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Paura nel Buio

Hitcher in the Dark
Hitcher 2 / Fear in the Dark / Return of the Hitcher / Camper

Italy/USA 1989
produced by
Joe D'Amato = Aristide Massaccesi for Filmirage
directed by Umberto Lenzi (as Humphrey Humbert)
starring Joe Balogh, Josie Bissett, Jason Saucier, Robin Fox, Thomas Mitchell, Fay W. Edwards, Tom Schultheis, Mel Davis, Sandra Parker, Gary Wade Morton, Dan Smith, Michael Lewis, Charlie Edwards, Fred Bittner, Julia Howards, Sashin Sardot, Erika Smith, Todd Livingston, Oralee Sanders
story by Umberto Lenzi (as Humphrey Humbert), screenplay by Olga Pehar, music by Carlo Maria Cordio

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Available on DVD !

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Rich man's son Mark (Joe Balogh) has a less than commendable hobby - he drives along the highways and byways of Virginia in his camper van to pick up female hitchhikers, have his way with them, and ultimately murder them. His latest victim is Daniela (Josie Bissett), a girl who looks remarkably like his mother ... so he decides to keep her a little longer, drugs her, cuts her hair to resemble his mother's - and yes, he even gets her to have (sort of consensual) sex with him, which ends in his premature ejaculation though ... which doesn't exactly make him happy, either. Still, Daniela tries her best to win Mark's trust - with the prime objective of course to eventually find an opportunity to escape him. But while Mark enjoys her efforts, he has long seen through her charade - and ultimately, all she manages to do is to accidently smash the van's engine - so he has to tie her up while hitchhiking to town to get spare parts.

Thing is, Daniela has a boyfriend, Kevin (Jason Saucier), who she ran away from in a fit of (justified) jealousy, but now he's worried sick she's nowhere to be found, and somehow he manages to find a clue that leads him to Mark's camper - where Mark overpowers him of course, then he tortures them both (at one time during a visit at a drive-in), ultimately kills Mark, drives a little more with Daniela lying next to her dead boyfriend, then he kills her too and dumps both bodies at a scrapyard. It's back to daddy (Robin Fox) after that to get a bit of additional pocket money before Mark picks up another hitchhiker - but it's Daniela again, whom he hasn't succeeded to kill the first time round, now this time she's armed ...

 

A rather pointless piece of psycho horror that was obviously made to cash in on the success of The Hitcher - but in content owes more to The Collector and of course Psycho. Now all of this isn't necessarily a bad thing, as these all were good movies to masterpieces (well, at least Psycho was), problem is, director Umberto Lenzi doesn't show the first interest into making the thing work. He really only seems to be pointing the camera in the general direction of the action without digging deeper into the story and its underlying perversion or at least putting the proper emphasis onto the many suspense sequences. Likewise, the two main characters, which would have so needed depth for the whole thing to work, stay disappointingly flat, and the fact that both Joe Balogh and Josie Bissett bring little to their roles doesn't help much either, naturally.

In all, a completely impersonal and very disappointing film. And what's more, despite all the on-screen violence and perversion, the whole thing's rather boring.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD