ann hale has an important lesson for all drivers…
t’s Friday and that means the weekend is finally here. This means that it’s time to go out and get wasted or perhaps do a little traveling. This gets me thinking of all of the potential trouble that can bring. So, tonight’s film is The Hitcher.
Jim (C. Thomas Howell) is delivering a car from Chicago to San Diego. A ways into his drive, he sees a guy stranded on the side of the road and decides to pick him up. The hitchhiker, John Ryder (Rutger Hauer), seems like a nice guy until they pass a deserted car on the side of the road and he admits that he not only murdered the driver, but plans to murder Jim as well. He also admits that he wants Jim to stop him.
It’s obviously a game to him. Jim literally kicks him out of the moving car and takes off. Later, he sees John in a car with a family but runs off the road when he tries to warn them. He later comes across the car with blood dripping out of it. Jim is later arrested in a diner when they find the murder weapon Ryder has planted on him but escapes from jail when Ryder murders the entire police department and unlocks his cell door.
Now Jim must stop Ryder before he kills anyone else and ruins his life.
John Ryder is one really screwed up guy and no one but Hauer could have played him. Hauer has that evil look to him naturally so you can only imagine how he looks when he intends to look crazy. C. Thomas Howell isn’t exactly a badass but he plays a good victim. And poor Jennifer Jason Leigh…she can never seem to catch a break.
The Hitcher is a very violent movie. I mean, the guy kills an entire family, including children. That’s pretty dark for 1986. There is a police station full of officers with slit throats. Hell, a woman gets ripped in half when she is tied up between two trucks. Sure, there were violent movies before The Hitcher but this one seemed to really just push the envelope.
If The Texas Chainsaw Massacre taught you nothing, then The Hitcher will surely make you think twice before picking up any hitchhikers. That is, unless you want to take your chances. I doubt you will though.