There’s something truly special about the cinematic output of Full Moon Features in the 1990s. Often silly and always low-budget, these films from the video store era were something that had never been seen before and haven’t been recreated since. They are flawed but charming genre films that bask in their own absurdity. It’s exciting to see that the folks at Full Moon recognize this and are now in the process of remastering many of their older films to release on Blu-ray for those who want to revisit them as well as younger cinephiles who weren’t even alive when they were originally displayed on the shelves of video stores.
The aptly titled Hideous! is the latest movie to get this treatment, and it’s also one of the more hidden gems in the company’s repertoire. While it doesn’t have the same name recognition of the Puppet Master series or Demonic Toys, this 1997 creature feature is a weird, sleazy, gruesomely good time. Its plot is both simplistic and outrageously bizarre: When the bodies of four deformed beings are discovered, rival oddities collectors begin battling for possession. But when they realize that the little monsters are not actually deceased, the battle for custody becomes a battle for survival.
Films like Hideous! rely heavily on the cast being in on the joke, and everyone here really seems to get it. They’re all delightfully over-the-top, chewing scenery for the duration of the film. Mel Johnson Jr. and Michael Citriniti share some funny banter as two weirdos who collect deformed corpses, but it’s Jacqueline Lovell who steals the show as Citriniti’s sensual assistant. One scene finds her inexplicably wandering around topless whilst wearing a gorilla mask, and Lovell does so with such confidence that it actually begins to make some semblance of sense.
On Blu-ray, the film certainly looks better than it ever has, and though this certainly isn’t a pretty film in regards to cinematography, the quality practical effects deserve to be seen in HD. They’re not quite on the level of intricacy as the likes of Puppet Master, but the creatures are delightfully disgusting.
The main bonus feature on the disc is a hilarious audio commentary track with actors Mel Johnson Jr. and Michael Citriniti. Both participants have excellent senses of humor and never stop cracking jokes while also providing some insight into the creation of the low-budget movie. Also included in the release are the original, behind-the-scenes Videozone segment from the VHS release of Hideous! as well as a slew of trailers for other Full Moon movies.
By now, everyone probably knows how they feel about Charles Band as a filmmaker and the Full Moon banner as a whole. If you’re a fan of these kinds of violent, silly horror movies, then Hideous! is probably right up your alley. If that’s the case, then this release will scratch your itch.
Hideous! is now available on Blu-ray through Full Moon Features.