At the time of its creation, Death of the Hitchhikers enjoyed considerable audience popularity. The criminal genre was noticeably absent from the cinema offer, and the audience was also impressed by the excellent craftsmanship under the direction of director Jindřich Polák.
The film is interesting in that the main character is not a charismatic investigator, but a murderer. And he gets a lot of space in the film. The director had a lucky hand with his cast and borrowed from our northern neighbors unseen Polish actor and bodybuilder Marek Perepeczko.
The role was originally given to Petr Kostka and he was already learning the text. In the end, however, the production decided that the face of the murderer should be completely unknown to the audience, and it was also discussed that the role could harm the Czech actor in his future career.
The film is also a memory of the acting duo Patrasova – Nagyova, who played together in the famous series Arabela. It was this film that Václav Vorlíček saw when he was looking for casting for a fairy tale series, in which Nagyová was beautiful, kind and naive, and Patrasová very sexy and a little naughty. In Death of a Hitchhiker, both of them were open and trusting, and unfortunately it cost them their lives.
At that time, the crime drama was also a warning to young girls not to use hitchhiking as a means of transportation, because rape or perhaps death did not await every brave girl, but it sometimes happened and this story was inspired by a real event. In addition, he showed that even traveling in pairs does not have to be a guarantee of a happy arrival at the destination.
Film fiction versus reality
The waitress Klímová was the first to meet the violent driver Charvát while hitchhiking. However, she was spirited enough to understand that she had a chance of survival if she “cooperated”. Moreover, she was no longer naive and scared. She didn’t mind a little violence, so she managed to convince the violent driver that she liked his position of power. When Charvát understood that nothing was in danger, he let the woman live.
Outwardly, he seemed like an ordinary person, whom even the divorced owner of the house he lived with thought of him. He had a very nice relationship with her son. All this until the moment when two young girls who missed the last night train got into his truck.
On the way he drove into the forest. While one girl jumped into the bushes, he drove on and raped and strangled her friend. He also strangled the dangerous witness to his crime. He took the bodies of both girls to a distant landfill. He burned their things at home in the boiler room.
The killer seemed to record everything. The witness who found the bodies could not determine the type of car. In addition, the company assigned Charvát a new car. However, prints were found on the girls’ throats, with a thumb missing. Charvát deformed it in prison. Criminal investigators later discovered other clues and everything resulted in a drama when Charvát kidnapped the young son of his landlord.
The reality scared even hardened criminalists
A double, sexually motivated murder happened on August 8, 1976, and the discovery of the bodies of two beautiful young women was alarming to crime experts. A killer who hated women could go on killing.
The caught murderer Miroslav Somora (†34) then described that the girls didn’t even scream and soon lay limp. One on the car seat, the other under it. That was the moment when he took a knife about thirty centimeters long and started stabbing the bodies. He wasn’t even sure how many times or where he had stabbed them.
In reality, the girls did not die by strangulation, but by a wrench and a knife. He stabbed the bodies with such force that he broke the knife in one of the girls. When he got rid of it, he took the bodies to a safer place and there he performed intercourse on one of the dead girls. He dumped the bodies in a dump near Valašské Klobúk.
In 1976, when the film was made, a murderer with a checkered criminal history was executed.
The film can be seen on Prima Max on the evening of 9/8 (and later on 9/11 on Prima).