The Hitcher, The Director & Dubya

This is just one of those things I can’t help but point out, because the idea hit me as soon as I read it. The connections are just too interesting not to mention it. Independent Sources leans somewhat to the right, but I check it out every once in a while, and happened across their post about screenwriter Eric Red and how — even though his drunk driving took two lives — he’s still a free man.

 It’s an engrossing story; one that makes you feel for the victims and wonder why this guy has been walking around a free man al this time. I think the answer has to do with one basic truth: in America, you can get as much justice as you can afford. However, what caught my eye was mention of one of Red’s screenwriting credits.

Red has continued to demand a jury trial, even as his fifth appeal was denied by the California Supreme Court last September 21. (He is currently appealing the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.) Meanwhile, plaintiffs’ attorneys — among them, family members of the victims — have unsuccessfully lobbied the District Attorney’s Office to reopen the criminal case. With Michael Bay and Focus Features/Universal set to remake his mid-’80s horror opus, The Hitcher, and Red claiming legal malfeasance on the part of his own attorneys, he could walk away from any liability, criminal or civil, and make his long-imagined comeback.

The Hitcher? I never saw the movie, but I remember it. What got my attention here is that it connects Red to another famous drunk driver.

George W. Bush, who rails against the "pervasiveness of violence" in Hollywood, served for a decade on the board of a company that financed more than two dozen R-rated movies, including one in which a hitchhiker rips a young woman’s body in two.

His presidential campaign said Thursday that Bush played no role in Silver Screen Management Co.’s decision to finance the horror-suspense film, "The Hitcher," which one reviewer in 1986 described as a "massacre about every 15 minutes" and another called "gizzard-slitting depravity."

 Oh well, at least Dubya didn’t kill anybody.

For the sake of his victims families, I hope Red does eventually end up where he belongs: behind bars. But should he remain a free man, I think he’s got a pretty good shot at a comeback with the announced remake of The Hitcher. Now that torture is entertainment, in Dubya’s America, a "massacre every 15 minutes" is just what the audience wants; that scene where a young woman gets pulled in two could even be done on camera now.

Even if Red ends up behind bars, the box office returns could still be huge.

About Terrance

Black. Gay. Father. Buddhist. Vegetarian. Liberal.
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3 Responses to The Hitcher, The Director & Dubya

  1. interesting read….. 

    nice site… i will be back….

  2. keri says:

    A minor correction – I think the LA weekly article said there was no alcohol or drugs in his system, which to me makes the whole thing even more bizarre – he has blamed it all on fainting spells (the doctor who originally confirmed these spells has since recanted and said he was paid to essentially lie).

    I read this whole thing yesterday and just cannot get over the facts of the case. After running over several people (killing two of them) the screenwriter got out of the car and tried to stab himself in the chest with a stick, then slit his own throat. I think he was trying to kill himself and didn’t care who he took with him. Reminds me of this case in Chicago when a woman trying to kill herself in a car crash killed 3 people and is now pleading not guilty: http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=News&id=3268775

    In the case of Eric Red, he has done everything possible to avoid any kind of responsibility. He "moved" to Texas for just exactly the amount of time (91 days) he would need to establish residency so he could declare bankruptcy and take advantage of Texas bankruptcy laws and effectively halt the civil suit against him at the time.

    I thought the connections the LA Weekly article drew between his screenplays and his actions on that day were really creepy – and I thought it especially disgusting of him to have been shopping around a screenplay since the "accident" called "Fenderbent," about yokels who run over pedestrians for sport.

  3. keri says:

    I forgot to add that the statute of limitations is running out and it is likely that Eric Red will never be prosecuted or face time behind bars. From the LA Weekly article:

    "In fact, the clock is ticking on what possible criminal charges could be brought to bear. For voluntary manslaughter, as is the case with road rage, the statute of limitations is six years, expiring on June 1, 2006. Felony and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter (with and without gross negligence) carry limitations of three and one years, respectively, both of which have already expired. "

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