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  • The Hitcher [1986] (Special Edition) [DVD]
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The Hitcher [1986] (Special Edition) [DVD]

70 customer reviews

Price: £17.74
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The Hitcher [1986] (Special Edition) [DVD] + The Hitcher [DVD] + The Hitcher 2 - I've Been Waiting [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jeffrey DeMunn, John M. Jackson
  • Directors: Robert Harmon
  • Writers: Eric Red
  • Producers: Charles R. Meeker, David Bombyk, Edward S. Feldman, Kip Ohman, Paul Lewis
  • Format: Anamorphic, Dolby, PAL, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: German, Spanish, Italian, English
  • Subtitles: English, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Momentum
  • DVD Release Date: 14 July 2003
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000A1M68
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,735 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Beautifully shot against the backdrop of Nevada’s eerily quiet valleys and long desert roads, The Hitcher is as acclaimed for its stunning cinematography and masterful direction as for its nail-biting and intriguing tale of terror and paranoia.

C. Thomas Howell (The Outsiders, Soul Man) stars as the unassuming Jim Halsey who decides to pick up hitchhiker Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner) on a rainy road in the middle of nowhere. Learning only that the name of his chillingly silent passenger is John Ryder, Halsey soon regrets his decision to stop as the hitcher pulls a knife on him and nearly forces the car off the road. Narrowly escaping and leaving the hitcher behind, Halsey’s nightmare has only just begun as a terrifying and psychotic game of cat and mouse ensues with all who pass on the road becoming unwitting victims of the hitcher’s intent. In a race against time, Halsey tries to raise the alarm but becomes a suspect himself when Ryder reappears and annihilates everyone in the small town police station. Believed only by a waitress, Nash (played by eXistenZ and Road to Perdition star Jennifer Jason Leigh), the stakes are raised again as Nash becomes the victim of one of the most extreme and unforgettable killings in film history. Challenged by Ryder to "stop me", only Halsey can end this waking nightmare.


Made in 1984, The Hitcher is an update--in spirit at least--of Steven Spielberg's first feature film, 1971's Duel. Here C Thomas Howell plays a guy taking a drive-away car from Chicago to San Diego. On a whim, in the rain, and against his better judgment, he picks up a hitchhiker (Rutger Hauer). The hitcher quickly admits to being a murdering psychopath and once Howell finally gets him out of his car, he is pursued with all the vengeance of the ancient furies. We're never sure if the hitcher is a figment of his imagination, making Howell a schizophrenic killer, or if he's real and Howell is the random victim of a wandering madman, which is how his potential new girlfriend (Jennifer Jason Leigh) thinks of him. Either way, The Hitcher is great fun, kinda scary and teetering on the brink of "must see". --Andy Spletzer

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. I. P. Mciver on 31 Aug. 2003
Format: DVD
It begins and ends with the lighting of a match, it's not really important but most would say the same thing about this film. It's low budget and lack of any 'credible' stars means it is destined to be repeated in the early hours of the morning when no one gives a damn. This film is important to me.
I never considered that C Thomas Howell's character could be a schitzophrenic, never occured to me in the slightest, but it also meant that I never quite understood why the hitcher was chasing him. This explanation doesn't make sense either because there is a point when the policemen see him in the truckyard and the main character is told he is asking for him so how could it be the same man? This film is all about the thrill of the chase, an agonising traumatic chase where a young man has been singled out. Everywhere he goes the hitcher is there waiting for him, ready to play with his mind some more and severely change the world around him.
The acting is kept to a bare minimum with only Jennifer Jason Leigh getting the change to say more than a sentence which is the amount you feel the others get. This adds to the atmosphere of the surroundings though; the echoing, harsh landscape of the desert seeking to trap its victims and kill. I like this film because it doesn't need any flashy devices to keep your attention. It doesn't try too hard to get your attention either it just keeps doing what it wants and you admire that. You want C Thomas Howell to survive and get the girl and kill the bad guy and be happy forever and ever... not gonna happen. It's short and bittersweet, and as cult films go it isn't as bad as the rest of the world thinks. You just need to remember that when eating a plate of chips, keep your eyes open.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Gershwin on 16 April 2007
Format: DVD
As horror films go, this one is not a complete gore fest, yet it is memorable simply because it is big on suspense, psychological drama and implied horror.

Sometimes what you can't see is more frightening than what you can, and this film uses that psychological device to maximum effect.

The 'Hitcher' of the title is a sinister and shady Rutger Hauer, who will stop viewers in their tracks with his completely psychotic, but utterly compelling characterisation. He is a calm, controlled psychopath, which is very much more disturbing that a typical horror film ghoul.

The story begins when a young man called Jim (C. Thomas Howell) decides to pick up a hitcher, (Rutger Hauer). Within minutes, Jim quickly discovers that the Hitcher is a raving lunatic who wants to chop him into little pieces. Luckily, he manages to throw the Hitcher out the car, but the Hitcher doesn't give up that easily and continues to plague and stalk Jim, drawing him into a series of desperate and dangerous situations, also framing him for various crimes.

The most disturbing concept in this film is the psychological impact that the Hitcher's behaviour is having upon Jim. Rutger Hauer really does play a star turn as the Hitcher, turning in an eerily convincing and unnerving performance. At times, he is so relentlessly nasty, persistent and downright manic that his performance is more than likely to provoke a nervous smile, as he mocks and ridicules Jim's increasing distress. His murderous antics, however, are never anything less than disturbing.

Along the way, Jim receives the help of a young waitress, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, who believes in his innocence after the Hitcher frames him for various dastardly deeds. Leigh's character also meets a gruesome end.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By L. Andrews on 29 April 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This film is a masterpiece, and is almost on par with Spielberg's TV movie DUEL. In both films, someone is being chased by the unexplained, but in the HITCHER we actualy see who is doing the chasing. Rutger Hauer shines through in this performance as the mysterious maniac, and for me is by far his best film (I wasn't too keen on BLADE RUNNER, althoygh he was brilliant in that too). It's a pity that he has sunk to the lower levels of TV movie fame, as he makes a brilliant villain, and it would be a joy to see him back in mainstream cinema. Well, we can only hope.
But this is a review about the film, and not Rutger Hauer. C Thomas Howell (SOULMAN) plays Jim Halsey, travelling across the desert in a delivery car, and happens to pick up a hitcher who has a tendency of killing his benfactors. Halsey escapes, but finds himself pitted against this madman who takes it personal. Get set for one of the most atmospheric, unsettling 'road moives' ever made.
I suppose it is a little inaccurate to label this as a road movie, but THE HITCHER is always compared with other films of the genre. For me, it is DUEL that THE HITCHER is most similar to, but THE HITCHER takes the violence to the extreme, setting up a hefty body count as it progresses.
Like the vampire film NEAR DARK, the film's atmosphere comes from its music, excellently composed by Mark Isham (of BLADE fame). The sense of isolation is superbly brought across to the viewer.
Jennifer Jason Leigh (SINGLE WHITE FEMALE, DELORES CLAIBORNE) also stars, and viewers will want to watch the scene involving her, Rutger Hauer and a truck. Definetly the most riveting scene in the film.
Brilliant from start to finish. I definetly recommend this to fans of road movies and horror alike.
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