The Hitcher (1986)

97m, 2656 metres
35mm film, Panavision (anamorphic), Metrocolor, 2.35:1
Dolby Stereo, English
Reviewed at The EOFFTV Review

An American horror film directed by Robert Harmon.

Plot Summary

Jim Halsey is driving a car interstate when, against his better judgment, he picks up a hitch-hiker. It's just the beginning of a terrifying ordeal for Halsey as the hitcher, a deranged serial killer, relentlessly pursues him, framing him for a string of killings.


Directed by: Robert Harmon

© MCMLXXXVI [1986] Silver Screen Partners, L.P HBO Pictures in association with Silver Screen Partners presents a Feldman/Meeker production. Presented by HBO Pictures in association with Silver Screen Partners. A Tr-Star release
Executive Producer: Edward S. Feldman, Charles R. Meeker
Produced by: David Bombyk, Kip Ohman Co-producer: Paul Lewis
Written by: Eric Red
Director of Photography: John Seale
Editor: Frank J. Urioste
Music Composed by: Mark Isham
Production Sound Mixer: Art Names
Key Costumer: Jac McAnelly
Make-up: Pamela Peitzman
Hair Stylist: Leslie Ann Anderson
Special Effects Supervisor: Art Brewer
Titles and Special Visual Effects by: Cinema Research Corporation
Production Designer: Dennis Gassner

Rutger Hauer (John Ryder)
C. Thomas Howell (Jim Halsey)
Jeffrey DeMunn (Captain Esteridge)
Billy Greenbush (Trooper Donner)
John Jackson (Sergeant Starr)
Henry Darrow (Trooper Hancock)
John Van Ness (Trooper Hapscomb)
Jennifer Jason Leigh (Nash)
Jack Thibeau (Trooper Prestone)
Armin Shimerman (interrogation sergeant)
Eugene Davis (Trooper Dodge)
Tony Epper (Trooper Conners)
Tom Spratley (proprietor)
Colin Campbell (construction man)

Alternative Titles

L'Auto-stoppeur – Canada (French)
Autostopowicz – Poland
Carretera al infierno – Spain
Hitcher – France
Hitcher, der Highway Killer – Germany
Hitcher, la lunga strada della paura – Italy
Liftaren – Sweden
Liftari – Finland
A morte pede Carona – Brazil
Terror na Auto-Estrada – Portugal

The Hitcher 2: I've Been Waiting (2002)

See also
Hourglass (1995)
Jeepers Creepers (2001)
Joy Ride (2001)
Paura nel buio (1989)
Urban Legend (1998)



  • City Limits no.241 (15 May 1986) p.23 (UK) – credits
  • Écran Fantastique no.70 (July 1986) pp.4-5
  • Empire June/July 1989 p.99 – review
  • Empire no.170 (August 2003) p.144 – illustrated DVD review (RWD by Chris Hewitt)
  • Entertainment Weekly no.495 (23 July 1999) pp.25-30 – illustrated article (25 scariest movies of all time)
  • Fangoria no.186 (September 1999) p.59 – illustrated DVD review (DVD & laser spotlight by Michael Gingold)
  • Film Directions vol.8 no.31 (1986) p.28
  • Films and Filming no.381 (June 1986) pp.34-35 – review
  • Flesh and Blood no.7 p.50 – review
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.285 no.46 (26 February 1985) p.36 – credits
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.290 no.36 (10 February 1986) pp.3, 16
  • Horror Times no.1 – review
  • The Listener vol.115 no.2962 (29 May 1986) p.31 – review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.53 no.629 (June 1986) pp.170-171 (UK) – credits, synopsis, review
  • Positif no.309 (November 1986) pp.66-67
  • Post Script vol.22 no.2 (Winter/Spring 2003) pp.64-80 – illustrated article (On the road again: Rehearsing the death drive in modern realist horror cinema by Reynold Humphries)
  • Première June 1986 p.26 – review (by Jean-Paul Chaillet)
  • Screen International no.489 (23 March 1985) p.26 – credits
  • Screen International no.551 (7 June 1986) p.23
  • Shivers no.32 p.15 – review
  • Sight and Sound vol.13 no.8 (August 2003) p.68 – DVD review (Home movies: reviews by Matthew Leyland)
  • Starburst no.215 (July 1996) p.55 – video review (Videofile by David Bassom)
  • Time Out no.821 (14 May 1986) p.31 – review
  • Variety 12 February 1986 p.24 – credits, review


  • Daily Mail 16 May 1986 p.24 – review


  • 500 Essential Cult Movies: The Ultimate Guide by Jennifer Eiss with J.P. Rutter and Steve White p.247 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.406
  • The Films of the Eighties by Robert A. Nowlan and Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan p.259
  • The Highway Horror Film by Bernice M. Murphy pp.10, 39, 43, 49-52, 57-8, 84
  • Horror! 333 Films to Scare You to Death by James Marriott & Kim Newman pp.255-256
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films IV by Donald C. Willis p.233
  • Horror Films of the 1980s by John Kenneth Muir pp.506-508 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review