So, I just reviewed a thriller called Road Games, which is about something bad that happens to hitchhikers. And, as I was finishing up that review, I suddenly realized that I now had the perfect excuse to say a few words about Umberto Lenzi’s 1989 horror/thriller, Hitcher In The Dark!
The Hitcher In The Dark is a film that I specifically bought earlier this year so that I could review it in October. I thought that Hitcher In The Dark was a great title. Plus, I haven’t reviewed that many Umberto Lenzi films, despite the fact that he is one of the most prolific directors in the history of Italian cinema. Hitcher in the Dark? I thought, Hell yeah, I’ll review that!
But then I watched the movie and I discovered that there’s really not that much to say about it. There’s a reason why this is one of Lenzi’s more obscure films. (He directed it around the same time that he made the infamous Black Demons.) Not that much happens in Hitcher In The Dark. It tells the story of a psycho rich boy, who is played by Joe Balogh. Joe Balogh was also the lead in Black Demons. In that film, his character was named Dick. All through Black Demons, the other actors were always wandering around and yelling, “Dick! Dick! We need Dick! I need Dick! Please, show me Dick!” Hitcher In The Dark is never that much fun.
Instead, Balogh’s character is named Mitch. He’s obsessed with his dead mother, so he drives around Florida and kills people. Because she resembles a framed stock photo that he keeps on him at all times, Mitch kidnaps Daniela (Josie Bissett) and tries to turn her into his mother. The rest of the film is pretty much made up of Daniela escaping and then getting captured again. Her boyfriend (Jason Saucier) is also searching for her. He goes up into random gas stations and says, “Have you seen a blonde girl?” Eventually, he stumbles across both her and Mitch. Why not? Florida’s not that big!
Anyway, there are three things that set Hitcher In The Dark apart. First off, there’s the fact that Mitch spends almost the entire movie driving the most awkward vehicle imaginable, a gigantic RV. Somehow, Mitch manages to kidnap and kill undetected while driving the most conspicuous thing possible. Seriously, check this monster out:
And there are two lines of dialogue that are so weird that they deserve to be enshrined in some sort of Hall of Fame.
When the police pull Mitch over and notice that he has a cut on his hand (from where Daniela earlier stabbed him with a fork), Mitch smoothly explains, “It’s just a scratch. I was cleaning my spear.”
AND THE POLICE NOD AND LET HIM GO!
The other line comes early in the film. When Mitch ignores a girl who has been hitting on him, she snaps, “Hey! Who do you think you are!? Mickey Rourke!?”
Seriously, Hitcher In The Dark may not be very memorable or good but those three things made it all worthwhile!