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The Hitcher
Short plot summary

A young man, Jim Holsey (C Thomas Howell), on a long distance journey, picks up a troublesome Hitcher (John Ryder - Rutger Hauer) who he cannot get rid of...

Jim manages to shove Ryder out of the car, but he gets another lift and looks set to frame Jim by committing a number of murders which everyone seems to believe Jim has done.

Ryder sets light to a seemingly deserted garage. Jim manages to escape this. He goes on to another garage where he meets up with a girl (Nash - Jennifer Jason Leigh).

Nash continues on the journey with Jim, but is captured by Ryder, who after tying her behind a truck pulls her in half when he accelerates away. But the police had already been called and see everything. Ryder is arrested after this.

As Ryder is taken away in a prison truck, he manages to get hold of a gun. Jim goes after him (after telling the officer in the vehicle he is traveling in to get out)...

What our panel of critics thought

"I live in Hollywood and, ironically, I saw Rutger hitch hiking the other day. I know what you are thinking... would I give him a lift after watching this movie? Well, I know him quite well so did, but I can tell you now there were a large number of screams as I did so, and had he told me he wasn't getting out of my car at the end I would have shat myself."

Please tell me the ending

As Jim approaches the back of the prison truck, John starts firing at him.

John jumps out of the truck and in through the front windscreen of Jim's car. Jim slams on the brakes and John goes back out of the windscreen. John is weakened but gets up. The gun is between Jim and John.

John takes the gun, he fires into the auto. Jim eventually starts the car and drives fast into John.

John plays dead. Jim turns his back. John gets up, throws his manacles at Jim's feet. Jim turns and shoots him.

John Ryder dies.

Dr Bravisimo-Encore II Movie Review

A veritable nightmare following a nice-but-stupid gesture of helping ones fellow man out in the rainy elements. Bad luck, young man, for your life is about to become a nightmare of murder, cop killing and girlfriend stretching that only a truly deranged blonde could have thought of.

This movie is dangerous for another reason, however. In ones hitch hiking youth one made avail of kindly souls to whisk me from A to B (generally via C, D and E by the way - but that is for another moment of rant) but since this movie was released, getting someone to stop has diminished perceptibly.

And who can blame them, after this tautly woven nightmare of 'look behind you young man or you're gonna-get-it' ness?

This movie swiftly carried one from moment to moment for one is never sure when that beastly blonde will jump back at you in his fiendish attempt to make mustard of your sinews. Wonderful and original if not a little grisly.

Other comments

A great road movie and a car chase movie combined.

Even though it is highly unlikely, it is darkly believable - it's all of your worst across-country driving nightmares all rolled into one. Compulsive.

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