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News Article

Be Kind, Rewind: We Revisit the VHS Classic 'Hide and Go Shriek'

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VHS collectors seem to be coming out of the woodwork lately. What many thought was a dead format seems to be making a major resurgence, similar to the way vinyl did. We wouldn’t dream of telling you that the quality of a VHS cassette provides superior picture, sound, or anything. But it is certainly a lot of nostalgic fun to revisit some of the more obscure VHS titles that have never been released on DVD or Blu-ray by way of your VCR. 

 
Be Kind, Rewind is your one stop destination for all the information you could ever want about horror films that have never been granted a DVD or Blu-ray release. We will help you locate and evaluate VHS exclusive titles. Be Kind, Rewind gives you the low-down on the VHS only title we are re-visiting; including where to find it, the going rate, a review of the film, and an expert recommendation as to whether the title is worth the money. We will be examining more VHS excusive titles in the upcoming weeks, so tell your friends and fellow lovers of antiquated technology. 
 
HAGS
 
Title:
Hide and Go Shriek
 
Year of Release:
1987
 
Distributor:
New Star
 
The Talent:
Sean Kanan (The Karate Kid: Part III)
Bunky Jones (Dynasty)
Brittain Frye (Slumber Party Massacre III)
Donna Baltron (Bloodbath in Psycho Town)
 
Synopsis:
A group of teens that by an act of God managed to graduate high school make the awesome decision to stay overnight and host a party in a furniture store. The group plays hide and go seek and afterwards, they all exercise good judgment, abstain from drugs and alcohol, keep their private parts to themselves, make great choices and live happily ever after. The End. 
 
Review:
 
Hide and Go Shriek bears marginal similarities to Chopping Mall in that both films revolve around a group of teens staying overnight in a shopping center. And, of course, both films see the cast picked off one by one. But, the cosmetic similarities to the superior Chopping Mall don’t stop Hide and Go Shriek from being a nice diversion that’s semi-worthy of 90 minutes of your time. 
 
The acting is below average, but it’s those Valley Girl-inspired performances from the female cast and the intensely overacted Neanderthal performances from the himbos serving as male leads that make the film fun. Hide and Go Shriek is the kind of film that was terrible when it came out, but nearly 30 years later, it has a charm that makes it easy to overlook the numerous shortcomings and get down with the half-witted teenaged hijinks that are requisite to nearly any film from this era. 
 
The characters aren’t terribly likable, nor are they loathsome. They just are. All the stereotypes are present: the jock, the brain, the sexually generous female, the virgin, etc. But, on that note, I do have to give the film a modicum of credit for not following the slasher formula to a T. Not everyone dies in the order or by the hierarchy the viewer expects and you can’t necessarily predict who will live or die based on the role they play. That earns the picture a small amount of credibility and required me to do a little more guess work than I expected.
 
After things eventually get going, the pacing is pretty reasonable. There are a couple of jump scares in the first 30 minutes to keep the viewer interested, but Hide and Go Shriek doesn’t really get warmed up until about one third of the way in. After things do get get started, the film has a couple of cool kills. It follows the slasher formula of a kill approximately every fifteen minutes. And in spite of its low budget, the film delivers a reasonable amount of stage blood.
 
The film doesn’t come out and say who the killer is, right off the bad. It doesn’t really keep it a secret, either, but the very minor element of suspense helps the film’s credibility – what little it has. There’s also a very slight twist at the end that hints at a possible sequel that never came to fruition. 
 
If you’re strictly in it for nudity, you won't be disappointed. There are bare breasts on display, and there is even a sort-of sexy striptease for the enjoyment of more randy viewers. 
 
Ultimately, for what it is, Hide and Go Shriek is a fun time. It’s definitely not meant to be taken seriously, and it isn’t fine cinema. But, it’s a grade above some of the titles that came out as the slasher boom was ramping down. I’ve seen it a total of three times and I’ve found a certain amount of replay value in it. Taken for exactly what it is, Hide and Go Shriek isn’t half bad. 
 
 
Going Rate/Where to Get It:
Half.com $16.98 (Very Good condition, Original Box)
EBay.com $19.98 (Very Good, Original Box)
Amazon.com $32.99 (Like New, Original Box)
[Side note: this film was also released on laserdisc.]
 
Is It Worth the Price?
Yes, it is. Indeed, it is. If you can pick it up with the original box for under $20, I would say to go for it. There are no plans for a region one DVD release from what I can tell and VHS exclusives are steadily increasing in price as more nostalgic collectors begin hoarding copies of films like Hide and Go Shriek. 
 
Tips from a Former Video Store Clerk:
When you get a new tape in the mail, fast forward it to the end and then rewind it back to the beginning. This readjusts the way the tape is wound and ensures optimal playback. This is a good practice to engage in with titles in your collection on occasion to prevent deterioration of picture quality.
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