20 horror movies for $5; what could possibly go wrong? Part XX of XX. Free at last, free at least, thank God almighty, I’m free at last.
Not a good sign that the only actor I’ve ever seen before is Ron Jeremy — not a good sign for me or the film.
We start off with a man driving through Death Valley. Ahead, he spots a hitchhiker, and even at this distance, she is a hottie. He discreetly covers a large knife with a newspaper. I appreciate that the paper had a headline with the word “Killings” in it. The director doesn’t jam it down our throat, but it is visible, giving me hope that this movie might actually have some nuance and thought behind it.
Lucinda, in denim shorts and a t-shirt, jumps in the car saying she and her boyfriend walked in different directions for help. This stranger who has picked her up offers her some water which she gulps down. Not blaming the victim here, but that’s 2 stupid moves by Lucinda. She begins gagging. The man pulls over and she runs into the hills. She stumbles and he pulls out his knife and jams it into a really fake looking stomach. But that’s OK — we’re obviously in micro-budget mode here, it was just a few frames, and the movie has already built up some goodwill with me.
The man gets his shovel from the car and puts on a preacher collar. There is a nice bit of camera trickery as we cut from him giving her a final blow with the shovel to tapping the mound of dirt where she has been buried. He sprinkles holy water on her grave from the same bottle she drank from.
As he is leaving, he hears her voice taunting him. He looks around and sees nothing. Once again, however, the director goes the extra mile and there is a nice reveal of Lucinda standing behind him as he turns, sporting some devilish painting on half her face. Not that this is groundbreaking work, but after much of the crap in this collection, it is refreshing. That’s the end of the Preacher.
This is mostly prologue to get us to the main story (and to keep the movie from being 60 minutes instead of 70). Next we meet the group that we will follow for the rest of the movie. More goodwill is accrued as Monique flashes the camera . . . then 30 seconds later does it again; sadly, we must wait another whole minute before she turns them loose again.
Chris is driving while Sarah and Eric occupy the backseat. We see Lucinda hitchhiking ahead. The group notices the huge number of crosses along the road and Lucinda tells them the story of The Devil’s Highway, which would have been a better title. Lucinda claims she had earlier hitched a ride with Chris’ brother and killed everyone in the car. Chris pulls over and demands that she get out of the car, then she points gun at Sarah. After a struggle, they manage to pull a C. Thomas Howell on Lucinda and roll her ass out of the moving car. Well, actually they rolled her ass out of the stopped car and cut to the car moving, but kudos to the director for making it work.
Clearly, she is supposed to be the devil. She had the El Diablo face paint, her name is almost Lucifer, and she is evil. But what’s with the gun? The Devil needs a gun like God needs a starship.
That night, they pull over to zelten um Geld zu sparen (finally able to use that phrase from the high school German text). Finally after 20 minutes, we get another look at Monique’s boobs.
The next day, they see Lucinda again hitchhiking. She runs at the car, hurling a knife and swinging a shovel, but is no match for 2 tons of D-troit steel which mows her down, decapitating her. Our heroes move her to the side of the road, and take off. No one notices that her entrails are still hooked to the car, so as they leave, they pull out 50 yards of intestines before dragging half her body behind the car. Well played, Mr. Director!
Lucinda later shows up again with the El Diablo face paint. And a chainsaw. She does some damage before the gang can drive off. Oh, for crying out loud, Lucinda shows up yet again the next day. In fact, multiples of her show up.
Eventually all — or at least some — is explained. It’s not a great movie, but there are enough signs that the makers actually cared that I am willing to go along for the ride.
- Among director Jeff Leroy’s other joints: Dracula’s Sorority Sisters, Werewolf in a Women’s Prison.
- Among Monique’s other credits: Stacked Racks from Mars, Busty Housewives of Beverly Hills.