You'd think a movie where a silk nightie'd Daryl Hannah spends most of her screen time chained, spread-eagle to a bed would be a monster hit. But who's ever heard of Hide and Seek (1999, 100 minutes, aka. Cord)? Maybe it's because it's not THAT sort of movie -- it has a lot more in common with Misery and Fargo than Caged Heat.
The movie: Ms. Hannah is Anne, a gal with the perfect house, the perfect marriage -- all that's missing is a little yard monster. Not to worry, there are high-dollar clinics to help with that, only they should really screen their employees more closely, because one takes a dangerous liking to Anne. While hubby's away, he kidnaps her and then fakes her death. As Frank (Vincent Gallo), the fake David Koresh, explains to her ... She's pregnant. He and his wife Helen (Jennifer Tilly) want her baby. And, "No one is going to look for you." Anne never says more than about 20 words the whole time she's locked in their basement, the two most frequent being, "[email protected]#$ you!" Which is interesting, as she sorta LOOKS like Linda Blair in The Exorcist a lot of the time -- and she almost vomits as much. Helen's personality wobbles between June Cleaver and the most ruthless psychopath since Cybill Shepherd. But, deep down, all Helen really wants is a baby. Then all the nastiness can be put behind her. When Anne isn't spewing or cursing, she's attempting to escape, trying to avoid Frank's fumbling sexual advances, and fogging in and out of drug-induced blackouts. Tension is plentiful. And thanks to Helen's baby-talk tirades, there's also some blissfully dark humor. With the abduction/baby-stealing story line, it's destine for high rotation on the Lifetime network. Bruce Greenwood is Jack, the thought-to-be-widowed husband who never gives up hope that Anne may still be alive, but CineSchlockers will remember Bruce from the cantastic Malibu Bikini Shop.
Notables: No breasts. Two corpses. Puking. Mucho hypodermic footage. Window washing. Forced calisthenics. Baseball bat to the brainpan. Bitch slapping. Bulldozer driving. Gratuitous frantic-phone-call for-help-from isolated-pay-phone scene. Strangulation. Shotgun attack.
Quotables: Jennifer gets all the best lines. To her horny husband, "There's absolutely no sex during pregnancy ... A baby is a very fragile thing. It doesn't want things coming and banging at it while it's trying to grow." To Anne, " Perhaps the reason why you're so cranky all the time is because you look so bad." To the diaper service woman who thinks Helen's in labor, "You think you can put your hands all over me just because I'm pregnant?!" And the self-mocking, "What an annoying voice!"
Time codes: Anne gets food pumped down her gullet (24:50). The extent of Helen's delusion (50:30). Anne's husband is pursued by Emily (Johanna Black) a sexually-liberated divorcee (56:30).
Audio/Video: Crisp widescreen (1.66:1) transfer that holds up during the dark basement scenes. Satisfactory Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.
Extras: Static menus, but scene selections are framed in chains -- an amusing touch. About 10 minutes of interviews with director Sidney J. Furie and stars Daryl Hannah and Jennifer Tilly.
Final thought: Taut, often riveting thriller that's slightly cheapened by a rather ho-hum ending. Strong performances throughout. Especially by Ms. Tilly. Recommended.
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G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.