Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Hitchhikers (1972)

Another odd exploitation movie from married filmmakers Beverly and Ferd Sebastian, The Hitchhikers mixes the distasteful little-girl-lost subgenre with the equally tawdry criminal-cult subgenre. Oh, and the movie also features an extended scene of a gruesome illegal abortion. On some level, perhaps the Sebastians thought they were engaging with serious social issues, and, indeed, some scenes in The Hitchhikers feel sincere. Yet the movie also contains catfights, topless shots, and vignettes of sexy girls standing on the sides of country roads and flashing their panties to get the attention of male drivers. Only the most sophisticated filmmakers can get away with blending exploitation-flick sensationalism with social-drama heaviosity, and the Sebastians have never been accused of demonstrating sophistication. The movie starts in the usual way, with a pretty young girl leaving home because some boy got her in trouble. Maggie (Misty Rowe) has the requisite ugly encounter with a trucker when a dude plies her with food and transportation before demanding sex and raping her when she refuses. Eventually, Maggie falls in with a group of hippies who reside in a ghost town—deliberate shades of the Manson family—and participates in their scheme of robbing men gullible enough to stop their cars when girls show a little skin. Painfully slow and thematically void, The Hitchhikers nearly holds the viewer’s attention simply because it seems as if the plot threads might eventually converge in an interesting way, but of course they never do.

The Hitchhikers: LAME

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