Hitch Hike to Hell (1977) (BLU-RAY REVIEW)
DIRECTED BY: Irvin Berwick
Starring: Robert Gribbin, Russell Johnson, John Harmon
RATED: R/REGION A/1:78 & 1:33/1080P/NUMBER OF DISCS 1
AVAILABLE FROM Arrow Video
Howard is a mild-mannered momma’s boy whose job running deliveries for a cleaning agency affords him a lot of time out on the road. It’s not until he picks up young women who’ve run away from home that he transforms into a twitching, homicidal maniac, hellbent on meting out punishment for their “transgressions”. Can the cops put a stop to Howard’s demented spree before he claims yet another victim?
Hitch Hike to Hell comes to Blu-ray with two different aspect ratios to choose from! It comes from Arrow Video and keeps on the tradition they have of unleashing stuff that you might not have heard of, which is a good thing. This time around we have a character study of sorts. We have a weirdo who keeps picking up hitchhikers and then proceeding to kill them. You see, apparently, his sister ran off hitchhiking and never came back! This keeps his mother worried so he is now taking it out on everyone he sees doing the same. This works out well but eventually, the cops start to catch on to things so he has that to deal with and all of this comes to a head in the plot.
This one was interesting enough but it wasn’t really my cup of tea all in all. I’m used to character films dealings with such subject matters as what you see in “Henry”. This one while coming before and having that full-on grindhouse look and feel doesn’t live up to some of the types of movies we’d get and grow to really appreciate later. This one has potential but still gets a bit too campy. It’s like it’s too campy to take serious but then too serious to take as a full on camp movie. The movie looks aged and I think the 1:33 might be the way to go even if that ratio does annoy you (it bugs me sometimes). But the movie is here the best it will ever be seen and is a nice little oddity in the thick of things. It just isn’t one that I see people clamoring over.
– Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements
– 1.33 and 1.78 versions of the feature
– Original uncompressed mono audio
– Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
– Newly-filmed appreciation by Nightmare USA author Stephen Thrower
– Road to Nowhere: Hitchhiking Culture Goes to Hell – brand new video essay by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas exploring the dark side of hitch-hiking in the real world and on the screen
– Original theatrical trailer
– Original press book (BD-ROM Content)
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by The Twins of Evil
QUALITY OF TRANSFER: 85%