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"The Hitchhiker" Dead Heat (1987)

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Obsessions and sadistic art work backfires and goes up in flames!

Author: Danny Blankenship from Petersburg, Virginia
14 August 2007

This "Hitchhiker" episode is pretty underrated and really one of the better ones it's titled "Dead Heat" the story is a little crazy and sadistic, yet it twists just nice and neat at the end. Fred Ward stars as Luthor a rural country farmer type who's a sculptor, but he likes to sculpt the dead and their body parts! This man even has an obsession with death, like even recreating deaths thru sculptor. One day he picks up a woman Arielle(Denise Galik) who wants a new life, only Luthor takes her to his home to try and begin a new one for her. It gets even more compelling when a drifter appears named Cal(Scott McGinnis) a romance soon begins between Cal and Arielle. So Luthor has his own plans for the art of love with sculptors or should I say the art of death for the two. Only when you mess with a scorned love between two drifters your whole plan and game backfires and explodes in your face a crash for all! Really a good episode of the series well done and acted even if the plot was again strange and a little sadistic.

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Effective episode

Author: Woodyanders ( from The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left
21 April 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Overbearing and death-obsessed religious fanatic sculptor Luthor Redmond (splendidly played with bracing intensity by the always excellent Fred Ward) wants to recreate a murder/suicide using hunky drifter Cal (a solid turn by the handsome Scott McGinnis) and his fed-up abused girlfriend Arielle (a sturdy and affecting performance by Denise Galik) as his models. Complications ensue when Arielle falls for Cal and persuades Cal to get her away from Luthor's unrelenting tyranny. Director Kees Van Oostrum relates the absorbing and grimly serious story at a steady pace and ably crafts a dark and eerie atmosphere rife with dread and a certain macabre tension. The bleak script by Maurice Noel and William Rontog makes a powerful point about how one person's insurmountable demons can have a profoundly toxic and destructive impact on other people who are exposed to said demons. Ward's strong acting really holds everything together. Moreover, the downbeat ending packs a potently depressing punch and the morbid nature of Luthor's twisted art gives this particular episode an extra creepy and unsettling edge. Ron Orieux's sharp cinematography provides a neat alternately bright and shadowy look. The moody score by Shuki Levy and Haim Saban does the brooding trick. As a tasty added bonus, the deliciously buxom Ms. Galik bares her exquisitely ample breasts in a steamy barnyard tryst with Cal. Worth a watch for fans of this series.

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