“HITCH HIKE TO HELL”
All Roads Lead to Terror
Cult director Irvin Berwick introduces us to Howard (Robert Gribbin), a mild-mannered momma’s boy whose job running deliveries for a cleaning agency gives him a lot of time out on the road. However, when he picks up young women who’ve run away from home, he transforms into a, homicidal maniac, determined to punish them for their transgressions.
Howard is on the slow side, but he works hard at the laundromat and he loves his momma. In fact, he loves her so much that the thought of her being hurt makes him violently angry. Howard’s sister ran away some years ago, breaking their mother’s heart and was never heard from again. Living where so many highways cross provides many hitchhikers and Howard feels compelled to pick up each and every one. He is unaware of his violent tendencies, though he continually finds himself unable to explain his lengthy delays to his boss (John Harmon) or why so many disturbing images appear before him while partaking in his favorite hobby. Thankfully, Russell Johnson is on the case, trying to make sense of the available clues as the body count continues to rise…
Here is how it works and if it seems jumpy that is because it is: Howard picks up a hitchhiker, asks if the individual is running away, and follows up with a question about his or her mother. Five times out of six, the reply doesn’t meet with Howard’s approval. Wackiness (rape and murder) follows. Then Howard shows up late to work and comes up with some lame excuse as to why. His cute co-worker, the only particularly attractive woman in the movie, is sympathetic. The Professor and his sidekick mull over the evidence and chat about the murders. Howard’s mother insists that he eat dinner. He declines in whiny, childish ways possible before going to his room with a can of A&W root beer to work on “his hobby”, assembling model cars. Each and every time, Howard has a flashback to the murder’s he’s committed. Then it happens again and again.
Gribbin is hysterically over the top as Howard and really hams it up all through the film. The fits of pain that precede his psychotic outbursts left me laughing each I see this as camp than exploitation, considering the near-total lack of the traditional elements of nudity and on-screen violence.
“Hitch Hike To Hell” is another “never take a ride from a stranger” story of the eternal mama’s boy. He has taken his mom’s disappointment pretty personally, evidently, because he now figures that the best way to “do her a favor” is to kill any hitch hiking girls he meets who are running away from home and don’t love their mothers sufficiently.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements
1.33 and 1.78 versions of the feature
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
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
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Heather Drain