HBO Home Video
The Original "The Hitcher" with C. Thomas Howell, Rutger Hauer, man this is a classic! I loved this film when I first saw it back in 1986, and I recently purchased my own copy to add to my video library. I've been on a quest to collect all of my favorite movies from the 80's on DVD, so you're likely to see some more blasts from the past around here in the future.
Why do I like The Hitcher so much? I'm not sure. It's just a suspenseful, scary, relentless, fast paced action movie with great characters and scenery. It's a well acted, well directed, and well produced film.
Rutger Hauer plays John Rider (fitting) a highway psycho haunting a stretch of desert road killing hapless victims who are nice enough to give him a ride.
C. Thomas Howell plays Jim Halsey, a kid on the way to delivering a "drive away" car to its new owner in California. Halsey happens to pick up John Rider just after a fresh kill. From that point on it's an unpredictable roller-coaster ride of action and suspense.
We watch Halsey grow from a scared kid into a tough, determined young man, molded and encouraged by Rider's own twisted destiny which brings us to the final satisfying climax.
The Hitcher is an artful story about experience, dealing with trauma, and shedding the innocence of youth, while trying to stay alive in the process. Luckily we don't all have Rutger Hauer on our heals, ready to pounce at every corner, driving us into adulthood.
The Hitcher is a clever thrill ride, and for me it stands the test of time. I enjoyed it just as much this year as I did back in 1986.