The Hitcher (archival 35mm print, writer Eric Red in person!)

The Hitcher is a picture-perfect nightmare played out on celluloid, praying upon our TV-fed paranoia and the strange familiarity of the open road — that last no man’s land.  Pursued by an inescapable, mythic-yet-mundane villain played by method-acting madman Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell is plunged into an Americana-infused anxiety dream from which there is no respite – if only he’d heeded his mother’s advice: “never pick up hitch-hikers”.  With a starkly compelling script by mastermind Eric Red (Body Parts) and beautiful sequences of sun-drenched, desert driving insanity from director Robert Harmon, this masterpiece of ’80s horror is an existential thrill ride, highlighting the terror and vulnerability of being in transit, of being between two points and of being nowhere at all.  The only barrier between you and the savage world is the weak, metal frame of your car — which ain’t enough to stop a shotgun wielding fiend from taking you on one explosive journey right into the grinning mouth of madness. Buckle up! The Hitcher screenwriter Eric Red will be here for a Q&A after the film — plus, enjoy the film in a rare archival 35mm presentation, courtesy of the British Film Institute!
Dir. Robert Harmon, 1986, 35mm, 97 min. (Archival 35mm print courtesy of the British Film Institute)

Watch Cinefamily’s trailer for “The Hitcher”!