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HITCHER IN THE DARK (1989) ***

Umberto (Cannibal Ferox) Lenzi directed this sick Italian slasher flick that plays like an inverse version of The Hitcher where instead of a crazy hitchhiker murdering motorists, we have a maniacal motorist hacking up hitchhikers.  (The flick was even marketed as The Hitcher 2 in Italy.) 

 

There’s a psychopath (Joe Balogh) driving around the countryside picking up cute hitchhikers off the side of the road.  Once they are in the comfy confines of his Winnebago, he gets his kicks by slashing their throats and taking Polaroids of their corpses afterwards.  When he sees Josie (Melrose Place) Bisset, he gets all kinds of hot for her because she reminds him of his whorish mother.  He goes so gaga over Josie that he drugs her, shackles her up in his RV and slaps her around for the next 90 minutes or so.

 

Hitcher in the Dark does has it’s moments of creepy ickiness, although things do get kinda redundant after awhile.  Psycho slaps Josie around.  Josie warms up to the psycho.  He freaks out because he can’t get it up so he slaps Josie around some more.  Repeat.  Add Josie’s boyfriend into the mix if necessary.

 

As the killer, Balogh looks and acts like a mannequin who miraculously came to life.  That’s not necessarily a criticism because he’s oddly effective in a weird sort of way especially when he says twisted shit like, “You’re cute when you scream”.  Bisset looks hot naked so I’m not going to sit her and critique her performance when she was nice enough to let the whole world see her magnificent rack.  Speaking of racks, this movie also features the most gratuitous wet T-shirt contest in the history of cinema; which naturally adds an extra half star to this movie’s rating.  If you are a card carrying misogynist, you’ll want to go ahead and give Hitcher in the Dark the full-on Four Star treatment as it sets some kind of record for the sheer number of scenes in which an up-and-coming television actress gets smacked around.

 

Special mention must also be made of the great scene early in the film where a bunch of idiot white people dance around in an embarrassing manner to some truly stupid music.  The shots of pasty people cavorting around the campground while shaking their groove thing and blasting their boom box will linger in your head long after you’ve ejected the movie out of your DVD player.

 

In addition to the admirable sleaze content of the film, Hitcher in the Dark is also rife with some wonderfully ludicrous dialogue.  No matter how reprehensible the movie gets, I can’t bear to give it any less than ***, just on the merits of the screenwriting alone.  Let me put it to you this way:  When a cop asks Balogh how he hurt his bleeding shoulder, his response is, “I injured myself while cleaning my spear gun!”  Brilliant!  My favorite line though came when Balogh first starts to get rough with Bisset and she asks him in all seriousness, “Hey who do you think you are, Mickey Rourke?”

 

AKA:  The Hitcher 2.  AKA:  Fear in the Dark.

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