Feb 12, 2011

Take an Easy Ride

I had viewed Take an Easy Ride several days prior to this review. Upon finishing it, I was stirred but not shaken. The idea of combing the experience for particular nuggets of truth seemed not worth the effort, that is, until I had a very similar experience the same night that touched base. Coming out of the liquor store, I was accosted by a ogre-like feminine creature that had the finesse of a cricket suffocating in semen. Begging for a ride and not taking no for an answer, I simply had to walk away while she scurried from car to car in the background. This is but an example of the odd little things that come your way during any given period and after watching Take an Easy Ride, I not only feel uneasy about the situation but I feel inclined to finally put to rest these hitchhiking demons vibrating in my skull.

Take an Easy Ride was originally programmed to be a public information film, the sort of which have made rounds about the Internet as we poke fun as its terribly dated and contrived material. This dream of educational celluloid squalor went sour though as Rowles was approached by legendary producer and peddler of smut, David Grant. Taking the ideas of public interest and intertwining this with vintage smut seemed innocent enough but the end result is a strange one. Take an Easy Ride begins with several interviewers on the street conducting short Q&As with the young English gents asking for thoughts on hitch-hiking. Of course, to thin the context of the future events, they speak of spooky happenstance, the connection of rape, murder, and hitching rides. After this segment, the triptych tale of feminine motorway terror begins. The first instance of young girls hitchhiking finds two females "taking an easy ride" off a trucker. After some time though, the blonde hikes up her skirt as if to situate her supple figure, but her veil is wafer thin. This is a classic example of an instinctual act of manipulation, if the woman realizes it or not. On several sites regarding this film, I've witnessed reviewers and "genre fans" writing off this trucker character for being "perverted" or "sleazy", which infuriates me to no end.

Another of the side-plots involves two girls hitchhiking to a rock and roll concert. Despite one receiving fare from her father, the elder hippie decides for whatever reason, whether to save money for drugs or plot progression, to hitch a ride. The fellow who picks them up was previously outlined in a short sketch showing the dashboard of his car and disembodied hands digging through the glove-box in order to flip through a crusty nudie mag; ergo, this man is a devilish victim of persuasion. All comparisons between Take an Easy Ride and Last House on the Left are sourced from this subplot in particular as these young girls are violated, raped, and murdered in the woods. The parents are the victims here, same as the laughable peers in Craven's Last House on the Left. Leave it to daddy's little girl to bring more trouble than their pitiful existence wrapped around boys is already worth. Intertwined with these scenes is two more "examples" of the dangers hitchers face. A staged street introduction leads to an impromptu interview that begins with a cherry disposition that then turns its ugly head on the carelessness of women, especially when inebriated off of wine. A young girl is presumably sheltered from the hazardous asphalt from the kindness of a strange couple. Later relaxing in a bath, the hitcher is surprised in the bathtub by the "girlfriend" and is led into acting out her suppressed desires on the bed. During this foreplay feigned rape, the chubby male snaps shots of the lesbian interaction. Immediately preceding the warm-up exercise, the male removes his clothes and climbs atop the wriggling mass of lady flesh; yet, we're led to believe the hitcher is the victim in this story. A victim of her own carnal ineptitude, perhaps.

The shortest, and in my opinion, weakest of the short interactions between victim and prey swap sides to present the driver as the victim. In this scenario, a gentleman offers a ride to two women who, unbeknownst to him, rob a gas station while his back is turned. This later escalates in him getting stabbed repeatedly by the vixens. This ends the short saga of Take an Easy Ride; a wonderfully distorted campaign of safety. Rowles' determination to take on public safety is repeatedly undermined by the perversity of David Grant. While the assertion that Take an Easy Ride is similar to that of Last House on the Left is credible there's not much else besides the single skit that could lead to this conclusion. Sure, Take an Easy Ride features a scene of rape and murder. This, in turn, draws sympathy from the reaction of the parents. But no other strand of evidence exists to suggest this claim other than the "gentle" scene of rape within Take an Easy Ride. Nevertheless, Rowles' cinematic contribution excels in the art of sleaze and under the ever watchful eye of David Grant, Take an Easy Ride becomes something so strange, esoteric, yet, utterly creative. It's my guess that these abrasive forms of public interest are making a comeback with the inclusion of "shocking" accident commercials, obviously led by forerunners Take an Easy Ride and Forklift Driver Klaus. It seems the media mavens have finally realized brute force is the most effective method of persuasion.


1 comment:

jervaise brooke hamster said...

Those laughable and pathetic British wankers used to be able to get away with making this kind of unwatchable garbage back in the 70`s, 80`s and even (unbelievably) into the 90`s simply because during that period British people were being denied access (because of hateful and corrupt liars, hypocrites, cowards and deceivers who were masquerading as so-called politicians) to the graphic sexual images that their American and European counterparts had free access to at that time, the masturbatory desperation in Britain at that time was appalling, hence the production of literally hundreds of idiotic, inferior films like this one. Pathetic, fucking pathetic. By the way, why couldn`t you have shown a picture with just 2 naked birds?, that picture would have been so much better without the geezer.