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Hitcher, The (1986)

Year: 1986 Country: USA
Genres: Action / Crime / Drama / Horror / Thriller
Director: Robert Harmon
Cast: C. Thomas Howell, Rutger Hauer, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jeffrey DeMunn
Written by: Eric Red
Cinematography: John Seale
Music: Mark Isham
Plot Synopsis:
Pretty boy actor C. Thomas Howell stars in this dark, violent suspense film about the strange psychological bond between a traveling serial killer and one of his intended victims. Driving cross-country from Chicago to San Diego, Jim (Howell) narrowly avoids an accident when he falls asleep at the wheel. He picks up a hitchhiker to help stay awake, but within five minutes, the erratic John Ryder (Rutger Hauer) has threatened not only Jim's life, but also his manhood, brandishing a switchblade to the boy's crotch and ordering him to keep driving. Jim manages to escape, but soon Ryder begins a game of cat-and-mouse across the Texas highways, taunting the lad from the windows of passing cars, then leaving the corpses of his victims in their vehicles by the side of the road for Jim to discover. A sympathetic face arrives in the form of Nash (Jennifer Jason Leigh), the waitress at an otherwise deserted truck stop in this bleak, abandoned landscape, but the local police soon arrive, intent on hanging Jim out to dry for the string of grisly murders. The stakes continue to mount in Ryder's little game until Jim finds himself embroiled in a statewide manhunt with Nash at his side. Former cinematographer Robert Harmon made his directorial debut with this popular thriller; screenwriter Eric Red, also making his debut, would go on to write similarly brooding genre fare including Near Dark.
Brian J. Dillard ()

Rutger Hauer's flair for villainy is well established, as is Jennifer Jason Leigh's chameleon-like ability to inhabit any sort of role, especially one with a trashy and/or melancholy tinge. The most surprising performance in this highly effective thriller, then, belongs to C. Thomas Howell, who grows convincingly unhinged over the course of 98 minutes of highway terror. Battered and bruised, with his puppy dog good looks obscured by roadside grime, Howell provides a believable everyman stand-in for the audience. Stalked by a madman, stranded in the back roads of Texas, and on the run from misguided small town police, Howell's clean-cut Chicago boy suffers through every city dweller's road trip nightmare. Eric Red's screenplay is most effective in its early scenes, which utilize psychological terror rather than the action film-style car chases that characterize the climax. Director Robert Harmon paces the film admirably, providing frequent stops for breath even as the overall level of tension steadily rises. However, it is cinematographer John Seale, who would go on to great acclaim on such films as The English Patient, whose desolate Texas backdrop provides The Hitcher with much of its resonance. Jonathan Mostow's surprise hit Breakdown would mine the same territory with even more outré violence a decade later, but The Hitcher's climactic atrocities left an indelible pop culture impression on audiences who caught the film on cable and video throughout the '80s and beyond.
Brian J. Dillard ()


This film is the reason Rutger Hauer is still a name that movie fans know.
John Venable ()


A stark, minimalistic, almost stream-of-consciousness horror movie. […] Smartly directed with quick cuts and a pretty good screenplay, this is one nasty bitch of a movie. […] C. Thomas Howell stars. WAIT! Trust me anyway. […] What follows is a kinetic 95-minute chase. Like a cat on steroids chasing a mouse on crack. […]
The Hitcher is simply a fast-paced, bloody and awfully entertaining modern horror movie. It's well-made, as director Robert Mandel and scripter Eric Red keep the audience praying for the villain's demise, yet fascinated by what horrid atrocity he will commit next. Really great and fun, but in a dark and nasty way. This is the flip-side of Martin Scorsese's After Hours (another awesome film). No matter what our brain-dead hero does, he just succeeds in sinking deeper. If Hitchcock weren't dead, he'd be making movies like this.
Scott Weinberg ()


Rutger Hauer is so menacing as the title fiend that you'll never pick up a hitchhiker. An absolutely relentless horror-thriller.
Chuck O’Leary ()


The Hitcher was the best psychological terror film of at least the 1980s. One of the great crimes has been just how critically overlooked The Hitcher was both at the time and indeed since in the annals of genre history. There are few films that succeed in working at one with such relentless tension and unease. The Hitcher is a film that conjures a state of absolute dread – director Robert Harmon lets us first imagine the worst he could possibly do and then methodically proceeds to deliver it.
Richard Scheib ()


"The Hitcher" grants the Hauer character almost supernatural powers. Although that makes the movie impossible to accept on a realistic level, it didn't bother me. I could see that the film was meant as an allegory, not a documentary. But on its own terms, this movie is diseased and corrupt.
Roger Ebert ()


There's a killer on the road (everyone's favourite Dutch psycho, Hauer) with a Nietzschean gleam in his eye and an ugly knife in his pocket. When Howell picks him up at dawn on a deserted Texan highway, he immediately makes his intentions plain by scaring the boy witless. When the boy fights back, however, then the hitcher has found what he needs - a decent adversary - and the game begins.
CPea ()


It's like a sadistic version of Duel, instead of a semi you get Hauer in all his creepy manic splendor.
Widgett Walls ()


Effective '80s horror movie. A relentless villain and some horrific scenes.
Fred Topel ()


The eighties were the era of videotape and cable TV. The days of theatrical releases dictating a film's value, monetarily or otherwise, were disappearing. Nihilistic thrillers, horror movies, and sci-fi flicks fell through the cracks during their theatrical runs, garnering critical bashings for their ‘immoral’ apathy, and flopping at the box office after refusing to placate to audience expectations. With the introduction of affordable home video versions of all films, great and small, these forgotten gems could be rented, watched in the safety of the viewer's home, and after some kind rewinding, returned to the store to spread positive word of mouth. Young people with access to a rental card or a television set with a little black box resting on its top, could watch what they wanted, and unlike their parents, not be swayed by the opinions of the critical elite. The greatest examples of this initial rejection, conclusive redemption was John Carpenter's The Thing, and Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, two challenging artistic endeavours which, twenty-plus years later, are referred to as classics. The later (arguably) made an international star out one Rutger Hauer, a daring Dutchman, made famous in his homeland for a series of films directed by another Hollywood icon of the eighties, Paul Verhoven. But most members of the video and cable generation don't remember Hauer most for his role as malevolent Roy Batty, but for his even more vicious portrayal of hitchhiker John Ryder in Robert Harmon's The Hitcher, another film that owes its cult status to VHS and cable television. […] The perfect double feature with Spielberg’s first, a little TV movie you may've heard of called Duel, The Hitcher is a paranoid little thriller. It’s earned its place in the hearts of cult film lovers the world over, and with good reason.
Gabriel Powers ()


A gruesome cult classic.
Jeffrey M. Anderson ()

Further info:


1cd - DivX5

video: Divx 5.03 853kbit/s

resolution: 640x272 (2.35:1 AR)
Length: 97 minutes at 23.97fps
Audio: MP3 128kbit/s 44.1khz ENGLISH
Size: 685MB

The.Hitcher.1986.DVDRip.DivX5.0.3.avi (686 MB) [Stats]

1/3rd DVDr - Shoocat



File: The.Hitcher.1986.DVDRip.XviD-Shoo.avi

Total Streams: 2
Running Time: 1:33:27
Interleaved: Yes
AUDIO: 0 - AC3 (0x2000)
Average Bitrate Per Sec: 448 kb/s
Samples Rate: 48000 Hz
Channels: 6
B-VOP: Yes
QuarterPixel: No
Frame Size: 720 x 304
Average Bitrate Per Sec: 1780 kb/s
Frames Rate: 25.000
QF: 0.326 bits/pixel
SUBTITLES: Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Norwegian, Spanish.

The.Hitcher.1986.DVDRip.XviD-Shoo.avi (1.46 GB) [Stats]

Commentary Track 1
The.Hitcher.1986.DVDRip.XviD-Shoo.-.Commentary.Track.1.mp3 (52 MB) [Stats]
[size=75]By director Robert Harmon and screenwriter Eric Red. No subs.

Commentary Track 2
The.Hitcher.1986.DVDRip.XviD-Shoo.-.Commentary.Track.2.mp3 (52 MB) [Stats]
[size=75]By director Robert Harmon, screenwriter Eric Red, producer Edward S. Feldman,
cinematographer John Seale, composer Mark Isham and actors Rutger Hauer and C. Thomas Howell.
Only subs showing who's talking.

Subpack (vobsub):
The.Hitcher.1986.DVDRip.XviD-Shoo.-.Subpack.rar (2 MB) [Stats]

Subpack (srt):
The.Hitcher.1986.DVDRip.Xvid-Shoo.-.Subpack.(srt).rar (87 KB) [Stats]

Subs - direct download:
- - - -
- - -



Documentary: How Do These Movies Get Made

Year: 2003 Country: Germany (English spoken)
Director: Jörg Bauer.
Featuring: Director Robert Harmon, screenwriter Eric Red, producer Edward S. Feldman,
cinematographer John Seale, composer Mark Isham and actors Rutger Hauer and C. Thomas Howell

The core of this special edition is it's documentary, entitled How Do These Films Get Made?, after a magazine write up that came out just before the film that cast it in a very unsavory light. The doc is pretty straight on, and covers all the bases, from development through release and controversy. It's great to see the material treated with such respect by all the doc's participants, including Hauer, who seems proud of his performance in this little film. C. Thomas Howell, whose career has not seen the resurgence Hauer's has over the last 4 or 5 years, is very protective of the material, bringing up the homoerotic angle in a semi-angry fashion, but this is the kind of thing that makes retrospective docs so interesting. Harmon and Red are both pretty monotone, but really delve into the genesis of the film. All around, this is the reason to get this set over the crummy R1 version.
Gabriel Powers (

File: The.Hitcher.(1986).-.How.Do.These.Movies.Get.Made.2003.DVDRip.XviD-Shoo.avi
Total Streams: 2
Running Time: 0:38:06
Index Chunk: Yes
Interleaved: Yes
AUDIO: 0 - MP3 (0x55)
Average Bitrate Per Sec: 131 kb/s
Samples Rate: 48000 Hz
Channels: 2
B-VOP: Yes
QuarterPixel: No
Frame Size: 544 x 304
Average Bitrate Per Sec: 699 kb/s
Frames Rate: 25.000
QF: 0.170 bits/pixel

The.Hitcher.(1986).-.How.Do.These.Movies.Get.Made.2003.DVDRip.XviD-Shoo.avi (230 MB) [Stats]
[size=75]No subs

Format: DivX/XviD
Source: DVD
Category: Thriller
Sub-Category: Classic
Date: 11 Nov, 2007
Hits: 7765
Score: None
Submitter: spudthedestroyer
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