Variety called it "a highly unimaginative slasher ... with a script that has many holes. " Red mentioned to Hauer that he had Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards in mind when he wrote the part of Ryder. Add Article. I would have admired it more if it had found the courage to acknowledge the real relationship it was portraying between Howell and Rutger, but no: It prefers to disguise itself as a violent thriller, and on that level it is reprehensible.  It would not be easy to convince him because it was not the kind of material that he liked and he did not want to make it. As the police chase after them, Ryder joins the chase and murders the officers by causing a massive car accident. By the end, it's not clear whether Jim has turned killer or not. With its vicious, motivation-free violence, this elemental thriller isn't as bad as other exploitation movies trading on rampant sex and brutality. Harmon personally gave Howell a copy of the script. He unveils his switchblade and almost pleads to Jim "I want you to stop me". Ryder is at the wheel of one truck and threatens to tear Nash apart. Ryder challenges Jim to run him over, which he does. The star rating reflects overall quality. He finds a severed finger in his food and realizes Ryder is present. Yeaaaaah (1400 Words). In 'Halloween', Michael Myers was simply credited as The Shape because the viewers would project their own ideas of horror onto his amorphous face. For instance, he tells his driver that earlier he killed the people in a car that the two see parked on the side of the road when they're still driving into the night. TriStar representatives saw an early screening and studio president David Matalon said, "It's the best film that we have for 1986". Your purchase helps us remain independent and ad-free.  For the latter scene, Harmon just changed the body part to a finger. The Hitcher is a 1986 American road thriller film directed by Robert Harmon and written by Eric Red. When writer Eric Red was 20 years old, he made a short film entitled "Gunman's Blues" in the hopes of getting the opportunity to direct a feature-length film. While Jim is in the shower, Ryder abducts Nash. There are other disgusting moments, as when a police dog feasts on the blood dripping from its master's neck, and when Howell finds a human finger in his french fries. When the movie is made, the country will not sleep for a week". Jim leans against Esteridge's car and begins smoking as the sun sets. and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango. In its original form, Bombyk found the script to be "extremely brutal and extremely gory", but he and personal manager Kip Ohman (who later became co-producers of the film) also saw in it "a level of challenge, intensity and poetry". The film also features Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jeffrey DeMunn. "The Hitcher" begins and ends with the same sound: a match being struck, flaring into flame. The patrol car crashes, and Ryder disappears again. [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img] It's a highly competent sick-fright version of the evergreen chase formula. While the nominal hero of the piece, Jim Halsey, constantly strives to prove he's innocent and tells everyone "I'm no killer," there's a suggestion of a weird mentor-disciple relationship evolving between boyishly innocent Jim and the psychopathic John Ryder. Many executives liked the script but balked at the girl being ripped apart scene. A young man (Thomas C. Howell) is terrorized by a hitchhiker who turns out to be a serial killer (Rutger Hauer) while delivering a car that he deliberately keeps saying isn't his to a location in San Diego. The police arrest Jim, as Ryder has framed Jim for his murders. The Hitcher was shot by Australian cinematographer John Seale, most famous for his work on Mad Max: Fury Road, The Firm, Rain Man, Witness, and The English Patient (which earned him an Oscar). He appears spontaneously (one example of hysterically irrational gallows humor is his materialization in the back of a family's station wagon) and he could be construed as the personification of Jim's coming-of-age obstacles on the road to manhood. He could not put it down and "couldn't believe the things that happened to my character in the first 12 pages. At the end of the film, the sound is made by the hero, a young man whose life has been spared so that he can become the special victim of the hitchhiker. When you read it, you will not sleep for a week. Jim slams on his brakes, sending Ryder through the windshield and onto the road. The first time because they are passing by the vehicule of his first victim and the second time when they pass a roadblock and a worker explains them what’s going on. The film spawned a sequel in 2003, with Howell reprising his role as Jim Halsey in . At a gas station, he sees two officers, takes them hostage, and speaks to Captain Esteridge, the officer in charge of the manhunt for Jim, on the radio. Michael Ironside was also considered for the role. The Hitcher is a very good B-movie. Except where otherwise indicated, Everything.Explained.Today is © Copyright 2009-2020, A B Cryer, All Rights Reserved. Ryder states he murdered the driver and intends to do the same to Jim, threatening him with a switchblade. A bland, messy, yet better-than-average slasher flick. When Jim passes a stranded car, Ryder forces his leg down on the accelerator. After briefly considering suicide, Jim reaches a cafe, where Ryder confronts him. Witness : Rachel and Daniel, the true outcasts (1500 words), The Hitcher (2007) : Another Minority ! Jim and Nash abandon the patrol car and hike to a motel. During the first half of the film, there isn’t any proof that John isn’t a simple construction of Jim’s mind. 'The Hitcher' is a taut, exquisitely surreal B-movie with a powerhouse performance from Hauer. According to him, it is an allegory in which Ryder represents evil. By the end, you're willing to forgive Ryder his worst if someone would just change the light bulb". A remake of the same name, produced by Michael Bay and directed by Dave Meyers, was released on January 19, 2007, which starred Sean Bean as John Ryder, Zachary Knighton as Jim Halsey, and Neal McDonough as Esteridge. What annoyed me though, is that it was yet another homosexual coming out the closet metaphor, that it was very noticeable from the start and that it ruined most of the horrific effects for me because yeah, it’s only about two guys attracted to each other in a society in which they’re not allowed to be. He panics and flees with a revolver. , In the original script, an entire family is slaughtered in their station wagon, an eyeball is discovered inside of a hamburger, a woman is tied to a truck and a pole and then torn in half, two teenagers engage in sex, and there is a decapitation as well as several slashings, shootings and car crashes. Until he meets Nash, another outcast (strong beautiful woman with a guy's name) who identifies with him, sticks her heads out for him (betrays the patriarchy by saving him from the cops) and eventually gets killed because all that she wanted was to be acknowledged as female by a man, something that which Jim cannot provide her. I say it's still worth seeing; even if it is a huge let down. As he is a homosexual he can't be trapped inside a manly role and thus escape through the destruction of a phallic symbol). The Hitcher is a 1986 American road thriller film directed by Robert Harmon and written by Eric Red.It stars Rutger Hauer as a seemingly suicidal and homicidal maniac and C. Thomas Howell as his primary victim. Coming Soon. Everything about this movie is impressive. Jim and John flirts together but Jim eventually chickens out that which makes John go crazy. How Technology Is Reshaping Democracy and Our Lives, Participate in DigCit Week with your kid by using curated activities from Wide Open School, Online Playdates, Game Nights, and Other Ways to Socialize at a Distance, Keeping Kids Motivated for Online Learning, Set limits for violence and more with Plus, Amazing film but too violent for little ones, Silly and violent action/thiller make for an entertaining ride. Jim Halsey, a young man delivering a car from Chicago to San Diego, spots a man hitchhiking in the West Texas desert and gives him a ride.  When no offers came, he moved from New York City to Austin, Texas, taking a drive-away car cross-country. When he told her on the bus that he did not kill the police officers, she at least partially believed him. Very bloody remake of Rutger Hauer cult favorite. In addition, veteran character actors Billy Green Bush (known for playing ill-fated police officers in Electra Glide in Blue and Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday), Gene Davis (known for playing the naked psychopathic killer Warren Stacy in 10 to Midnight), Armin Shimerman (who would later be the voice of General Skarr in The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy), and Emmy-winner Henry Darrow, have supporting roles as police officers who pursue Jim Halsey. Well, this psycho killer isn't so crazy after all. Searching for streaming and purchasing options ... Common Sense is a nonprofit organization. John frames Jim for all of his murders, and that's about the jest of the film. ... fact that many of the major plot points rely on very coincidental events that are taken for granted and never really explained, especially towards the end. And the Hitcher, however great Rutger Hauer’s performance is, is not given any motivation or character trait.  Still photographer-turned-cameraman Robert Harmon was given a copy of the script by his agent and early the next morning called his agent and told him that he wanted to do it. Two pieces, up/down, head/sex. Jim slams on his brakes, sending Ryder through the windshield and onto the road. Fox ultimately rejected the project over the budget and saw it as a "straight-out horror movie". I’ll take the trip as a liberating one. Robert Harmon's "The Hitcher" is a crowd-pleaser slasher movie. Coming Soon.  Gene Siskel also gave the film zero stars, calling it "a nauseating thriller" and "a thinly veiled but more gruesome ripoff of Steven Spielberg's 'Duel'". And it’s actually pretty believable when at the end of the film, Jim lies against the cop car. Most of the police officer authority figures shown are shortsighted brutes, ready to shoot down innocent people. The film at least makes an attempt to be tense, but in the end, Rutger brings the best scenes and even those come off as underwhelming. Jim catches him and kills him before smoking a cigarette near the police car. I wish Jim could be perceived as a non-fascist hetero who is going to become sensitive to John Ryder’s life as a homosexual. "The Hitcher" begins and ends with the same sound: a match being struck, flaring into flame. An unforgivably forgotten thriller that remains to this day relentlessly intense and has a few shocks thrown in for good measure.
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