Arrow Made Mine! (Sort Of)

Maybe it’s because Arrow Video made their announcements while I was at the Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival. Maybe I’m just asleep at the wheel. Either way, MMC! is overdue in noting that Arrow Video will be releasing Robert Harmon’s The Hitcher (1986) at the end of this month, albeit not in the hi-def Blu-ray edition previously proposed here but rather in a scholarly monograph.

Arrow describes the book on its website as:

Robert Harmon’s 1986 film The Hitcher is a complex beast: reviled at the time of its release, it has been adored in the long term as one of the most intoxicating, unrelenting highway cult films ever made. Starring Rutger Hauer in the title role whose alluring villainy would give his turn as Blade Runner’s Roy Batty a run for its money, The Hitcher – both the film and the character – is simultaneously of its time and of the now, a film about the real and the mythic, and a film that challenges our assumptions about masculinity and femininity. Its horrors unfold as The Hitcher tracks and tortures the film’s protagonists across the highways of Nowhere USA, and the film reveals a tangle of contradictions: it is, at times, simultaneously dense, shallow, obvious, subtle, absurd and deeply intelligent.

The critical paths into The Hitcher that this book explores are rich and plentiful, and through an exploration of its origins and production history, a close analysis of the film itself and a consideration of the immediate fallout following its release and its longer legacies, this book celebrates one of the greatest highway horror movies ever made.

Alexandra Heller-Nicholas is a film critic and academic from Melbourne, Australia, who has written four books on cult, horror and exploitation cinema.

Featuring new artwork by Gary Pullin and original stills.

Sounds good!  I’ll definitely be picking this one up.

And once again, MMC! shapes the boutique film label world. You are welcome, cinephiles.

The Hitcher (Robert Harmon, 1986)

THE TERROR STARTS THE MOMENT HE STOPS

AV_Inferno_DVD_.inddWhile driving in heavy rain on a deserted road, Jim Halsey (C. Thomas Howell) pulls over to pick up a hitchhiker (Rutger Hauer).  Halsey quickly regrets his decision to stop as the hitcher puts a knife to Jim’s throat and tells him to pass a car on the side of the road.  Its occupants have already been brutally slaughtered by the ominous stranger.  Now a bloody game cat-and-mouse is about to be played out on these desolate stretches of Texas highway, and every car that passes, and every soul that drives those roads, will have death, destruction, and mayhem along for the ride.

TERROR ALERT!  The Hitcher is a stretch for actress Jennifer Jason Leigh, especially when she’s tied between two vehicles headed in opposite directions!

Special Features:

  • New high definition digital transfer
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard DVD Presentation
  • Original Stereo 2.0 and 5.1 Dolby Surround options
  • Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Introduction by director Christopher Nolan
  • Audio commentary by director Robert Harmon and writer Eric Red
  • Scene-specific audio commentary with Harmon, Red, stars C. Thomas Howell and Rutger Hauer, producer Edward S. Feldman, composer Mark Isham, and cinematographer John Seale
  • The Hitcher – How do these Movies get made?, a 39-minute making-of documentary
  • Gunmen’s Blues, Red’s 1981 short film with optional commentary
  • Telephone, Red’s 1983 short film starring Bud Cort with optional commentary
  • China Lake, Harmon’s 1983 short film starring Charles Napier with director’s introduction
  • The Room, Hauer’s 2001 short film with optional commentary by Hauer
  • Teaser and theatrical trailer
  • Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Michael Gingold of Fangoria magazine

Continue reading