Hit And Run Review
Many Urban Legends can trace their roots back to the 1950s, and have stayed with us as a society, being told as ‘fact, no right, this really happened to a friend of my sister’s boyfriend’s aunt’s cat sitter’. One of the most famous and enduring is the ‘bloody hook on the car handle’, another being ‘drunk driver embeds young girl on his car grille’. Mix this in with the shocking real life case of Chante Mallard and we have Hit And Run (aka Bumper, as the DVD box helpfully states). And yes, Spoilers to follow.
Ah, Well I Didn’t Watch The ‘Unrated’ Version. I’m Sure That Would Have Made ALL The Difference.
Woo! It’s partay time! To be precise, Spring Break, that wholly American phenomenon that seems to exist purely so teenagers can get drunk and then be butchered by machete wielding madmen. Our heroine however, knows when to stop drinking and head for home. Sensible lass. Well, she does stand in the middle of the road and is nearly run over and is then pissed off at that the driver of the car shouts at her, so sensible may be pushing it a tad. She is also drunk, and probably shouldn’t be driving in the first place. OK, let’s scratch sensible from the record.
She heads home through the mists of New Jersey, listening to possibly the most obnoxious DJ ever that wasn’t Chris Moyles. Reaffirming her sensible credentials she turns him off sharpish in favour of some sort of indie band wankery and indulges in some car dancing. She nearly hits an entirely innocent tyre (the monster!) and veers off the road briefly, but makes it home in one piece. The bulb in the garage has bust but this thrilling development doesn’t faze her, and she is delighted to discover for parents have handily gone away for the weekend leaving her alone in the house. She has to go and pick up her Grandmother’s parrots as well, in a slightly odd sub-plot.
She makes herself throw up before going to bed and we are treated to a lovely POV from the toilet. Thanks Hit And Run, the film wouldn’t have been the same without that scene. A spooky noise rouses her from slumber and she heads downstairs to check it out, complete with the horror film staple of investigating-a-strange-noise attire: tiny shorts and fuzzy slippers. She very, very slowly makes her way to the garage. I think this is an attempt at building tension, but it falls totally flat, as it is so very dark it’s hard to make anything out.
You Can’t Tell From This Picture, But This Girl Is Really Fucking Annoying.
She eventually makes it to the garage, avec torch, and finds that the spooky noise she heard came from a bloody and very much on the cusp of dying guy. Err, what the fuck? There is no way in hell she wouldn’t have noticed that when she got home. No one has ever been that drunk. Oh, the broken light bulb eh? That explains everything. Excellent ears though, hearing the faint groaning of a dying man through at least two closed doors and up some stairs. She freaks, bolts and gets through both 9 and the first 1 of 911 before hanging up. Nooo! You could have rung the police and made this film 70 minutes shorter. Damn you.
She screws her courage to the sticking place and goes back into the garage, where she finds the man isn’t quite dead yet. ‘I’m going to help you’ she stutters. Finishing dialling 911 would have been a start. Instead she wastes valuable time while the man’s life ticks away. He, quite rightly, gets fed up with her stammering about helping without actually doing a fucking thing to achieve this and lunges at her, grabbing her leg. She kicks him away and finishes him off with a golf club. Not quite the dictionary definition of ‘help’. More like, ‘gruesome murder carried out by a cretin’.
In a very weird shot Mary (by the way, that’s her name) stares at her car keys for about a full minute and you can practically see the cogs in her brain creaking round as she puts it together. (Clue: You hit him with your car!) The shot is weird not because of her immense stupidity but in that it is shot in a tiny hole in the middle of the screen while the rest is black, sort of like the beginning of a James Bond film. Are we meant to think someone is watching her through a hole in a box? I warn you now, the editing/screen wipes/cinematography in his film is both idiotic and baffling.
She gets into action though, and starts to destroy the evidence. She drags the corpse off the bonnet of the car and puts him in the back of her car. A car that would surely have bits of intestines and assorted other innards hanging off the bumper, one would have thought, which you would think would arouse suspicion in any other passing motorists.
She drives into a deep, dark, rainy forest and sets about digging a hole to bury the corpse in. She uses first a stick, and then a Frisbee. Amazingly using these two utterly useless tools she manages to dig a perfectly round shallow grave. Hidden talents indeed. It’s a shame being a decent human being isn’t one of them. Mission Totally Depraved complete she heads home to cry in the shower.
Stick + Frisbee = Shallow Grave, Apparently. (Ignore The Pen, It’s A Red Herring)
Are we meant to feel sorry for this chick? Because I don’t. At. All. She fucking killed a man and buried his body in the woods. A hit and run is bad enough, but she could have saved him and considering the circumstances, probably wouldn’t have incurred that harsh a jail time (Yes, she was drinking but hell, we live in a world where someone who file shares/pirates films gets more time in the slammer than a mass murdering right wing bastard). So no, no sympathy. Jog on love.
The next day Mary continues the clean-up operation, which seems to consist of spreading the blood around the garage floor. Her brilliant plan also involves acting really, really suspicious. She goes to try and get her car’s bumper fixed and may as a well been wearing a t-shirt that said ‘I Killed A Man Last Night’ with the way she acts, high tailing it away as soon as policeman shows up. Maybe it’s meant to be a Psycho reference, but that’s giving this film waaay to much credit.
Yay! The parrots. Automatically my favourite characters in the film, because they aren’t a murdering twat. They talk too. Hope she doesn’t say anything incriminating in earshot. Mary (after asking the parrots advice first, they couldn’t give her worse guidance after all), mashes up her car’s bumper in order to cover the first collision.
They Are Judging Me For Watching This Dreadful Film. Judging And Mocking.
She avidly watches the news looking for reports on her crime. It would appear her victim was Timothy Emser, a local school teacher. Don’t the police usually wait 48 hours before looking for missing folk? Ah well, his tearful wife begs her husband to come home, the camera shoved right in her face with all the sensitivity one can expect from the media.
Mary’s charming, caring boyfriend Rick turns up and his opening two salvos of ‘you wouldn’t be stupid enough’ (to have another guy here) and ‘you look like shit’, really make me warm to him. But Mary considers him, wife beater vest and gold chain and all, trustworthy enough to tell her darkest secret to. He actually reacts as one would expect him to, confused laughter. She shouts at him, this girl has misdirected anger issues. Mary tells Rick the whole story, including the part where she murdered this Timothy Teacher guy with a golf club. Apparently he ‘attacked her and kept doing it’. No he didn’t and so what? You hit him with your car and then didn’t call the police. I really don’t like this girl.
Yeah, If I Had To Go Out With This Bitch I’d Drink Copiously Too.
I may have misjudged Rick, he actually seems fairly decent, although gullible as fuck if he believes ‘every word that comes out of her mouth’ because they’ve been ‘going out two years’? That’s not long enough to forgive her for killing someone dude. That kind of thing is a deal breaker. She whines and cries and says she knows she should have called the police but shows no actual remorse. Being scared of getting caught is not the same thing you stupid girl. Rick takes charge and tells her to stop being so fucking annoying. Actually, he doesn’t but I really wish he had. That would have upgraded Rick to above the parrots as my favourite character in the film. His plan, marginally less stupid than hers, is to stick their heads in the sand and act as normal, not even get a haircut.
Apparently a couple of hours are all Rick needs in order to find the whole thing hilarious and fake scares Mary in the kitchen. This accomplished, and once he’s ascertained that he definitely won’t be getting any tonight, Rick heads home. Odd one, this Rick, switches from seeming quite understanding caring to typical Jock moron in a second. It’s like they had another character that was scrapped and they palmed all these random lines onto Rick.
Mary is now alone in the house. She takes some pills, gets a silent phone call and then finds a missing person flyer featuring her victim. The sprinkler on her lawn starting by itself is the last straw for her fragile mental state and she calls Rick, who basically tells her to chill out and take more drugs. It seems someone is messing with Mary (she deserves it frankly) and the light in the garage, that was blown before, has now been mysteriously replaced. She tries to watch some TV, and as the reporter is saying that Timothy Esmer had recently been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder (information that may be useful), she mutes the TV (genius) and returns to the obnoxious DJ from earlier, who is doing something delightfully called ‘Spazathon’. He mentions fog, to her mind this equals blanket. Riiight. Anyway, she realises the blanket she wrapped the body in will be covered in fibres etc. and demands the unfortunate Rick go with her to retrieve it.
This Film Is Teaching Me Lots About Maths
(Also, Sorry John Carpenter, For Dragging Your Name Into This)
He however, doesn’t turn up so she must handle this mission solo. She doesn’t get far and before long has run back to the car. You know, in the time she spent looking fearfully around and gasping in terror, she could have got the blanket and been home by now. Eventually, and with no sign of Rick she goes out to dig up the grave. She finds the blanket but it’s not corpse guy inside, it’s Rick. She finds his car smashed up a little way from the grave. In full view actually, so she really should have seen it already.
She flees, without even checking Rick’s pulse (but seeing as she didn’t bother with the other corpse why should she start now?) Now it is surely time to call the police? No, it’s face washing time instead. Her mobile phone rings, ‘Bloody Mary’ rasps the voice down the phone. It’s like something from a Point Horror book. She arms herself with a screwdriver; I would have gone for one of the massive kitchen knives myself. And calling the fucking police! Arggh, I literally can’t stand how moronic this girl is.
Even The Girls In These Books Made Better Decisions ThanThis Simpleton.
Spooky noises in the house abound. Mary investigates, but struggles under the weight of her own ineptitude and falls down the stairs and manages to stab herself in the leg with the screwdriver, still not feeling sorry for her. It’s not like it’s as bad as being hit with a car and then beaten with a golf club is it? On the plus side, the parrots have picked up the ‘Bloody Mary’ chant, excellent; I knew I liked those birds. Can’t we just watch the parrots for the rest of the film’s duration?
Suddenly she is attacked by the not so dead after all Timothy Esmer who immediately bites her lower ear off. This is the portrayal of bipolar the film is going with? Nice. He also stabs her couple of times and with another odd scene wipe, we’re on to the gripping third act. Ugh, do we have to?
Mary regains consciousness and finds herself gagged and bound on the bumper of her car. Timothy drives off into the night, stopping only to refuel and kill a petrol station attendant. Timothy seems pretty fresh for a guy who was hit by a car and whacked with a golf club. I’m pretty sure the attendant, even if he was using a crutch, should have been able to take him.
Timothy returns to the homestead and his wife is so pleased to see him she doesn’t notice the young girl lashed with chains and lights to the front bumper of a car that does not belong to them. Wifey also doesn’t instantly call the police, you know, the people who have been looking for your husband day and night? Come on woman! This in NOT bipolar related. He’s basically a zombie at this point. It isn’t until he starts rambling about the ‘bitch’ who killed him that he she decides to call the police. He attacks her before she can get through, ripping the phone from her hands, the phone drops and is left hanging, and the operator tells empty air they are sending the police. I don’t think that’s how it works.
Hell, I’d Take The Bumbling Cops From Last House On The Left At This Point.
Andy, their son, has gone down to the garage to get his laser gun. He finds Mary and gets his mother, who sets about untying her. ‘My husband, his head isn’t right’ she says. That’s a smidge of an understatement, seeing as he immediately kills her with a pair of garden shears and off they drive into the night again. Why did he even GO home? To up the painfully low body count? To really hammer home the totally so wide of the mark it isn’t even funny bipolar angel?
He takes her to the woods where she buried his body. Bipolar or no, he does have the mental fortitude to bring a spade to dig a grave, so he has one up on her. He cuts her off the car and tosses her in next to Rick. He then mumbles to her incoherently for a bit and she manages to get a hand free and stabs him in the eye with the socket from the lights he tied her up with. She knocks him out with a piece of wood and tries to get away. But oh no, he has the car keys so she much return to the body once again. Will he really be dead this time? What do you think? Actually, he might be, she gets the keys. Ok, well I bet the body will be gone when she comes back with help. No, wrong again. He’s managed to get up and bolt it down to the road and stand in front of the car. She decides to do the job properly this time and drives into him. He goes through the windshield and continues trying to kill her. Can’t say he’s not determined. And she’s been so unrelentlessly awful throughout the film that I’m kind of routing for him.
Eventually he falls off and she runs him over for good this time. Instead of driving straight to the police she pulls over and has a nap instead. Well, yeah, that’s what I’d do. Then I’d try and brush my hair. Time for the police now surely? Nope, she drives back to the garage to get her car fixed, why why WHY is she so stupid?? Looks like Timothy has the last laugh as he is still under her car. I’ve no knowledge of mechanics but is that even possible? Mary finally succumbs to complete mental breakdown and sirens signal that the police have FINALLY been called.
The Face Of Bipolar – This Guy!
This film is utterly stupid, not to mention aggressively boring.
The ‘heroine’ is desperately unlikeable, she’s whiny, self-centred, imbecilic and yeah, a hit and run (almost) murderer. She gets her boyfriend and Timothy’s wife killed and we’re meant to feel bad for her? No fucking way. There are absolutely zero scares, the editing and scene wipes are ridiculous. Sometimes it feels like they’re going for the Edgar Wright type editing effects but it’s just disjointed and does not work. The fact that the film makers insinuate that bipolar disorder is the main reason that Timothy goes mental is basically insulting. Timothy himself almost veers into Jason Voorhees dead and come back invincible territory. The part where he bites her ear off made me think of Cannibal Apocalypse where in which Vietnam veterans turn cannibal. Whereas that film had the (yes, OK, slightly wobbly) message of PTSD that many vets felt and used cannibalism as a metaphor for it this film as NO message of any sort to deliver regarding bipolar, it uses it as fucking awful reason why he snaps. And I’m not indulging in the pointless pursuit of being offended on someone else’s behalf. Folk who have bipolar are well able to stand up for themselves, it just so lazy from a storytelling point of view. Hit And Run seems to aiming to be a cross between Urban Legend and I Know What You Did Last Summer, but it totally fails even given that fairly low bar (in fact, I quite enjoy both of those films, in a cheap and cheerful 90s nostalgic way). Script, bad. Acting, bad. Direction, bad. Editing/ Cinematography, frankly bizarre. I can’t really unrecommend this one enough.