Hideous! (1997)

Hideous! (1997)

Deformed. Devious. Depraved.

Two groups of rival collectors of severely deformed oddities are trapped inside a mansion with four of the little monsters which have come to life.

 

Charles Band continues his monopoly on ‘tiny terror’ horror films by featuring yet another low budget rehash of his successful Puppet Master films. Replace tiny puppets for tiny deformed monsters and it’s virtually the same film with Hideous! Band and his Full Moon company had fallen on hard times in the late 90s and without the distribution deal he had with Paramount Pictures, Band was forced to slash budgets, resulting in a number of films which look almost identical and were set inside the same old creaky Romanian castles which doubled up as glamorous mansions. Hideous! is one such film though such is the repetitive nature of these Puppet Master wannabes that it could have doubled up as Blood Dolls or Demonic Toys 2 and I’d have been none the wiser. All of these ‘tiny terror’ films blur into one for me because they’re so alike.

At least the killer puppets had charm and were more human-like than their acting counterparts. These freaks aren’t even worth a second glance, hardly coming to life with little movement and no distinguishing mannerisms to give them that lifelike touch. Maybe it’s because they don’t look like little people (watch the first few Puppet Master films and tell me that Blade doesn’t look like he comes to life) and so it is harder for the script to sell them as being alive.

When they do attack characters, it’s just a case of the actors grabbing hold of the puppet models and holding them to their throats or head and writhe around as if they’re being attacked. Considering how poor the selection of human characters are you’ll still be rooting for these oddities. Of course, you’ll be questioning how something small that doesn’t even come close to being knee-level with the characters can brutally murder them and with such ease.

The humans……ah yes. Never before have I seen such a dire selection of actors attempting to bring life to their strange roles. I’d never heard of anyone in this film before watching and doubt I’ll here from them again. Oh yes, Mel Johnson Jr. did star as mutated cab driver Benny in the original Total Recall but that’s not exactly a massive claim to fame. Jacqueline Lovell spends half of her screen time wearing a mini-skirt and an open black top, more than adequately providing enough token nudity for a handful of films let alone one. Another of the women gives blondes a bad name and her character got really irritating. It seems like she knew she was in a right turkey of a film and decided to ditz it up a bit.

However Hideous! is a film which seems to thrive on being oddball and weird-than-normal. Daft stuff happens (naked chicks with gorilla masks holding guns in the snow outside anyone?), no explanations are given and the story moves on as if you’re expecting to see the sights you see. Common sense, reason and logic go out of the window. These are meant to be throwaway films, devoid of any narrative structure, coherence or melodramatics and instead focus on ideas which purposely make the film seem cheesy and camp. I guess it works to a degree – it just doesn’t make for good viewing.

 

Hideous! was supposed to be a comedy horror but the only people laughing were Full Moon who actually got me to rent this piece of trash. Band’s only worthwhile ‘tiny terror’ flicks were the first couple of Puppet Master films so skip these pretenders and head to the real thing.

 

 ★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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