By the end of the 80s, the slasher genre had practically hung out its machete to dry. With very few movies able to find a theatrical release, many of the lower budgeted fare found its niche in the home video market, but slashers were becoming more of a rarity by the minute. Hide and Go Shriek was one of the last (and frankly, one of the best titled) hurrahs of a dying breed. Unfortunately, though it’s a fun ride, this movie has more gristle than meat. But oh what a way to end the movement!
A small group of loathsome teens are preparing on heading into summer and then college. They get the brilliant idea to have one last sex-filled outing in a furniture store, which is owned by one of the teen’s father. Unbeknownst to them, a tattooed ex-con, who works at Fine Furniture (!) lives in the back. The teens set up shop and begin a night of trysts and games of Hide and Go Seek. But someone else has stayed after hours and they begin playing a deadly game of dress-up and die.
Hide and Go Shriek plays its hand with an unusually sleazy manner. Not that the murders are particularly graphic, but there’s enough homoerotic subtext to keep even the most practiced film geek on their toes. From an early and hilarious scene involving two boys working out together before one of them says “see you in the showers,” and takes a healthy bite out of a banana to the killer dressing in drag, it’s a feast of euphemisms and cross-dressing.
It would be easy to say that this movie was oddly cast with untypically regular looking kids with a penchant for dinosaur earrings, surfer shorts and skinny ties, but alas, it was only the end of the 80s where stone-washed was a household word. With a mixture of good acting and bad acting, the killer and the bimbo (Annette Sinclair) stand out as the most interesting and talented of the bunch. But Rebunka Jones (credited here as Bunky!) comes across as the most memorable character in the film. In all her banana clip glory, she sneers and leers so much you start fantasizing about her ugly demise. My favorite line of delivery comes after she and her beau are discovered breaking in a new bed during a spirited round of the titular game, and she angrily retorts “Buzzzzzz Ooooffffff Buzzzzzzz Head.”
At any rate, the kids are appropriately irritating, there’s some nudity, jaw-dropping bad acting, death by sink, a pretty good decapitation, some homoerotic undertones only strengthened by a breakdown one of the male characters has after his ‘friend’ is dispatched, some cool tattoo art and a very bad muzak version of “Walk This Way”. In other words, a must see!