VISUAL SPOILERS AHEAD!
Hide and Go Shriek is one of dozens of slashers I watched on VHS in the 80s when I was working at a video store. Like Sleepaway Camp, it always stuck in my mind because of the “scandalous” great reveal at the end. And I’ve been waiting for decades to see it again. Finally, I got my chance; I bought the fricking PAL DVD, ripped it to my computer, and then burned that file to a DVD-R. Voila!
Hide and Go Shriek is as awesome as I remembered it. For starters…holy crap the 80s fashions rule. If you weren’t around in the late 80s and want to know how we were dressing, this is the place to look.
Then there are the guys. Mmm mmm 80s boys! When we first see them, two of them are pumping iron in cutoff shirts and the other is showing of his suspenders and wicked cool spiked hair. Oh how I’d like to get my hands on his Stiff Stuff. And later, he shows off his buns! Not to mention, one of the dudes is Sean Kanan, who most might know from his numerous roles on soap operas. To me, he’ll always be the dude on the episode of The Nanny when Fran Fine dates a younger guy.
So the kids sneak into a furniture store for the night to have sex. No beating around the bush (in those days, everyone had bushes). You have sex, you die. The great thing about Hide and Go Shriek is that the kids can’t turn on the lights because it will be obvious they are in the store. The movie is loaded with natural darkness, killer POV, and fricking mannequins. They are all over the store.
Sure, the movie begins with the kids acting stupid, scaring each other, flashing boobs, etc. But the killer soon puts an end to that. This killer isn’t in a mask. This killer dresses up in the clothes of the most recent victim (and wigs if necessary) and goes dancing around in dark shadows luring in the next victim. Amazing.
While Hide and Go Shriek shows blood, it’s not uber gory. It’s more about atmosphere like the best slashers from the first half of the decade. Eventually the kids decide to turn on the lights, but the killer cuts the wires and we are treated to classic red emergency lighting. Bodies start popping up and the actions and reactions of the remaining kids become kind of humorous (the girl who gets hysterical is the best). And really, when we find out who the killer is and the motive, it becomes pretty clear why the director may have decided to camp things up. I love a killer in leather and lace….