Lupino does a fantastic job. A lean and mean thriller about a murderous hitch-hiker who makes a couple of regular guys drive him across the deserts of Mexico. The technical aspects are impressive, great lighting and editing and staging. The mood and the story are tense, and Talman's vicious streak cuts like a knife. The one weak point is that it's one of those movies where you keep thinking "well, what *I* would do is...." But it's fine if you just go along with it.
An interesting exercise in noir style, transposing the trademark genre visuals (shadows, harsh lighting, claustrophobic close-ups etc) from the dark city streets to the bright open expanses of the Mexican desert. Surprisingly, it works well, with the interior car shots being particularly tense. As a whole, though, the film didn't really cut it for me. The story feels half-baked, characters are under-developed and the ending is very anti-climactic.
A gem, a hardened one which is personified by William Talman's grotesque yet entrancing serial murderer, a narrative which feels like a story from Flannery O'Connor, shot like noir and directed greatly by the same person who would make the vastly different The Bigamist and The Trouble with Angels.
There's a certain low budget rawness in the atmosphere and performances that makes it incredibly effective as a true crime film. At barely 70 minutes it wastes no time in getting right to the meat of things, two guys pick up a hitch-hiker who happens to be a murderer on the run, and the rest of the film is a very tense interplay between them. William Talman is unforgettable in his role, and his introduction is one of the film's greatest sequences, along with the finale.