Friday, November 22, 2013
The Hitch-Hiker (Kino Classics Blu-ray) - That Creepy Guy in the Back Seat With a Gun Looks Great in HD
The Hitch-hiker directed by Ida Lupino is not truly a tale of terror in the more familiar, modern sense. It is pure film noir and stems from the crime/suspense subgenre. I like to think of EC Comics during this same time period. There were books like Tales from the Crypt or Vault of Horror and then there was True Crime or Crime Suspense. All were terrifying and some were clearly more based in reality in than their counterparts. It contains no violence though plenty of suspense. You can guarantee an end of the seat ride through the dessert on a trip down to Mexico with an escaped convict who holds all the cards, the gun and the power. The Hitch-hiker precedes movies like Cape Fear but embodies some of the same topical elements that make that film successful though not necessarily the power score that would make Cape Fear a classic.
What might amaze you the most about a film that carries such a high mark of quality and esteem among Hollywood gurus is that this was an early independent release. It was also directed by a woman, Ida Lupino, an actress to boot, and a trailblazer in both the genre and in independent film. The cast is topped off by William Talman who provides the perfect composure, proper level of crazy and absolutely brilliant facial expression to play the titular character. Many of his efforts were in popular TV shows of the 60's such as the Virginian.
The disc itself comes from the Library of Congress collection. It is mastered in HD from archival 35mm elements. It's light on extras containing a rather impressive image gallery. The movie itself looks stunning in its HD glory. This is a well preserved print, minimal scratching or DNR (or at least noticeable/poor quality DNR). 1:33:1 Aspect ratio. 1920 x1080p.
You can pick up The Hitch-hiker now from Kino. It's not horror, but it has some scary moments.
From the bowels and brains of American International to the rib cage and eye sockets of Amicus, Doc Terror will write your eyes shut from the prehistory to the post apocalypse of horror.Doc Terror is a contributor to The Liberal Dead and The Dead Air Podcast.