HIDE AND GO SHRIEK (1988) Blu-ray
Director: Skip Schoolnik
Code Red Releasing

"Close your eyes, count to ten, and run for your life" as Code Red brings oddball eighties slasher HIDE AND GO SHRIEK to Blu-ray.

A group of teenagers decide to celebrate their high school graduation by spending the night in the downtown Fine Furniture store belonging to the father of preppy jock John Robbins (soap star Sean Kanan, THE KARATE KID PART III). Among them are his fiancée Bonnie (Bunky Jones, GROTESQUE), best bro David (George Thomas, SPACE GIRLS IN BEVERLY HILLS) and his virginal girlfriend Judy (Donna Baltron, BLOODBATH IN PSYCHO TOWN), New Wave-y Randy (Brittain Frye, SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE III) and his bimbo Kim (Annette Sinclair, THIEF OF HEARTS), and shy virgins Shaun (Scott Fults, NIGHT VISITOR) and Malissa (Ria Pavia, CANDYMAN). Unbeknownst to them, they are not alone, and a killer starts picking them off and assuming their identities as he stalks each subsequent victim. The survivors find themselves trapped thanks to chained doors and shatter-proof glass with ex-con caretaker Fred (Jeff Levine, CHERRY 2000) who may be their killer or their savior.

A thoroughly clichéd and unpretentious eighties slasher, HIDE AND GO SHRIEK manages to be equal parts cheesily entertaining and ponderous as it punctuates much wandering dark corridors with MPAA-friendly gore and T&A. Some novel touches include cocky John turning out not only to be "wham bam thank you ma'am" in the sack but also a buzzkill about the potential of breakage as the group plays hide and seek, and some so silly it must have been intentional homoeroticism including some sweaty weight-lifting between John and David (who is more upset than Bonnie when John bites it) capped off by some suggestive banana-munching, along with the killer's motivation. The characters are reasonably likable and store after dark setting is quite atmospheric with some gel-lit photography by Eugene Shlugleit (ICED) that gives an occasional giallo feel when combined with the store's many mannequins and their silhouettes which sometimes turn out to be the killer in hiding. The score of John Ross (FRANKENSTEIN GENERAL HOSPITAL) apes John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN theme with synthesized strings during the suspense sequences while the opening and end title theme could just as easily suit any number of eighties low budget action flicks or thrillers.

Released on VHS in rated and unrated versions by the producers' own label New Star Video, HIDE AND GO SHRIEK eluded DVD stateside while a video master served as the source for overseas DVDs. Code Red's Blu-ray presents a 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.78:1 widescreen encode from the film's original internegative which was trimmed to conform to the R-rated version intended for theatrical exhibition. The difference is a matter of seconds during the elevator decapitation sequence, and lingering looks at the subpar Screaming Mad George effect (hopefully he can also take credit for the snake tattoos) are not really missed but the unrated bits are included in context as a 2:33 extra from the video master and it was a wise decision not to try to integrate it back into the HD master. The HD image makes a once dark and dull-looking film look slicker with saturated colors and better contrasts (in a similar manner to the HD makeover for the other killer-in-the-store slasher THE INITIATION when it made its bow on Blu-ray).

Besides the aforementioned unrated scene, the disc also includes the film's theatrical trailer (1:50) and three new video interviews. Director Skip Schoolnik (20:38) recalls replacing the film's original director and replacing the original editor with Mark S. Manos (MANDROID). He speaks fondly of the cast – including Sinclair whose boyfriend Bob Seger called up after learning that another actor improvised an ass-grab but was mollified when he read the script and realized it was entirely in-character – as well as picking DP Shlugleit due to his being on the camera crew of EVIL DEAD II. He also discusses his subsequent credits including the series BEYOND BELIEF: FACT OR FICTION with buddy Barry Bernardi with whom he worked on HALLOWEEN II (on which Schoolnik was editor), as well as THE WALKING DEAD as producer (apparently he was let go after he was credited among the Emmy winners for sound editor for the extensive ADR sessions he also directed for the show), TORCHWOOD, LEGENDS, and SALEM.

Actor Levine (5:23) reveals that he has very little memory of working on the film but was "toying" with acting at the time as a way of better understanding filmmaking before becoming a producer of such films FACE/OFF and SNAKE EYES as well as more recent genre credits like THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT, its sequel, and THE POSSESSION OF MICHAEL KING as head of production at Gold Circle Entertainment. Producer Dimitri Villard (12:38) discusses his own beginnings in filmmaking by helping to finance Christopher Dewey's early Cannon effort JOE as well as working with Roger Corman on TIME WALKER followed by FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR, ONCE BITTEN, and the big-budget IN LOVE AND WAR. Of HIDE AND GO SHRIEK, he recalls that the original plan with partner Robby Wald (PURGATORY) was a New World-esque string of low-budget fodder for theatrical and video arms but the purchase of a library to fill out the video line lead to financial difficulties since some of the titles came with "baggage" in the form of returns owed to the films' backers. HIDE AND GO SHRIEK is available directly from Ronin Flix, Code Red's Big Cartel shop, and Screen Archives. (Eric Cotenas)