Hitch Hike is an incredible thriller. From the moment it starts, it grabs your attention and doesn't let it go until the film ends; moody, dark, exciting and brilliant; Hitch Hike is a rare gem that should not be missed by anyone lucky enough to get the chance to see it.
In the familiar style of the more well known hitchhiker films such The Hitcher, Hitch Hike follows the fortunes of an Italian couple; a reporter and his wife that are traveling across America. On the way the couple, on the wife's advice, stop to pick up a hitchhiker. And obviously, that turns out to be a bad decision....
Hitch Hike features three outstanding performances from it's three main leads; Franco Nero, who was made famous for Django, Corinne Clery, the beautiful young lady that would go on to play James Bond's love interest in Moonraker, and of course, David Hess; a man that horror fans will recognize from the shock horror classic; The Last House on the Left. All three of the leads portray their characters excellently, especially Franco Nero, at certain points in the movie, such as the part in which his wife is brutally raped, he really draws you into his character and you can feel his anger flowing from the TV screen. David Hess was typecast as the maniac of the piece, but nevertheless he plays the part well and he is every bit the unstable, insecure maniac that the couple are unfortunate enough to pick up. And finally; Corinne Clery, undoubtedly the least outstanding of the three in terms of character strength, gets to flex her acting muscles somewhat too as the victim of most of the film's brutality.
What makes Hitch Hike so thrilling is mainly its free flowing and meandering plot structure. Through the events that transpire in the movie, which are largely unpleasant and brutal, we are repeatedly given the impression that anything can happen. This is brought about by the excellent way that the movie plays out as long as it can with its current events, and then throws a twist in when the last one has stagnated. This is done multiple times in the film and it really keeps the audience on their toes.
Aside from being a thrilling exploitation flick, Hitch Hike is also an interesting character study. At several points in the movie, the characters interact and play off each other differently. For example, from the start of the movie, Franco Nero's character is portrayed as a selfish, arrogant, amoral man that most audience members will find hard to empathize with. However, once David Hess' character is introduced; a character which is much meaner and easier to dislike that Nero's, we are able to feel more for Nero's character and he undergoes a transformation from the villain of the piece to an antihero. This is a great thing for this movie, as you never really know where you are with the characters and they can always surprise you; the shocking and ironic ending epitomizes this best. The interaction between the characters, especially the early scenes between the couple and the hitchhiker are as fascinating as they are uncomfortable. The movie has a great way of drawing the viewer in with it's attention-grabbing banter, and yet at the same time making them wish they were somewhere else due to the tenseness and foreboding feel of danger about it.
Hitch Hike also features a fantastic soundtrack from a man that is probably the best composer there ever was; Ennio Morricone. This movie features what is most definitely one of his best non-Leone scores. His music adds texture and vibrancy to the picture and really succeeds in making the powerful images on screen that much more powerful.
Hitch Hike is a tense, exciting and efficient thriller and overall I find it hard to pick any faults with it, and the only real fault I can muster is that the dubbing isn't always great. If you're a fan of film, I recommend this film. But if you're a fan of thrillers, particularly in the exploitation style; I don't recommend, I insist.