Saturday, December 5, 2015

In short: Hideous! (1997)

I am generally quite down on Charles Band and Fullmoon Entertainment productions after about 1992 or so (what with them generally sucking badly in the worst possible manner) but this big gloopy ball of weirdness is much more fun than I could have hoped for, starting from an outrageously silly premise and just getting intensely strange, and then stranger.

Unlike most of these films that spend more time winking at their audience while exclaiming how funny they are, this one actually had me amused throughout, thanks to a cast of strange stereotypes with an extra dollop of weirdness, played with the proper kind of overacting by a cast (among them Michael Citriniti, Mel Johnson Jr., and Jacqueline Lovell as the strangest henchwoman imaginable) that actually isn’t phoning it in, even though they are in a film with mutant killer foetuses concerning the misadventures of people in the medical specimen collectors’ underground. A film not containing all that much of said killer foetuses to boot, because special effects ain’t cheap, buddy, but talking it. Fortunately, said talking’s often so funny – as well as off – you might not even miss said foetuses. If all this does sound a bit like a Troma movie, there certainly are more than just a few parallels, but it’s Troma done right, which is to say, actually funny and weirdly subversive in feel instead of just screaming at you that it is.

Hideous! (it truly works hard for that exclamation point) is directed by Charles Band himself with unexpected verve, and just goes from one moment of fun off-the-cuff weirdness to the next. There aren’t many films around who get their mandatory bit of nudity in by having Lovell (the actual brains of her collector’s operation, like every good henchwoman should be) staging a hold-up while being topless and wearing a gorilla mask, which won’t even be the weirdest habit the character will show. And if that sounds like your idea of fun, this one’s for you as much as it is for me.

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