The Hitcher

February 21st, 1986


The Hitcher

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A young man who escaped the clutches of a murderous hitch-hiker is subsequently stalked, framed for the hitcher's crimes, and has his life made into hell by the same man he escaped.

Release Year: 1986

Rating: 7.2/10 (20,298 voted)

Director: Robert Harmon

Stars: Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell, Jennifer Jason Leigh

A young man transporting a car to another state is stalked along the road by a cunning and relentless serial killer who eventually frames the driver for a string of murders. Chased by police and shadowed by the killer, the driver's only help comes from a truck stop waitress.

Rutger Hauer - John Ryder
C. Thomas Howell - Jim Halsey
Jennifer Jason Leigh - Nash
Jeffrey DeMunn - Captain Esteridge
John M. Jackson - Sergeant Starr (as John Jackson)
Billy Green Bush - Trooper Donner (as Billy Greenbush)
Jack Thibeau - Trooper Prestone
Armin Shimerman - Interrogation Sergeant
Gene Davis - Trooper Dodge (as Eugene Davis)
Jon Van Ness - Trooper Hapscomb
Henry Darrow - Trooper Hancock
Tony Epper - Trooper Conners
Tom Spratley - Proprietor
Colin Campbell - Construction Man

Taglines: He came from hell. Don't ask him where he wants to go.

Release Date: 21 February 1986

Filming Locations: Amboy, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $2,134,214 (USA) (23 February 1986) (794 Screens)

Gross: $5,844,868 (USA) (6 April 1986)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Rutger Hauer did a lot of the stunt driving throughout the movie which amazed the film crew and even the real stunt drivers.

Revealing mistakes: When the two police cars are trying to shoot out the tires in the pursuit, they both flip, and the devices under the cars making them flip are visible.

Jim Halsey: You'll get caught.
John Ryder: Sure. Fine. So What.

User Review

"Do I look like a killer to you?"


The Hitcher is a marvelous thriller and Rutger Hauer is truly scary as hell. He is undoubtedly one of the best villains in cinematic history. The game that Hauer and C. Thomas Howell play out makes for a great way to spend an hour and a half of your life. You can't help but feel sorry for Howell as he can never escape the madman. Hauer has zero motive and that makes him all the more evil. And how he always finds Howell is something that is unnerving and unexplainable. It's like their paths were meant to cross somewhere out in in the desert. Eric Red's script leaves nothing to be desired. The scene where Howell is eating french fries is one of the most unforgettable in horror history. And so is the event that leads to the capture of Hauer. The end is fantastic and it's something that you want to do through the entire movie. It will definitely make you think twice before picking up hitchhikers. If you enjoyed The Hitcher, Check out Hitch-Hike (with David Hess) and Duel.


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