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John’s Horror Corner: Hideous! (1997), it’s not your typical mutant monster fetus movie

December 4, 2013

MY CALL:  Deliberately stupid movie about slimy little monster fetuses and the greedy wealthy eccentrics that collect them.  MOVIES LIKE Hideous!:  Other fun little ensemble monster movies include Puppet Master (1989), Ghoulies (1985) and Seed People (1992).

Directed/produced by Charles Band (Puppet Master, Dark Angel: The Ascent, Ghoulies, Netherworld) and written by Benjamin Carr (Thirteen Ghosts, Retro Puppet Master, Curse of the Puppet Master), our story begins at a sewage plant where we learn of the occasionally discovered deformed fetuses that represent the theme of this campy little jaunt.

Run by Belinda and her assistant Elvina, International Medical Specimens Inc. specializes in selling these abominations.  Dr. Lorca (Demonic Toys: Personal Demons, Cemetery High) and his oft-nearly naked assistant Sheila (Jacqueline Lovell; The Killer Eye, Femalien, Head of the Family) feel betrayed knowing that she is instead brining coveted specimens to Lorca’s competition Napoleon Lazar (Mel Johnson Jr.; Total Recall).  Lorca’s darkly colored wardrobe, his sex toy of an assistant and his over-the-top villainous demeanor all intentionally paint him in melodrama that is only matched by his ridiculous lines.

When we meet Napoleon, Belinda showcases her recent acquisition along with a sales pitch demanding a preposterous sum.  Enamored with the “specimen” Napoleon bites.  But in no time Lorca seizes the specimen by force.  So what is this coveted thing? Just another mutant fetus for Lorca to add to his disturbing collection.  This fetus somehow survives formaldehyde-preservation and imbues the other three preserved medical oddities in Lorca’s collection with life-and they escape.

They look a little like Sonic, Kuato and Swamp Thing.

Seeking to reclaim his property, Napoleon brings Belinda, Elvina and a hired detective to Lorca’s castle.  Once Napoleon (and Lorca) discover that the oddities are no longer in their jars accusations run wild and Sheila triggers an alarm, sealing the castle and trapping everyone inside until they have found Lorca’s specimens.  Little do they know that the hideous fetuses are alive and well.

So they (ABOVE) are trapped with them (BELOW).

ABOVE: He looks like Kuato’s cousin from Total Recall!
BELOW: More like an undead PopTart.

These little latex monsters are a lot like Ghoulies.  They make similar sounds, they’re somehow always slimy and they each have their own distinct look–one of them looks like an undead Pokémon Sonic the Hedgehog.  When all of our greedy human characters first meet these monsters they literally bargain with them (they can’t speak, but understand English just fine and can even write–of course).  Lorca and Napoleon vie for their trust, promising them a nice home and a fine life.  But things naturally go bad and it ends up being humans versus mutants.

Lunacy abounds in this film.  An example of some of the finely written scenes include a topless Sheila in a gorilla mask mugging Napoleon in the middle of Winter.  In fact, Sheila is always either topless or wearing an open leather vest with no bra and leather spanks–very classy, always slinking around like the house mother of a vampire brothel.  There’s a scene in which one of the monsters gets a little fresh with Elvina while she’s sleeping–also quite tasteful.  Oh, and there’s a sword duel between Lorca and Napoleon complete with a random rhyming cheers from Sheila.

Yup. That’s Sheila for you. Actually actress Jacqueline Lovell has done a lot of softcore adult films. So this is actually more than she’s used to in the wardrobe department.

Hungry, little guy?

Nothing about this movie is taken seriously.  It is not only overly hammed up, but there are some deliberately stupid/funny lines, making this nonsense far from critically acclaimed but rather entertaining.  Just keep your expectations low and it should be fine to kill a Sunday afternoon.


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