THAT ambidextrous). When none of this stuff is happening, they’re probably getting murdered. There is a pretty sweet elevator decapitation, not to mention someone getting impaled by a conveniently placed set of spikes. Then again, maybe large deadly spikes are indeed the newest wave (circa 1987) of “fine” modern furniture.

One interesting variation is that the killer wears the clothes of his last victim to try and trick his next victim. However, the main point of interest is all of the mannequins sitting there in the dark. Occasionally, the killer also arranges them in sexually suggestive positions, or pulls off mannequin limbs, making them even creepier than just a regular-ass mannequin.


The other odd thing about the film is the out-of-left-field twist ending. Apparently, our ex-con transvestite killer is wreaking havoc on hookers and teenagers alike because the ex-con security guard (who has managed exactly zilch in the security or guarding department this entire time) apparently refused to continue their romantic relationship once prison time was over. This is a bit jarring when compared to the rest of the movie. We have your typical heterosexual couplings and hackings, bookended by scenes straight out of William Friedkin’s Cruising (starring Don Scardino of He Knows You're Alone fame and that asshole that was in Revolution).

Maybe the director, Skip Schoolnik, is trying to tell us something about the psychological poisoning that prison sodomy can have on previously well adjusted convicts. Or, more disturbingly, is suggesting that, when homosexuals aren’t killing hookers or going to jail, they’re probably stabbing teenagers. Such is the completion of their descent into depravity. Either way, I think we can agree that the hooskow isn’t exactly the healthiest place to spend your free time. In the end, I guess it’s just one more reason to shop at Ikea. Gimme a wicker bar stool with a name I can't pronounce over gay-rape themed murder any old day of the week.

P.S. Post #3 in the lazy baker countdown...8 more to go until Halloween (so to speak).

1 comment:

  1. seen this a couple of months ago. Thought it was pretty ok. Deserves a remake!