Autostop rosso sangue
Hitchhike: Last House on the Left
The Naked Prey
The screen image of songwriter and actor David Hess is entirely based on a triumvirate of roles in which he played a psychopathic sadist. The recent untimely death of Mr. Hess prompted me to return to the lesser known of these three performances, the criminally insane armed robber Adam Konitz, who takes centre stage in Pasquale Festa Campanile’s offbeat exploitation flick Hitch-Hike. Due to dreadful distribution the laughing rapist Konitz has been greatly overshadowed by Last House on the Left’s (1973) Krug Stillo and The House on the Edge of the Park’s (1980) Alex. Although Hitch-Hike has its moments, it doesn’t quite reach the sadistic heights of these other two films, and this has almost certainly impacted on its relative obscurity. Fortunately this obscurity was redressed by Anchor Bay’s 2003 DVD release, and its subsequent re-issue by Blue Underground in 2008. Part of the pleasure of the film is in seeing Hess and Franco Nero blaze their own personal trails of rampant masculinity throughout the proceedings as they compete in a highly entertaining contest of one-upmanship. One is none too surprised to see Hess straying perilously close to over the top. But even Nero, whose understated sensibility of taciturn minimalism stoked the ire of the critics, gets caught up in the excitement. The excessiveness of Hess somehow brings out the best in Nero who puts in a fine and nuanced performance.
In memoriam to David Hess - 19/09/1942 to 07/10/2011
© Shaun Anderson 2011