Not every movie needs to be a worldwide hit. Not every movie needs to be the next iconic piece of cinema. Sometimes all a director needs is a simple story and the right amount of fun. That’s what you’re going to get from James L. Bills’ Hitchhiker Massacre. A whole lot of fun and the perfect way to end the summer. With all due respect, this movie was made for two reasons – to showcase the bizarre kills from a rough serial killer and highlight the assets of very pretty women. 2015-2016 Penthouse Pet of the Year Layla Sin and Playboy Magazine’s Veronica Lavery both appear in this picture along with other women willing to bare a little extra skin for the audience at home. But, don’t let the sexuality of this movie fool you. There’s actually more to it than meets the eye.
The film starts with a “based on true events” warning before catapulting into a retro, VHS style opening kill. It’s very low budget, very grindhouse and it sets the tone for the rest of the movie… before jumping into much better camera quality footage of the lead character. This hearkens my sentiments back to the point of being fun, as the opening is an effective way to let horror fans know this is going to be a good old fashioned romp; something along the lines of a VHS you’d find on the shelf next to a Linnea Quigley movie in the 80’s. Then, by jumping to a more professional look, it lets viewers know this isn’t going to a complete shitfest. It’s a cunning tool that’ll grab the attention of second and third generation horror fans and new viewers who enjoy a good indie flick.
Speaking of the main character, I’m glad that she was more down to earth and realistic – a real survivor girl, if you will. She was kind of the most grounded thing in a wild, crazy production. She tethered the worlds of horror together and gives viewers someone to root for. Ely LaMay, John Blythe Barrymore (Drew Barrymore’s brother), Calista Carradine (daughter of Kill Bill‘s David Carradine), Katherine Cronyn (granddaughter of The Birds‘ Jessica Tandy), Stephanie Gerard, Rocky Christopher, Allen Perada, Krystel Roche and James Bartholet also make appearances in Hitchhiker Massacre, the narrative feature length debut of writer/director/producer James L. Bills. He also edited the feature from producer J Horton and executive producers Ivan and Julie Nagy. Together, this cast and crew created a fantastic, rock-and-roll throwback film with tons of gore and sexuality. I mean, really, what more could you want from an independent film of this caliber?
James L. Bills made some wise decisions, too, which really helped this film to come into focus when it came to story progression. He was so smart to make the villain a serial killer instead of a spree killer, and it was an even better idea to keep the killer concealed until midway through the movie. It added a little suspense and gave Hitchhiker Massacre the backroads, no hope atmosphere he was trying to develop. With awesome special effects, an adequate cast, and an awesome 80’s style, Hitchhiker Massacre‘s only problem lies with audio. It was a little dicey a few times. Still, it turned out to be a sinister and sexy grindhouse thriller that old school horror fans will die for. Remember to grade it for what it is and what it accomplished, not what you want it to be. That’s what I’m doing. Final Score: 6.5 out of 10.