Thursday, October 19, 2006


Well it seems to be Rutger Hauer month for KBT screenings. After his highly intelligent, slightly psychotic (justifiably) turn as Replicant in Blade Runner, here he is as an intelligent, very psychotic (not so justifiably) hitchhiker who torments C. Thomas Howell (Wither are you now?) and a young Jennifer Jason Leigh. Yes boys and girls, it is that often overlooked white knuckler from the eighties, The Hitcher. A film that is soon to be remade, much like every other slightly overlooked horror film from the past 3 decades. I have to admit that a no small portion of KBT Screenings (Infernal Affairs, The Wicker Man, King Kong, Black Christmas and Nine Queens) have the purpose of ‘catch the original before the remake’ raison d’etre; besides, of course, that all of the above are highly original and entertaining cinema.

Because I’ve not managed to rewatch The Hitcher in nearly a decade and to go into narrative detail would be to spoil the movie anyway, I’ll just say that whether or not the plot logic, or character motivation hold, The Hitcher gets full points for blending suspense and brutality without one outweighing the other. Taking the best aspects of Steven Spielberg’s early 1970s made for TV movie Duel and adding a stalker/slasher element (which was very popular at the time due to John Carpenter and Wes Craven, director Robert Harmon never went on to make anything particularly memorable after this. Nonetheless several minor horror/thrillers such as 1997’s Breakdown, 2002’s Joy Ride and the first 45 minutes of 2001’s Jeepers Creepers owe no small debt to this bloody diamond in the rough.


Blogger Barb said...

Are you serious? They're doing a remake of The Hitcher? Noooo! It was so good and so scary!

8:33 p.m.  
Blogger Kurt Halfyard said...

Yes indeed, with SEAN BEAN in the Hauer roll (not a bad casting choice, but I cannot believe that a remake will improve upon this 1986 gem.)

(Wow you are fast, I posted this like entry like 90 seconds ago!

8:35 p.m.  
Blogger Kurt Halfyard said...

Sadly, The Hitcher did not live up to my nostalgic memory fo the film, and if this movie was released today, it would be panned hard. Mainly because it is nowhere on the realistic side...but in the small scenes (like finger in the fries, or in the cockpit of the Tractor Trailer) things work beautifully. Acting is very solid, even from minor players, but the chase sequences and some plot points are ludicrous and push suspension of disbelieve to the breaking point (although I loved this movie when I was 15).

As blasphemous as it sounds, maybe a Remake is the way to go here.

4:07 p.m.  

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