Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Hitchhike (Autostop rosso sangue, Death Drive) Directed by Pasquale Festa Campanile. Starring David Hess (1977)
   Sometimes I wonder who’s taken more cinematic abuse John Morghen or Franco Nero? I mean sure Morghen has been mutilated, castrated, tortured, drilled through the head and had his brains eaten out by savages, but I ask you readers which is more humiliating? To die a memorably horrific death or constantly being bitch smacked, pummeled, betrayed by fake friends (in Street Law) getting your hands smushed by horse hooves (in Django), butt fucked (in Fassbinder’s Querelle), having your wife slowly raped in front of you, while tears stain your giant frankfurter mustache? Nero is constantly suffering and getting humiliated and the torture never ends as he is forced to push all the trauma down into his intestines until it turns into cancer and destroys from the inside out! I’ll admit it’s far fetched, but how else can I pad my review of Hitchhike?
   David Hess gets picked up by Nero, whose wife convinces them to stop, they drive around, then he abducts him and his attractive wife played by Devil’s Honey and the Story of O’s sultry babe Corinne Clery and berates and insults the couple, who’s marriage it on the rocks. That’s an understatement, because just before, scumbag Walter secretly had his wife in the crosshairs of his rifle and teetered on the edge of blasting her in the face and throwing her in the back of his truck! Maybe he deserves all the punishment after all!
what is this salty discharge emitting from my eyeballs?
   The premise is that Walter Mancini (Nero) is an alcoholic writer, bored to shit by his dull marriage and while on a roadtrip with his wife, makes a stupid mistake and picks up a sociopathic hitchhiker that affects both of their lives in a shitty way. David Hess (playing Adam Konitz), is always great in the gleefully sadistic heavy role, it’s almost like he just shows up and delivers slight variations of the Krug character, especially in all of these Italian exploitation films. He turns it up full throttle in House On The Edge Of The Park, but in this film it’s sort of a level 7, irritating and deadly, but nothing compared to what you’ve seen before. The emotional and mental games are inflicted more than bloodshed. Here’s a nice interview with David Hess (R.I.P.)

OK which one of you farted?
    Adam is a bank robber on the lam, who keeps calling Mancini, Martini!(ouch those are fightin words)! His new mission besides annoying him incessantly is to force Walter to immortalize Konitz in print with a nice juicy story for his crummy novel. After Adam gets fresh with his wife, Walter punches him out, but his will to fight quickly dissolves enough later for Adam to get his way. The tension and monotony is infuriating in this flick! Hess lies Eve down by the fire and proceeds to violate her, and she doesn’t really struggle (and technically its not forced because she seems to enjoy it), as Walter helplessly watches and cries like a bitch! If that isn’t shitty enough, Adam slaps him around and giggles maniacally in his face. Franco’s arm is in a sling because in real life he punched out a horse on the set of Keoma (like Mongo in Blazing Saddles)? He also broke his nose in real life (this guy needs a better fight choreographer)! 
a more reserved and mellow Krug Stillo

Eric Estrada blown away
   Morricone is slumming it up here with this jaunty “sing songy” score that goes “Let’s fly, Let’s Fly, Let’s Fly, I smile…” The goofy contrast reminds me of “The Baddies Theme” ragtime shit in Last House! In the film however it’s played by a dopey campfire band of hippies and later used ironically. To add insult to injury, Eve grabs a rifle while completely naked and it seems like even she doesn’t want to give her husband any mercy either! There’s a good amount of tension and chemistry between the three actors and some choice gunshots during a cop shooting spree on the freeway, but ultimately a watered down effort with capable talent and enough Franco abuse to keep it afloat, for Hess and Franco completists only.   
Am I having a good time, you decide!

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  1. I love that Japanese poster. Not sure I could actually sit through the movie though. Nice blog!

  2. Thanks Doug, If you love Hess you'd sit through it. I prefer House On The Edge though


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