Apr 19, 2008

This Is A Hijack

Now that I finally got my 16mm projector fixed, I previewed my print of the forgotten drive-in flick This Is a Hijack.

This 1973 feature is a real scream, and cries for rediscovery. Adam Roarke (the handsome star of many AIP biker films) is a loser who owes a lot of money to some crooks, so in order to pay back his loan quickly, he masterminds the hijack of a private jet (replete with hanging planters, pinball machine and a "Coffee Tea or Me" stewardess) owned by a rich playboy (who -accidentally or not- bears a faint resemblance to Hugh Hefner). Neville Brand is one of the mobster's flunkies who comes along for the ride to make sure he delivers with the goods, and before you know it, this classic movie bad guy is chewing the scenery, having a ball uttering these pseudo-campy lines.

Seeing a flick like this is precisely what makes me proud of what I do. For die-hards like myself who want to see every obscure non-porn 70s film ever made, this is a true find. The dialogue is sassy, hip, partly satirical; and the crazy plot never stops moving. Want more? There's a "skyjacking" theme song over the end credits, Dub ("Hee Haw") Taylor is the sheriff on the ground usually running around in his underwear, plus there are more wide lapels and bongo music than you can shake a stick at. All of these ingredients already make for an irresistible specimen of 70s drive-in trash, but what is more delightful is that writer-director Barry Pollack (whose only other feature is the blaxploitation "Asphalt Jungle" remake, Cool Breeze) shows a lot of craft and interesting visual ideas.

More fun than all the Airport movies put together-- if this doesn't make you nostalgic for the glory days of the drive-in, then nothing will. Coming soon to an independent screening near you!

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