Hidden Underground (in Plain Sight)


I have owned a copy of The Hidden, Jack Sholder's sci-fi action classic (yes, I said it), since it first came out on VHS not long after its theatrical release in 1987. Watched that tape dozens of times, leading to a need to replace it eventually, and then I did an upgrade to the film when it came out on DVD years ago.

As much as I have seen The Hidden though, and even though I still own a copy, I feel that when a channel like Turner Classic Movies decides to show such a film on their TCM Underground slot late on Saturday nights, that I should do my part to support their decision to air it. So, even though I own The Hidden, I recorded it last night (they paired it with director Mike Hodges' 1974 take on Michael Crichton's novel, The Terminal Man) and watched it this afternoon, to give its showing whatever minute smidgen of ratings percentage that I can to tell TCM that I love it when they show films like this.

It's for the same reason that I watch the Universal classics on Svengoolie’s show as frequently as possible, even if he does chop the films up with commercial breaks. It's why I have followed Elvira through her various show incarnations over the last 35 years. Or the same reason I threw in my small support for MST3K's eventual return this year. And every once in a while, I will even scout the public access channels and find locals who have produced their own variations on horror host shows. Most are terrible What can I say? I have a lifelong fondness for sci-fi, horror, and exploitation films, and I especially love when airtime is committed to showcasing them on television (and now online).

Sadly, TCM Underground has not been hosted for quite some time. Rob Zombie was the original host, but that apparently went over like a lead balloon, and so TCM just shows a couple of genre films back to back with a neat lead-in sequence. The natural fit for TCM Underground would be somebody like Joe Bob Briggs, though I doubt they have any plans to bring a host back to the show. But, as long as TCM takes a small break every weekend from its normal fare (believe me, I watch an awful lot of that as well) and shows films like The Hidden, I will be there. Even if I do own the film already...

RTJ

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