• Hideous!



    Released by: Full Moon Entertainment
    Released on: 2017.
    Director: Charles Band
    Cast: Michael Citriniti, Rhonda Griffin, Mel Johnson, Jacqueline Lovell, Tracie May, Jerry O’Donnell
    Year: 1997
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    The Movie:

    This 1997 directorial offering form Charles Band himself opens up with an appropriately hideous scene as we witness three sewage plant workers skimming for anything that might clog up the pipes. As the man we presume to be the supervisor talks to the other two about all the weird stuff he’s found doing this over the years, what do they pull up but what appears to be a mutant baby! Oddly enough, this isn’t the first one of these that he’s found and when he makes this latest discovery he covertly smuggles the little critter out to his car and then off to a woman named Belinda Yost (Tracie May) who has been paying him to hand over these finds. Ms. Yost has connections, you see – she knows too wealthy men who will pay top dollar for these - Dr. Lorca (Michael Citrini) and Napoleon Lazar (Mel Johnson Jr.).

    Shortly after this happens, Elvina (Rhonda Griffin), Yost’s own secretary, lets it slip that she screwed over Dr. Lorca when she sold the latest find to Lazar. As retribution, Lorca requests that his right hand woman, an assassin named Sheila (Jacqueline Lovell), steal back the mutant baby for him. Dutiful employee that she is, Sheila, in one of the film’s most bizarre moments, takes off her top, puts on a gorilla mask and gets to work.

    Unimpressed with all of this and not content to play the victim, when Lazar finds out he’s been robbed he hires a private eye named Leonard Kanto (Jerry O'Donnell) to get he, Yost and Elina into Lorca’s lab and once again retrieve the mutant baby. When they arrive they learn that the mutant baby is not only still alive, but that it’s resurrected some of the other mutant babies from the collection and turned them into even more monstrous creations than they already were!

    This one is pretty fun even if it doesn’t give up quite as much mutant baby monster mayhem as you might hope it would. They’re there, there’s no question of that, but it takes a bit of time for the movie to really focus on them and once it does, well, most of what they do takes place in the dark or at the very least in the shadows. Still, when the mutant babies are doing their thing, Hideous! is pretty great stuff. When they’re not? Well, thankfully there’s enough ‘other stuff’ working in the movie’s favor to hold our attention.

    What kind of other stuff? Well, naked ladies are always a plus and we do get some quality action in that regard courtesy of the lovely Ms. Lovell (who B-movie fans should recognize and who played the lead in Femalian!). She’s not only quite fetching but is pretty fun in the part, playing her sexy tough gal character with plenty of enthusiasm. The rest of the cast are solid as well. Cirtini and Johnson are clearly going all out in their respective portrayals of collectors of the bizarre, there’s no scenery here too tough for them to chew through. O’Donnell is fun as the surly P.I. and Tracey May makes for an appealing and interesting mutant baby saleslady. Hideous! isn’t the best of Band’s directorial offerings, it falls to short on the aforementioned monster quotient to hit those heights, but it’s still plenty fun if you’re into low budget creature features.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Hideous! debuts on Blu-ray from Full Moon in AVC encoded 1080p high definition framed at 1.85.1 widescreen and looking surprisingly good. There are times where the grainy, gritty image looks a little noisy but not much in the way of actual print damage to note at all. Colors are reproduced very nicely and quite accurately, never oversaturated or faded, while skin tones look lifelike and natural. Detail is massively improved over the previous DVD release not just in the close up shots where you’d expect it but in medium and long distance shots as well. There are times where black shadows swallow up some of the detail in the darker scenes but it’s tough to say if this is how the movie was originally shot and lit or if there’s some murkiness and crush going on. These complaints are pretty minor though – this is a low budget production and as such, it should look like one and it does, but the high definition upgrade here is, if maybe not a revelation, a remarkably solid visual presentation of the source material.

    As is typical with Full Moon’s Blu-ray offerings so far, there is no lossless audio track but the Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound mixes sound fine for what they are even if they’re both a bit thin in spots. There aren’t a whole lot of obvious differences between the stereo mix and the surround mix to be honest, but the levels are well balanced and there aren’t any hiss or distortion issues. It would probably have been preferable to most fans to have axed the surround mix in favor of a lossless stereo option to take advantage of the added depth and clarity it can provide, but the audio here is fine if unremarkable. No alternate language options or subtitles of any kind are offered.

    Extras on the disc start off with a commentary track featuring Actors Mel Johnson Jr. and Michael Citriniti. Lots of fun talk here about their respective characters, taking direction from Band, some of the effects set pieces and the complications that arose from them, shooting on location in Romania and quite a bit more.

    Aside from that, Full Moon has also supplied an original Videozone episode that clocks in at about nineteen minutes in length. There’s some fun behind the scenes footage here as well as what were then current interviews with Band, and cast members Michael Citriniti, Tracie May, Rhonda Griffin, Terry O'Donnell and Jackie Lovell.

    Rounding out the extras on the disc are trailers for Ravenwolf Towers, Head Of The Family, Killjoy Psycho Circus, Puppet Master 2, Puppet Master 3, The Vampire Journals and Spectres as well as menus and chapter selection.

    The Final Word:

    Hideous! is not high art, but then, it never tries to be. I moderately sleazy low budget monster movies are your bag, give this one a shot. There’s some pretty cool effects involved here, the cast are all game and the movie is nothing if not entertaining. Full Moon’s Blu-ray debut presents the film in very nice shape and with a few nice extra features that document its history.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!