Teenage Hitchhikers - Teenage Hitchhikers(Blu Ray) [Dark Force Entertainment - 2020]Teenage Hitchhikers is a kooky Ďní campy 1970ís road movie that brings together soft-core sex comedy, slap-stick humour, and cheeky con-artistry. Itís a largely light & fairly amusing romp- though some of the humour doesnít quite hit- for example, rape will never be funny, and some of the cheeky slapstick gets a little tiring. Here from Dark Force Entertainment is recently released Blu Ray- bringing together a new HD print of the film, commentary track, and an on-camera interview.
Teenage Hitchhikers appeared in 1974- it was the first film directed by Claude Goddard( as Gerri Sedley), who during the 1970s helmed four other films that seemingly were very much more in the straight porn side of things- with his most known film been 1976ís Winter Heat, which featured the infamous Jamie Gills in a grimy & unpleasant Hardcore rape-revenge picture. Teenage Hitchhikers is well enough shot picture with a nice blend countryside shots in & around Woodstock, and often groovy-but-tame flesh bound encounters- though at points the pacing is a little off, with some set-ups dragging on way too long- which isnít great in a one hour and twenty-minute film.
The film focuses in on the plucky & tricky female late teen duo Mouse (Chris Jordan) and Bird (Sandra Peabody- most known for playing one of the ill-fated victims in Last House On The Left). The pair are slow-but-surely making their way across the US- when we first meet them theyíve not had a ride or any food for some time- but then they come on a somewhat of a lucky streak- as they get picked-up by/ involved with a host of characters. First up itís a rough & ready folk-rock band, and their groupies. a nervous greasy spoon teen cook - next a toupee wearing lady wear salesman, an escape rapist convict- were some of the films least unfunny moments come from. A rich lesbian, and a group of swingers. Along the way, they keep bumping into classic butter-ball local cop, a naive virgin, and the rapist character who keeps popping back Ėup, and each time his rape as a joke becomes more & more trying.
Oddly this been a US film- plot-wise, set-up, and humour wise, it feels a lot more European or British in itís intent. We have Benny Hill-type sped-up moments, silly & teasing encounters that never really pay off, and cheeky innuendo tipped humour. Both Jordan & Peabody do well enough as the coning teens, though Jordan comes off the most charming & amusing of the two. The supporting cast is largely ok for the 70ís exploitation fare. If you looking for a light & tame sex comedy with all the cheese & campy youíd expect from a film from the 70ís- youíll enjoy well enough what we here- certainly not a lost classic, but Teenage Hitchhikers is trashy 70ís fun.
Moving onto the Blu Ray- and first off the new print is well balanced, clear & crisp- managing to keep the 70ís coloring/ feel- yet also buffing everything up a bit, though never going too digitized. Next, we get a twenty-four-minute interview on-screen interview with the director- heís rather frail & elderly now, though still has a good memory as he discusses the shoot, locations, and stars- he also reveals he wrote & co-produced the film too. As the interview goes on he discusses that the film played well in the states, going onto sell well worldwide too, and he discusses how he sold the film to Code Red- who initially released the film on DVD some years back. He also talks about it being one of Quentin Tarantino favorite films, and he reads out a quote from him when he played it at one of his grindhouse film fests- itís an interesting interview, from clearly a very multi-talented guy- though those hoping for mention of his more straight porn films will be disappointed as he completely ignores these.
Next, we get an archive audio commentary from the Code Red with Director of Photography Bill Lamond, who joins two of the Code Red staff members- itís a chatty if rather sporadic track- we find out he didnít get paid for his work & how he knew the director from advising work. They go onto talk about key cast members talking about Sandra Peabody now distancing her self from these early films, and how Chris Jordan largely stared in hardcore & softcore porn thorough-out the 70ís. So not a bad selection of extras and the new scan is rather good.
If you looking for a fairly light & campy 1970ís exploitation then Teenage Hitchhikers will certainly do the job- and this new Dark Force Entertainment release is well worth tracking down- as we get a good new print & some interesting extras.