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"Hitcher" Screenwriter Lucky to Be Alive

If you've ever wondered just how ignorant Roger Ebert is capable of being, look no further than his 1986 review of "The Hitcher," which is mentioned in a recent LA Weekly feature about that film's writer, Eric Red. But the fact that "Wolf Creek" isn't the first horror film to earn a zero-star review from he of the opposable thumb is only a sidebar to a much more labyrinthian, not to mention disturbing, story. You might remember (I didn't) that Red, also the imagination behind "Near Dark," was involved in a strange car crash in 2000. If you remember that much, you probably also remember that two people ended up dead as a result. But do you also remember that he attempted to stab himself with a stick and slice open his throat with a piece of glass at the scene of that very crash?

As e-Splatter dutifully points out, the LA Weekly's update to Red's story is a bizarre one. Far too bizarre, in fact, for me to give it any kind of justice in this space. All I can really do is urge you to read the article, which may just have you asking questions you've never asked before about life imitating art imitating life. And this I promise you: if you're unfamiliar with the story of Red's car crash and you already think "The Hitcher" is a frightening piece of work, it's about to take on a whole new level of creepiness for you. And maybe a touch of sadness, too.--Pete Mesling

Posted by Pete on January 19, 2006 7:14 AM
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