Tag Archives: gary busey

Hider In The House

Hider In The House

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Today’s feature is about the nightmare scenario of Gary Busey secretly living in your attic: Hider In The House.

Hider In The House was written and produced by Lem Dobbs, who also penned screenplays for movies like The Hard Way, Kafka, The Limey, Haywire, The Score, and Dark City.

The director for the movie was a guy named Matthew Patrick, whose credits include a handful of television movies and shorts, but no other feature films.

The cinematographer on Hider In The House was Jeff Jur, who also shot the movies Joy Ride, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Soul Man, It’s Pat, and numerous episodes of the television show Dexter.

hider2Outside of Dobbs, the team of producers for Hider In The House included Edward Teets (Under Fire, Three Men and A Baby), Michael Taylor (Phenomenon, Bottle Rocket), Steven Reuther (The Ugly Truth, Face/Off, Under Siege), Diane Nabatoff (Narc, Very Bad Things), and Stuart Cornfield (Mimic, Tropic Thunder).

The musical score for Hider In The House  was provided by Christopher Young, who has done the music for such films as Sinister, Priest, Drag Me To Hell, Spider-Man 3, Ghost Rider, Swordfish, The Core, Species, and Trick or Treat, among others.

The effects work for the movie was done by a small team that included Gary L. King (The Prophecy, Demolition Man, Volcano, Commando), Judee Guilmette (Silent Night, Deadly Night), and Susan Mills (Cool As Ice, Captain Ron).

The cast for Hider In The House included Gary Busey (Predator 2, Lethal Weapon, The Gingerdead Man, Under Siege), Mimi Rogers (Austin Powers, Ginger Snaps), Bruce Glover (Die Hard Dracula, Diamonds Are Forever), and Michael McKean (Clue, This Is Spinal Tap).

HIDER IN THE HOUSE, Gary Busey, 1989. ©VestronThe plot of Hider in the House is summarized on its IMDb page as follows:

A deranged man hides in the attic of a new house and becomes obsessed with the unsuspecting family that moves in.

Hider In The House is a mostly forgotten feature, though the reviews that do exist aren’t exactly positive: it currently holds an unenviable 5.8 rating from the IMDb user base.

First off, Gary Busey is more than solid in the lead role of Hider in the House, and makes his character both off-putting and erratic, but still generally sympathetic. His character is like a cross between Lenny from Of Mice and Men and Michael Myers from Halloween, which is perfect for Busey and fascinating to watch.

Bruce Glover, a character actor of some note and the father of Crispin Glover, has a supporting role in Hider In The House as an equally off-putting and potentially menacing neighbor. Despite not being on screen much, his bit character makes a significant impression, like he is a rapist or murderer desperately trying to maintain a facade, and failing spectacularly.

The premise at the foundation of Hider In The House is beyond bizarre: the idea of someone living in a secret room inside of an occupied house sounds like something out of an Edgar Allan Poe story, which makes the modern setting for the tale kind of intriguing. That said, there is a lot of necessary suspension of disbelief which increases throughout the progression of the story in order for the premise to hold up.

At the same time, the atmosphere and tension is pretty solid, and I personally found myself simultaneously concerned for Busey getting discovered, and nervous about the danger he presented to the family. It isn’t a great movie by any means, but it does what it sought out to do, and is an entertaining experience on the whole.

Hider in the House is worth checking out based on Busey’s erratic performance alone. For bad movie fans, getting a glimpse of Busey in a lead role where he gets to show off his manic side is an absolute treat. The film is totally watchable on top of that, with both Bruce Glover and Mimi Rogers putting in occasional memorable moments on top of that.

For more thoughts on Hider In The House, I highly encourage checking out the We Hate Movies episode on the movie, which is regarded as one of their most memorable episodes among fans.

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Predator 2

Predator 2

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Today’s feature is the urban jungle set follow-up to the action classic “Predator”: “Predator 2,” starring Danny Glover and Gary Busey.

“Predator 2” was written by Jim Thomas and John Thomas, the same duo that penned the original “Predator.” However, the screenplay went through a number of different forms, primarily based on the casting, which I will dig into a little bit later.

“Predator 2” was directed by Stephen Hopkins (“A Nightmare on Elm Street 5,” “Lost in Space”), after “Predator” director John McTiernan priced himself out of the production. The cinematographer for “Predator 2” was Peter Levy, who worked on other films such as “Lost in Space” and “Torque” over his career.

The music for “Predator 2” was once again provided by Alan Silvestri (“Predator,” “Forrest Gump,” “Van Helsing,” “Super Mario Bros.,” “Mac & Me”), who modified the original “Predator” theme to include new instruments to reflect the change of location and plot (such as drums to match the Jamaican voodoo gang).

The editing for “Predator 2” is credited to both Mark Goldblatt (“The Punisher,” “Dead Heat,” “Enter The Ninja,” “Super Mario Bros.”) and Bert Lovitt (“RoboCop 3,” “Days of Thunder”), likely because it had to be so extensively edited and re-edited to get the eventual R rating from the MPAA.

One of the producers on “Predator 2” was Joel Silver, who has produced such memorable action flicks as “Hudson Hawk,” “Lethal Weapon,” “Demolition Man,” “The Matrix,” “Dungeons & Dragons,” “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” “Commando,” and “The Warriors.”

The creature creation and effects in “Predator 2” were done by the Stan Winston Studio (“Jurassic Park,” “Lake Placid,” “Congo”), including the Predator’s new alien hunting devices. The production also featured special effects foremen Larz Anderson (“Small Soldiers,” “Smokin’ Aces”) and Albert Delgado (“Tank Girl,” “Scrooged”), as well as pyrotechnician Roy Goode (“Robot Jox”).

predator25The cast of “Predator 2” is headlined by Danny Glover (“Lethal Weapon,” “Saw”), with an accessory cast featuring Gary Busey (“The Gingerdead Man,” “Lethal Weapon,” “The Buddy Holly Story”), Bill Paxton (“Aliens,” “Twister,” “Slipstream”), Robert Davi (“Maniac Cop 2,” “License to Kill,” “Die Hard,” “In The Mix”), and Adam Baldwin (“Firefly”).

The story of “Predator 2” centers around a police officer investigating a grisly series of murders amidst a gang war and a record heat wave in Los Angeles. The further he digs, however, the stranger the case becomes: leading to an ultimate face off with an alien killing machine.

“Predator 2” features a famous throwaway Easter egg of a xenomorph skull (from the “Alien” franchise) in the Predator’s trophy room. This was meant partially as an homage to the popular comic book series that crossed over between the franchises, but it caused an immense amount of hype among fans, eventually leading to an “Alien vs. Predator” film franchise.

The Predator alien race wound up getting another film all to themselves in 2010’s “Predators,” which was directed by Robert Rodriguez (“From Dusk Til Dawn”) and stars Laurence Fishburne and Adrien Brody. It is a bit more loyal to the original concept of “Predator,” and was certainly better received than “Predator 2” by audiences and critics.

“Predator 2” features some interesting alternate casting trivia. Apparently, Gary Busey’s role was intended initially for Arnold Schwarzenegger to reprise his character from the first film, but he turned it down to do “Terminator 2.” Rumor has it that Patrick Swayze approached to play the lead, and that at least one producer pushed heavily for Steven Seagal to be cast.

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This could have been Schwarzenegger and Seagal. Weird.

The movie was filmed on site in some rougher neighborhoods of Los Angeles. Reportedly, human feces in bags were thrown at the cast and crew from windows above them while filming (something that also happened on “Daredevil” according to the director’s commentary), and a dead body was shockingly discovered at one of the filming locations.

The somewhat outlandish and ruthless Jamaican voodoo gang in “Predator 2” was apparently based on real crime organizations that existed in Kansas City and New York in the 1980s.

“Predator 2” marked the first acting role for Gary Busey after the traumatic motorcycle accident that nearly ended his career, and arguably marked the begin of his decline into b-movies and obscure features.

“Predator 2” was apparently the first film to get an NC-17 rating by the MPAA after it replaced the X rating in September of 1990. This resulted in further editing to get the film down to an R, as films with X / NC-17 ratings have historically struggled to receive significant theatrical distribution.

“Predator 2” had a worldwide theatrical gross of just under $60 million on an estimated budget of $35 million, which made it fairly profitable. However, critics and audiences weren’t particularly impressed with it at the time: it currently has a 6.2 IMDb rating, along with Rotten Tomatoes scores of 25% (critics) and 44% (audience).

“Predator 2” faced a significant amount of criticism for its depictions of violence, as well as the less than optimal lack of a Schwarzenegger-style action lead. People were mixed on the change of setting from the jungle to the city, but I’m personally a big fan of the change of backdrop and context.

Bill Paxton, as always, is a controversial comedy relief element. Some people love him, and others just can’t stand him. I think this is probably his best comic relief role next to “Aliens,” which I’m sure was no coincidence on the part of the casting.

predator24My biggest issue with the film is that the ending drags on a bit too long, and doesn’t feel particularly satisfying because of it. I generally liked the casting and performances, but there is no doubt that it lacks the staying power of the testosterone-fueled super-cast of the first “Predator.” The effects are probably the biggest strength to the film, but I feel like the cuts made to bring the film down to an R rating did it a bit of a disservice. The Predators still look great though, as do their weapons and gadgets.

Overall, I think “Predator 2” isn’t all that bad of a movie. I believe that it mostly suffers from the comparison to the original, which is by far more memorable and enjoyable. On its own, it is still a bit too slow paced for my liking, but it isn’t awful. Paxton and Busey both ham up their roles, which keeps things a bit entertaining. In general, I just don’t feel strongly about the film, which isn’t good, but also not necessarily bad. If you like the concept of the Predator alien, this is certainly one of the better movies to feature them. In comparison to those “Alien vs. Predator” flicks, it might as well be a lost Orson Welles film.