Entertainment » Movies

Hitchhike To Hell

by Ken Tasho
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Nov 19, 2019
Hitchhike To Hell

1970s drive-in cinema has never looked so good. And thanks to Arrow Video, another sleazy film from 1977 has been unearthed for fans of this little-seen oddity. As part of the drive-in movie circuit, "Hitchhike to Hell" warned of the dangers of hitchhiking in a gory and unflinchingly grisly fashion.

Apparently, there's such a film genre as "hitchhiking horror," and it was used as the theme for many horror films. "Hitchhike to Hell" has such a real, documentary-like feel to it that you can't look away as you watch. From the get-go, the audience learns that young, female hitchhikers are being slaughtered in a lonely stretch of highway.

The killer's identity gets revealed immediately; in Howard (Robert Gribbin) we see a laid-back clothes cleaning delivery man who seems nice enough. He lives with his Mom (Dorothy Bennett), and Howard is the typical "momma's boy." But Howard isn't Norman Bates in "Psycho," and doesn't take on his mother's identity.

In scant dialogue it's revealed that Howard's sister, Judy, has run away from home for inexplicable reasons. As Howard picks up nubile females, he kills those who don't get along with their family and lets go the wholesome ones.

The real motives of Howard are overlooked, and that's the strange appeal of "Hitchhike to Hell." The out-of-place casting of actor Russell Johnson ("Gilligan's Island") as a detective only adds to the odd proceedings.

There aren't a ton of special edition Blu-ray contents, but there are a couple of examinations of the hitchhiking theme used in films. "Road to Nowhere: Hitchhiking Culture Goes to Hell" frighteningly tells about the horrors of hitchhiking in the 1970s, and helps give some insight into the cautionary tale seen in "Hitch Hike to Hell."

"Hitchhike to Hell"

Ken Tasho is a Corporate Drone by day and Edge Contributor by night. He has a love for all things ’80’s and resides in the Wayland Square area of Providence, RI...but would much rather be sharing an apartment in NYC with ’80’s rock goddesses Pat Benatar and Deborah Harry.

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