The Hidden ★★★½

Proof that it’s not the idea, it’s the execution, as it’s a wonderful time at the movies, despite having nothing original to mention. No clue why Sholder didn’t have a more reputable career since this is chock full of competent action choreography and killer stunts, playing mostly like a chase cum materialist comedy (alien basically spends his time stealing sports cars and records) and a collection of gonzo 80’s features (cocaine at the car dealership?), sans any useless backstory baggage. The first half in particular is a riot, primarily do to the outstanding work of William Boyett, who understands how to be both quotidian and menacing. Once the body snatcher transfers to other victims, it gets less amusing, though there’s an interesting idea that emerges once the creature takes over the stripper, in that the hedonism of the alien is almost male-driven by default and it has to learn. Third act also gets pretty messy, with an unsatisfying and slightly mortifying conclusion, but the fact that it’s a dry-run for Dougie Jones is enough to move the needle into high recommend (yes, I’m part of the irritating, Twin Peaks is everything envoy). Shout out to the intersection of 5th Street and Flower, which looks nearly identical today, minus a parking lot on the southeast corner.