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Oct 02

Highway to Hell

highwaytohellGenre: Action / Horror
Year: 1991
Country: USA

Director: Ate De Jong
Starring: Patrick Bergin, Adam Storke, Chad Lowe, Kristy Swanson, Pamela Gidley

 

The cops on this road don’t take you to jail… They take you to HELL.

 

Charlie and Rachel are a young couple who has decided to run away together to Las Vegas to tie the knot. Because Charlie is afraid that Rachel’s parents are up to their plan, he argues that the couple should take an abandoned road to get to Las Vegas without any chance of being spotted by anyone.

The road is abandoned for a reason though and the couple will soon find out why. They get stopped on the road by a devilish cop from Hell who kidnaps Rachel and brings her to hell. Charlie has to go through a portal to go to hell and win back his wife-to-be by challenging Satan himself.

Highway to Hell is a hell of a ride (pun intended) and it is so mind blowing that the film is currently not available on DVD or Blu-Ray. The film had a budget of 9 million dollars, a well known cast and even several celebrity cameo’s by everyone from Lita Ford to Gilbert Gottfried (as Adolf Hitler!) and pretty much the entire Stiller family. It was even written by Brian Helgeland, who wun an Academy Award for his work on L.A. Confidential.

The film is an odd and unique mixture of action, comedy and horror. It’s hard to compare it to anything else really and it amazes me that this film got the greenlight with such a huge budget as it seems like a risky project to do. I guess that’s a reason why it had so many post-production problems with director Ate De Jong being overruled by the production company on many of the decisions.

Even so, the movie is a lot of fun and the charm of it makes it easy to look past its storytelling flaws. Although the story didn’t go exactly how De Jong wanted it to go, he does deserve a lot of praise for his work here. Except working on an episode of Miami Vice, De Jong might be most known for his other 1991 release – the comedy film Drop Dead Fred. It seems like he wandered back home to Europe after these two films, which makes me think that Hollywood lost out on a great talent here.

The star of the film is Chad Lowe, the younger brother of Rob Lowe. Chad plays Charlie and while he does look the part, he is not very good and pretty much have the exact same look on his face the entire film. His co-star might be familiar to most guys who had their teenage years in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Kristy Swanson is always lovely to watch, even though I don’t think she is having her best role as Rachel in this one.

For some reason MGM has never bothered to give this hidden gem a DVD release. I have no idea what’s keeping it unreleased as it is a highly entertaining film and if they also give it a release with decent extra features then I’m sure we would also get some fun stories of what went on behind the scenes of this production. Highway to Hell is a film that should be seen by more people and MGM needs to show it enough respect to give it a proper release right away.

 

 ★★★½☆ 

 

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