The Hitcher

The Hitcher

Rutger Hauer

We pay tribute to the late, great Rutger Hauer with today’s episode. He passed away recently at the age of 75, but his legacy lives on in films such as Blade Runner and The Hitcher.

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The Hitcher (1986)

Episode 182, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw Podcast

Todd:  Hello, and welcome to another episode of 2 Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Todd.

Craig: And I’m Craig.

Todd: Well, today, as we often do on our podcast, we’re going to memorialize another famous actor who has passed away, who’s at least Dabbled in the horror genre. Just, what, couple weeks ago, I guess. Rutger Hauer passed away at the ripe old age of 75 from an unspecified illness. But, yeah, he he he lived a good life, it seems like. Most people probably know him most famously from Blade Runner.   Right. He played The villain, in Brett, Blade Runner, and, he did a fantastic job with that. He actually he turned down the lead role in Das Boot in order to play this. So, clearly, he made a a better choice there. Das Boot’s a good movie, but I don’t think it would’ve I don’t think anybody in there was quite rocketed Todd stardom as they were, from Blade Runner. So, Blade Runner is one of my favorite movies, and he’s fantastic in it. And, you know, he’s always had this look. He just He played a lot of evil characters, and he didn’t wanna get typecast.   So at some point, he really started, turning down those roles and branching out. But, Gosh darn it. He makes a pretty good villain. He does. Kinda looks the part. Right? He’s he’s Dutch, and especially in his younger years actually, even into his older years, he’s a pretty good looking dude. He’s a handsome guy. 

Craig:  Yeah. Yeah. Some guy. 

Todd:  Yeah. Yeah. Really cool. Very well respected, but also apparently a pacifist. I mean, actors are actors. But of a fun bit of trivia, you know, he He actually grew up in Germany during the occupation, and so he said that he was a pacifist, and and is and was very active in his life with these causes like, AIDS awareness 

Clip:  Mhmm. 

Todd:  Greenpeace, a very noble thing. So, anyway, we are memorializing his passing today By doing The Hitcher now I don’t know. I you know, I remembered this movie a little differently than it turned out. The Hitcher was always seemed to be available in the horror section, And it always, in some way, was billed as a horror movie. And then when I watched it the 1st time, I was actually in college. My college roommates said, oh, man. If you never seen The Hitcher, you’ve gotta watch this movie. And so we turned it on and we put it in.   And I remembered certain scenes from this film. And I remembered it being really creepy and really scary sort of not slasher movie, but kind of killer hunter type slasher movie. But watching it again this time around, I don’t know, Craig. Would you consider this horror, really? 

Craig:  I don’t know. You know, when you suggested that we do it, I looked it up because I don’t think I’d ever seen it. In fact, I’m pretty sure IMDB lists sit as a thriller. And I think that’s fair, but, yeah, I I think that I would consider it a horror movie. It’s It’s definitely scary, and he plays a really wicked, villainous guy in this movie. So I would consider it horror. In fact, Entertainment Weekly ranked it at some point as the 19th Scariest movie of all time. 

Todd:  And Really? 

Craig:  Yeah. I don’t know. I agree. I mean, to consider finding oneself in the position That, c Thomas Howell, finds himself in in this movie would certainly be nightmarish 

Todd:  That’s true. 

Craig:  And and scary. So, yeah, I would consider it horror. It’s maybe a little bit different from our usual fare, but it’s a frightening movie. And and you’re right. Rookerhauer does make a good villain. And I think that part of that I don’t know. He like you said, he’s a handsome guy. He He he has these really strikingly beautiful, in my opinion, piercing blue eyes. 

Todd:  Oh, yeah. For sure. 

Craig:  He’s a dapper fellow. He’s a he’s a good looking guy, but he just has this kind of menacing presence. And, Yeah. I and he scared me in this movie. 

Todd:  Well and the movie, I as it was originally written, apparently, was even much more horrific. It got toned down quite a bit in the preproduction process. The writer of this film, Eric Red, who also, by the way, wrote Near Dark Uh-huh. After this. And and this has a clear near dark vibe to it. Yep. But, he was, like, 20 years old, and he made a short film and was trying to get funding for it. He couldn’t get funding for a bigger movie, so he ended up, I don’t know, driving cross country.   And during that time, he came up with this idea for this movie about a killer hitchhiker. And so he wrote the script and shopped it around. It ended up in the producer’s hands. And the the producers who eventually produced this movie just went back and forth on it. They just felt it was extremely brutal. It was extremely violent and very mean spirited in its original incarnation. They spent quite a bit of time in preproduction and then wrestling with the studio even up into the The time they started shooting, what kinds of things they would leave in and what things they would leave out. As it turns out, I would say the movie, Even though it’s scary and there’s horrifying things that happen in here, it’s certainly not as gory or as brutal as a lot of things we’ve seen.   But It has this way of kind of getting under your skin a little bit just by not showing everything. I think it’s Yeah. It’s a movie that does that well, don’t you think? 

Craig:  Yeah. I I do, and I read those things too. In fact, you know, some some major studios like New Line and and some other studios turned the film down, and they had a difficult time getting studio backing from it. And, eventually, they did. 

Todd:  It’s hard to imagine a studio like New Line turning I’m like this down, isn’t it? 

Craig:  I know. Right? And, you know, from what I’ve read, ultimately, the filmmakers kinda had to pull their punches a little bit. You know, they’re they they had some really gruesome and and really dark things planned initially, And and they had to pull back on that a little bit. You know, ultimately, I would say Todd doesn’t make a huge difference. I mean, you you get the idea of exactly how brutal this guy is. You know, I I also read that it’s meant to kind of, in some ways, be an Allegory and and Rooker Hower’s character, John Ryder, is kind of just supposed to be, like, kind of this epitome of evil. Like, he’s supposed represent evil. 

Todd:  Yeah. 

Craig:  If I had 1 complaint about the movie and, really, you know, I was in entertained and I enjoyed it. But And maybe this is intentional. I don’t know. But the thing that kind of bothered me was I never really understood what this Villain’s motivation was. 

Todd:  Yes. Like Exactly. Mhmm. 

Craig:  Like, why is he oh, excuse me. Go ahead and go ahead and bleep me out. Why is he messing with This 1 guy so much, you know, ultimately Todd his demise. Like, I I I I kinda didn’t get that. And and maybe that’s something that was kinda lost in translation after all of these changes they had to made. I I’m not sure. It certainly is frightening, and he he certainly is, you know, a very real and and ominous threat, but I just kinda just kinda didn’t get it. Like Yeah.   Why this guy? And and he really, really goes out of his way to mess with this guy. 

Todd:  Yeah. You know, by the end of it, you get this feeling that he basically had a death wish. Like, he he expected to end mean, he gets it in the end. Alright? He gets it in 

Craig:  the end. Right. 

Todd:  It’s not one of those movies where he gets away and it’s super bleak. I mean, it turns out a little bleak, but you get this feeling from the beginning, I mean so so what happens is this guy, this kid played by his name is, is Jim, and he’s played, like you said, By the the the boy from ET. The older brother. 

Craig:  One of the boys from ET. The older brother. The main kid. 

Todd:  No. Of course not. The older brother. 

Craig:  No. Not the older brother. He’s one of Friends, I think. Right? I don’t know. See, Thomas Howell yeah. See, Thomas Howell was, really big in the eighties. Yeah. And and he had, you know, this kind of, I don’t know.   Nice boy, boy next door look about him. I’m a he’s probably most famous from The Outsiders. He was the lead in that, but he was in lots and lots of movies. And and he he’s still working. 

Todd:  Like, a ton. He’s never let up. It’s it’s insane, this guy. He’s got Yeah. Got, like, 5 or 6 different projects every year since he started. It’s it’s Oh, 

Craig:  yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. But, you you know, he’s he’s this really kind of nice, sweet, boy next door kind of guy. And it’s kinda funny to see him in some movie because I feel like they kinda try to I don’t know. In the beginning, like, he’s smoking cigarettes. 

Clip:  You know? Like 

Craig:  like, they kinda try to portray him as Being kind of, you know, this rebel, you know 

Todd:  Kind of a pretty boy way. Road. Yeah. 

Craig:  Yeah. But, anyway yeah. So in the very beginning, he’s driving along, and, he keeps falling asleep, at the wheel, which in itself is nightmarish. I’ve actually done that. It’s really scary. 

Todd:  Yeah. Me too. 

Craig:  In order to, you know, try to keep himself awake. He he sees this hitchhiker, and he picks him up in a trucker hauer, and Rucker Hauer is very ominous and threatening kind of from the very beginning. And, like, right away from the very beginning, Rucherhauer is basically like 

Clip:  What’s so funny?   That’s where the other guy’s at. Who’s the other guy? The guy who was driving that car back there. The guy who picked me up before you did. Was that him in the car? Yeah. I’m sure it was because it walked very far. Why is that? Because I cut off his legs And his arms and his head, I’m gonna do the same to you. 

Craig:  It’s immediate. Like, he, like, you know, has a Switchblade, like, you know, holds it up to him and stuff. And and, see Thomas Howell, Jim, somehow He realizes that the door ajar light is still on on the passenger side, so he kicks him out of the car. And one would think that that would kind of be the end of it, but, no, the hitchhiker then continues to, You know, follow and pursue and torment him for the next hour and 35 minutes. 

Clip:  Yeah. It’s 

Todd:  so funny. 

Craig:  And that’s what the whole Movie is about. 

Todd:  It just lays its its cards on the table not even 10 minutes into the movie. And then the rest of it, you’re thinking, how much longer can this stretch out? Like, it it’s Actually, it’s gets a little improbable after a while. He he’s 

Craig:  Oh, yeah. He’s always there. 

Todd:  He’s supernatural. And it’s like, not only is he always there, but it’s like he’s lying in wait. He knows that this kid is gonna stop at this gas station so that as the kid gets out and explores the gas station, he’s behind a truck inside the garage, Ready to just burst out and surprise him. You know? I mean, it’s one of those kinda deals. So that one aspect of the movie really, Alright. We’ve seen a lot of improbable stuff. I’m not against your improbable movies. Right? It just makes it fun, but the improbability of it for so long If you compare this against a movie like Dual, the Steven Spielberg movie, which this shares a lot of similarity with, the Steven Spielberg movie is much more probable, you know, Even though that villain is also a little more supernatural.   So something like an evil truck. Right? 

Clip:  No. Or something like Yeah. 

Todd:  It’s like a you never see the guy’s face who’s driving the truck, so it’s it’s skillful in that way that it it does feel like the truck itself is evil or the guy in in it is a little more supernatural. But, Somehow, the situations in that just seem a little more realistic. And this, like I said, it’s like, boom. I’m here. Boom. I’m there. You didn’t think I’d be here, but I’m here too. You know? Oh, and then I came in, and I slashed up all the cops while you were in the jail cell.   You know? And and you didn’t hear it. 

Craig:  And framed you for it. Yeah. I know. Like, he I know. And he keeps, Oh my gosh. It’s so funny. Like, I I kept, like, yelling at the screen, like, get off this road. 

Clip:  Right. Like, turn. Like, 

Craig:  if you stay on the same highway the whole time, he’s just gonna keep messing with you. Well, 

Todd:  To be fair, when you’re driving across, like, Arizona and and, basically, most of the western side of the United States, there aren’t many options. 

Craig:  Oh, I know. But then that was something else that I kept thinking too. Like, I don’t know. Like, first, he’s supposedly, what he’s Doing is, like, delivering a car. Like, he’s from Chicago, and and, he wants to get to California. And He’s been waiting for an opportunity to, like, deliver a car to California just so he can 

Todd:  Move there. Right? 

Craig:  There, which which is fine. Whatever. But then once he picks the hitcher up and and this guy you know? Like, He just keeps coming across things. Like, after he kicks the guy out, the next thing he sees is, like, this station wagon with this all American family in it with, like, the kids playing in the back, and then the hitchhiker pops up in the back and is, like, you know, teasing him, like messing with the kids and stuff. And eventually, he finds That car and we don’t see what he sees, but, you know, apparently, the whole family has been slaughtered, and It makes him barf and stuff. But at some point, he ends up without his car, and he ends up, like, walking through the desert. And, like, it seems like every few blocks, he just finds some oasis in the middle of the desert. 

Todd:  Super lucky. 

Clip:  Lake Lakewood. There could 

Todd:  be nothing for, like, like, a 100 miles. But when he needs to find something, when his car has crashed, he can just walk Todd a motel or a restaurant Todd whatever. Right? 

Craig:  So it’s a little improbable, but in that way, it almost Here, I’m gonna go getting on meta. It it almost feels like a dream. 

Todd:  Oh, I was just gonna say that. Yes. 

Craig:  Yeah. Every every time you know, he’ll have an encounter with the hitchhiker and and the guy will be very menacing. And, like, that’s really all he does is, like, menaces him mostly. And and that’s like and he’s killing all these other people along the way, but then anytime they actually encounter each other, like, he just shows up. Like, the kid will, like, Todd at a a restaurant or something, and he’ll just be sitting there. And he he closes his eyes, and comes and sits down across the booth from him 

Clip:  Right. 

Craig:  Just calmly, like, hey. I’m here again. I’m gonna pop your eye out with my Switchblade, but really calmly. Like, I don’t know. It’s It it’s it’s kinda bizarre. It does feel it feels very dreamlike. 

Todd:  It it wouldn’t it be funny? I mean, this movie could have ended like Like, this kid was imagining this guy the whole time. Right? Or, like Yeah. He was really the killer, and this guy was just you know, something he was imposing upon the world to try to It was his alternate personality or something like that. But but it clearly doesn’t end there. I mean, I guess you might be able to look at it that way, But it clearly doesn’t end that way. Well, there’s a weird moment alright. There are a lot of weird moments in this movie. But there’s a weird moment in the middle, and I Let’s just jump around.   So Jennifer Jason Leigh is in this. She’s pretty young. She’s pretty good. 

Craig:  Oh my god. She’s a baby. 

Todd:  Yeah. So cute. She is. And she’s plays a a waitress at a diner, the only person apparently who works at this diner, who gets dropped off at her diner every day by a bus. That’s how remote this diner is that he also manages to stumble into. This is might be the 3rd time he’s gotten away from this guy, and he’s been looking for a phone that he can call, which is also quite quaint, looking for a phone that he can call from, and he finds it in this diner. So he manages to call the police, and they say, stay where you are. And then he strikes up a conversation with this woman who feels bad for him and makes him a cheeseburger, and they have their little talk and their little dialogue.   As he’s eating this Cheeseburger and these fries, she wanders away. And there’s this kind of interesting scene where she goes in the back into the kitchen, And she doesn’t come out for a while, but there are noises back there. And it just slowly kind of dollies in on his face while he’s absolutely eating this cheeseburger. I liked this scene a lot because in the back of my head, I’m thinking, oh, crap. Is that dude here too? And is she getting it in the back? And is this kid slowly starting to realize that might be what’s happening? And is that what’s going through his head? And then just when you need to, You suddenly realize he’s holding a finger. Uh-huh. A severed finger in his hand that is somehow in made its way into the fries. And he bites the finger, and he looks at it, and he screams, and he runs in the back.   He’s here. He’s here too. And at that moment, the police come. And as he runs out of the place, the police hold up their guns and, tell him, you know, get down on the ground. And, they think that he’s the killer. Now Right. This scene is kinda bizarre. I liked it up to that point that there’s just this tension here.   Like, you know This guy’s popped up, like, 4 or 5 times. He’s gonna pop up here, and you’re just waiting for it to happen. But he doesn’t tell this woman anything about really what’s going on. He’s really quiet about it, doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. You would think that he’d be like, barricade the doors. You know, lock up everything. There’s just killer on the loose, and that’s why I’m calling the cops. Then he kinda lets her go away.   And I don’t understand how a severed finger ended up in the fries. 

Craig:  Well, I don’t either. And there are so many moments like that. Like, Okay. So there’s that one where the severed fingers I guess the implication is that this guy is just always 1 step ahead of him, and he’s just messing with him, but it doesn’t really make any kind of logical sense. I mean, the the the image of him picking up A severed finger and nearly popping it in his mouth. I mean, that it’s great. It it’s a great image. It’s it’s really unsettling.   But, right, how did it get there? And then there’s another point. I don’t even remember how it happened. Like, I think it was the 1st time that he got arrested, And he was in jail, and then, like, he he, like, took a nap in jail and had a nightmare about the hitchhiker, and then he woke up. And his cell was open, and he, like, walks out into the jail, and he just sees, like, this German shepherd police dog, I guess, is just kinda, like, walking around or whatever. Mhmm. And then he turns a corner, and the dog is there. And as he continues around the Corner, he sees the dog, like, licking the slit throat of 1 of the cops, and all the cops are dead. And then he runs away, but not before he grabs one the cops’ guns.   So then he has a gun. And but then he ends up in another restaurant or a bus stop or some I don’t remember. Ruckerhauer shows up and sits right across from him. Jim has the gun pointed at him under the table. John, the bad guy, says 

Clip:  That guy is empty. Yeah? Yeah. 

Craig:  Yeah. 

Clip:  You never checked it, did you? So help me. I’ll blow you in half. Alright. Squeeze the trigger. I will. Oh, I will. Because you can sure have shit better when I squeeze mine. 

Craig:  And we see that he doesn’t even really have a gun. Just is, like, making a, you know, a finger gun under the under the table, and he just goes like, bang, bang, bang. And Jim freaks out and starts pulling the trigger, and it’s totally empty. And Ruckerhauer is like, see. I told you. You didn’t even check the gun. And then he hands him a handkerchief, and when Jim opens it up, all the bullets are in there. So We’re supposed to believe that Rucker Howard came into this police station, killed all the cops, knew exactly what gun the kid would take, emptied all the bullets out of it just to set up this scene for later. 

Todd:  Yeah. 

Clip:  Like, what? It’s 

Todd:  It it’s it yeah. And and and also during this scene, This diner’s got people in it. I I mean, I think there were people in it. There’s certainly somebody around serving him. But, you know, he they can calmly have this conversation. It must have been 12 feet away from the guy behind the counter wiping things down. Clearly, this intimidating sequence. And then he grabs his head and he pulls him towards him, which he which The kid lets him do Uh-huh.   And then he licks 2 coins and sticks them on his eyes. I don’t know if that was supposed to be a reference to the, You know, the whole thing where you put coins over a dead body’s eyes or or whatnot I 

Craig:  guess. Right. 

Todd:  Crossing the river Charon or something. And it’s just like He just succumbs to this. 

Craig:  Yeah. And then he sits there with his eyes closed with the pennies over it. 

Clip:  Yeah. Like, what? Like, where is your 

Todd:  And you you suddenly gave up now? You know? Like, if there’s any number of things you could do here. But anyway and at then at this point, I think he gets back. Gets on the bus. He hangs out there for a while after Rutger Hauer’s character leaves, who’s by the way, his name is is Jim Ryder, which I thought was hilarious. 

Craig:  John 

Todd:  Ryder. John Ryder, yeah, which I thought was hilarious. And then, he ends up getting on a bus that pulls in and who happens to be on this bus, But that woman from earlier from the diner. 

Craig:  Right. 

Todd:  And he pulls her away. Well, he waits for her to go to the bathroom, And then he jumps in the bathroom with her in the back of this small bus and holds the gun to her head and is like, I didn’t do it. I didn’t do it. You believe me, don’t She’s like, I guess, and, asks for her help. Okay. I guess it could happen. But it Well, I all very contrived. You know? It just all felt a little too contrived. 

Craig:  It is. And, you know, I I feel like we’re being a little bit over analytical for 

Clip:  the movie. 

Craig:  Who cares? You know? But, you know, it 

Todd:  matters when you’re watching it because it kinda takes you out of at least me, it takes me out of it a little bit if it’s too much like 

Craig:  It did. And especially, like, in that restaurant scene that we just described, Jim even says to him, Why are you doing this to me? And the guy’s like, oh, you can figure it out or something like that. Like, what? No. I can’t figure it out. Like, why are you messing with this? I don’t I don’t know. I don’t get it. It’s also intricately planned, I guess or just conveniently, it it makes it look like Jim is going on this killing free, killing drivers, and and tons of cops. Like, there are so many dead cops. 

Todd:  So many dead cops. These cops are really ineffective and don’t help each other out too well, apparently. 

Craig:  No. I know. And and, god. I don’t know. And and, like, you know, he met this chick once in a restaurant, and, you know, then the cops came to arrest him, and he was gone. And then he bumped into her again on the bus, and He’s like, it’s not me. I swear. You have to believe me.   And she’s like, okay. And then the then the, like, the cops, pull over the bus, and he’s all ready to surrender. Like, he does this several times. Like, he tries to give himself up Several times. At this point, apparently, Nash, the waitress, also had a huge Huge revolver on 

Todd:  the car. That was surprising. 

Craig:  What? Like a giant cop gun? 

Todd:  Like, like, 45 inches. 

Craig:  Where did that Come 

Todd:  from home. Massive. Yes. I think this everybody must have them out here. You know? It’s just maybe that’s 

Craig:  just guess, Like, I don’t know. If you live in the California desert, you better be back out. 

Todd:  Yes. Wild American west still lives on. 

Craig:  Right. And it’s like, you know, at this point, like, the dirty, I I guess they’re not even dirty cops. Like, they just believe because, like, there’s been a whole slew of dead cops along the way. And so, this this cop is like, You killed my friend. I’m gonna shoot you. 

Clip:  And and 

Craig:  Nash pops out. She’s like, 

Clip:  I saw what you were gonna do. Earl or whatever 

Todd:  because she knows them. 

Craig:  Yeah. She knows them. And and And so then they run off together, and then there’s, Nash and and, Jim run off together in a cop car. 

Clip:  Yeah. They steal the cop car. 

Todd:  That’s so crazy. 

Craig:  And then there’s a Huge chase where, like, first, the cop cars are shooting them, and then, you know, fortunately, the hitchhiker just runs up parallel to them in his truck and takes out the cops. 

Todd:  Shoots the 2 cops straight through the window, which was a shocking scene. Yeah? 

Craig:  Yeah. 

Todd:  But he’s there all of a sudden. 

Craig:  No. Like, he’s always just right there. And and then, like, a helicopter comes, and he Shoots down the helicopter. 

Todd:  It shoots the helicopter down. I was my head was between my knees at this point. I just couldn’t take that anymore. He aims his handgun at the helicopter, bang, bang, and this helicopter suddenly spins out of control. 

Craig:  He’s just so nonchalant about it. Like, he has No expression on his face. Like, he’s just totally deadpan, like, bang bang. I shot down the helicopter and, man. It I don’t even know. 

Todd:  Well, it does kinda make you wonder if the movie’s just meant to be just, you know, a dream or or just some unreal thing. Well, the score. And this is, another reason why it reminded me of Near Dark. Of course, there’s the setting. It’s kind of a road movie. Near Dark was kind of a road movie. It’s set in the eighties. Yeah.   And it’s very similar setting and and and feel to it, but the score in this movie is very similar to Near Dark’s score. It’s this very ethereal eighties ish, Never Ending Story had a score like this. It’s the sort of thing that Tangerine Dream used to do, but it’s Yeah. Right. Not not in this movie anyway. But, it also lent a very dreamlike quality to it and also the fact that, this isn’t like this sort of thrill ride every second there’s some exciting thing going on kind of action movie. There are long stretches of quiet and of contemplation and of just sitting and thinking and looking and staring and doing and driving and whatnot that again, Near Dark was very similar in this way. There’d be extreme graphic, brutal, crazy violence and then these long scenes of just character talking Mhmm.   And stuff. Except Except in this movie, there aren’t many characters. You know? You’re not getting to know a gang full of people. You’re getting this 1 kid who’s just in a situation and this guy who seems like, Superman and then a bunch of cops who come and go and this girl who kinda pops Sin barely knows him. We don’t really get to know a lot about her. 

Craig:  No. Not really. 

Todd:  So it’s it’s very it’s much more plot driven than it is character driven. And so I don’t feel like it really earns its pace. And for me, it dragged a little bit because of it. 

Craig:  Yeah. I don’t know. I mean, I wasn’t bored. You know, it’s it’s an hour and 37 minutes long. You know, it’s not that long, and the action keeps up, but it’s it’s all the same. I I mean, it’s it’s just this guy, you know, stalking this this kid. And and and that’s not to say that it’s boring, and that’s not to say that It’s not fair to say it’s all the same. It’s not because there are different set pieces and, like, these when when I say, you know, like, these car chases and the helicopter Like, these are major action scenes.   Yeah. You know? Like Yeah. And and this this really isn’t you know, for the type of movie this is, It’s not low budget. I think I think that it it filmed on, like, a $6,000,000 budget or something, and and it shows. I mean, things are blowing up all over the place and major car crashes and gas stations are exploding and Mhmm. There’s big time stuff going on, but As much as you say it’s plot driven, it is, but the plot is so simple. Yeah. I mean, it it’s just this guy tormenting this kid.   And that’s it. That’s the the whole movie. 

Todd:  And The whole movie. And every scene kind of ends the same. The cops are Mhmm. Whatever Other outside threat, like, okay. The cops are also after him, but they’re dead at the end of every scene that they’re in. 

Craig:  Yeah. 

Todd:  The cops end up getting killed. And this guy And then 

Craig:  they drive away. 

Todd:  And then they drive away. Yeah. And then and this whole bit where they are in a shootout with the cops, like, they’re really getting themselves in some serious hot water here. Like, I know. The judgment is way off, but it, again, it just feels like come on. He was about to give himself up, and now he’s driving down the road shooting at the cops. I don’t know. And she’s doing it too? 

Craig:  She’s like And and, like 

Todd:  No. I won’t shoot. 

Craig:  Well, and that’s that’s the thing too. And then she’s like, Oh, okay. She just met him. You know? Like, she doesn’t even know him. Like, they don’t have any connection at all. Yeah. But all of a sudden, she’s, like, You know, pointing guns at cops to, like, stick up for this guy that she doesn’t even know. Why should she believe him? Right.   You know? She doesn’t have any reason to believe him. See Todd Howell, he’ll certainly never listen to this podcast, so I feel pretty safe in saying he’s kind of a little bitch. You know, like, see Thomas Howell, I’m sure he’s a lovely fellow, but, you know, he’s not like some tough Eighties protagonist guy. You know, he he’s kinda wimpy, really. 

Todd:  Yeah. 

Craig:  And he he cries a lot and, like, he’s calling the cops, Like, 

Clip:  I just wanna turn myself in. Like, it wasn’t me. It was the hitchhiker. 

Craig:  And, like, every time he does that, they’ll be like, okay. And then the hitchhiker will show up and blow the cops So, Wade, so he’s in trouble and has to keep running. I don’t know. Yeah. It’s it’s kind of silly overall. 

Todd:  It really is. 

Craig:  I I think The the the part that, surprised me the most was, when he’s with Nash, they they end up after this huge Chase and huge shootout with helicopters and cars exploding. They end up at a motel, and I don’t know how because they don’t have any but they get a room, and she wants to call her dad. And he says, no. You can’t. I I don’t really know why, but He goes to take a shower, and she secretly calls her dad. And I guess the dad tips Pits off the cops. I don’t know because they show up eventually. But while he’s showering, she’s laying in bed, and, of course, Rutger Hauer is there, you know, just In the room. 

Todd:  Like a vampire. Right? It just suddenly Right. He’s there. And this is interesting. They very clearly did not have sex Because when they wake up, all their clothes are still on or when he you 

Craig:  know, whatever. 

Todd:  And it’s it’s not a scene, obviously. And he’s in the shower. And then Rutger Hauer’s character, it’s like, There’s a flash of lightning, and he’s standing over her. And then Mhmm. There’s a, like, another flash of lightning, and he’s, like, laying in bed next to her. 

Craig:  Spooning her. 

Todd:  Spooning her, basically, and he’s kind of running his hands over her and whatnot, which is really creepy. And then, of course, The kid comes out, and they’re gone. And the door is open, and he realizes she’s gone for some reason and, presumably, because this guy took her. 

Craig:  Right. 

Todd:  And then I can’t Can’t remember. The cops show up at that point, and then they take him to a truck stop, which must have been next Todd, or maybe this was in the parking lot. 

Craig:  Yeah. I think it’s all one. Like, I think it’s like a truck stop motel 

Clip:  Okay. 

Craig:  Kinda deal. But, yeah, he runs outside and the cops are there, and it’s like all of a sudden, they believe him and they know The, you know, the hitch it it’s it’s so weird because, basically, this hitchhiker guy has set himself up to be caught in this moment. Like, It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. 

Todd:  None of this does. 

Craig:  I mean, it it’s it’s a really interesting setup for a scene because, like, The the kid thinks, you know, as they have for the whole movie, the the cops are gonna think it’s him. They’re gonna arrest him, and the cops are like, oh, no. No. We know it wasn’t you, but we need your help. And then totally unrealistically, they send him into this scenario. And what has happened is Rucker Hauer Has apparently, I guess, disengaged the cab from the bed of a semitruck, And he has, chained up Nash between the cab and the bed, and she’s, like, suspended between the 2. And and it’s like he’s just sitting there with his foot on the brake. Like, if he takes his foot off the brake, I guess, is in drive.   It’s gonna pull forward, and she’s gonna get Mhmm. Yeah. She’s gonna get ripped in half or whatever. So they send Jim in. They’re like, oh, you need to go in there and talk him down. Like, what? Like, why would they it doesn’t even make any sense. 

Todd:  Well, Yeah. This scenario, it’s a cool set piece, and this is one of the 

Craig:  It is. 

Todd:  The few things I remember from this movie as being so horrifying. But I also thought the movie ended here. In my memory, the movie ended here somehow. But, no, it’s got another half hour to go. Yeah. But he’s he goes into the cab. He sits in there, and he has this quick little dialogue with him. But, basically, Rutger Hauer’s Characters like pick up the gun that’s on the floorboard. 

Clip:  Tell you what. I’ll let you hold the gun on me before I do anything. 

Craig:  He’ll catch you. 

Clip:  Yeah. Sure. Dora. So what? 

Todd:  Once again 

Craig:  Well, and all of a sudden and all of a sudden, it seems like this villainous guy is, like, Some, like, depress like like, what? Like, he’s depressed? 

Todd:  Like He gives that off, 

Clip:  doesn’t he? Like get it. Yeah. So much killing 

Todd:  has just, 

Clip:  what’s really taken it out of me. I just can’t 

Craig:  go on. 

Todd:  Just one more, And then you can just shoot me. But he set up a terrible an unwinnable scenario. If he shoots him in the head, his foot’s gonna come off the clutch, and their girl’s gonna get ripped in half. What he doesn’t do is shoot him in the head, and so he just looks at him like, oh, I’m so disappointed in you. You know? You don’t have what it takes after all. And He lets his foot off the clutch, and the girl gets ripped in half. 

Craig:  Ugh. The and this this is the only thing. Now I I read that it was, you know, studio or whoever that that decided that they couldn’t go there. Like, they couldn’t show it. But that felt so cheap to me. Yeah. Because you just see him take His foot off the clutch, and then you see her kind of scream and you kind of see the tension tighten, you know, kind of in the chains around Her wrist, but then it just cuts to black. Yes.   It opens back up. I don’t know. Where is he? Be like 

Todd:  The kids, like, in a hospital or police station or something. 

Craig:  Yeah. They they they totally pulled their punch on this one. Like, Show rip that girl in half. Like, if you’re gonna raise the stakes this high. And for me I don’t know. For some reason, that set piece seemed really familiar. I don’t know if I’ve read about this or I’ve just seen the scene or or what, but, You know, her, you know, being stretched out between, you know, these these 2 things and and the threat of her being Todd in half. I don’t know if it’s been copied another movie or or what, but that was so familiar to me.   But it really surprised me that there wasn’t, like, a deus ex machina. Like like, somehow, at the last minute, she would be saved. I I didn’t expect her to get killed, and she does. 

Todd:  Yes. 

Craig:  But the fact that they cut to black and don’t show it, and then you’re just, like, you have to realize, oh, he did it, and she’s dead. Yeah. That made me mad. 

Todd:  It’s not it doesn’t really do justice to her character. I mean, it just makes her even more of a throwaway character in a way. 

Craig:  It’s fun. The guy that’s interrogating, I think, Rucker Hauer or, yeah, I think he’s talking to Rucker Hauer. And, of course, he’s not giving them. He he has no driver’s license, and he has no criminal record. 

Todd:  He’s like a man from nowhere. 

Craig:  I know. 

Clip:  He’s, you 

Craig:  know, he’s this big enigma, and they can’t Figure it out. But the guy who’s interrogating him is this little snivelly guy, and I recognize him. I don’t know what his name is. I didn’t write it down, but he played Evil principal Snyder on Buffy the Vampire Slayer the series, which, ironically, Rucker Hauer was the main villain In the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie with Christy Swanson, which I used to watch all the time when I was a kid. Little trivia there for you. But anyway 

Todd:  We’ll put that on your IMDB page, Craig. 

Craig:  Right? So so the cops have him, but he’s not talking and I don’t know. There’s some weird thing where, like, Jim I don’t they’re they wouldn’t put these guys together. It doesn’t make any sense. No. For some reason, like 

Todd:  They do. 

Craig:  You know, they they take Jim into the interrogation room and, like, he shakes his hand, But then immediately spits in his face. Like, what is this? Like, what kind of drama are 

Todd:  you trying Todd here? I don’t And then and then the cop pulls him away. Well, this was a mistake. Well, yeah. Of course, it was a mistake. You guys are idiots. 

Craig:  Yeah. You dummy. But but Jim very ominously says, you’ll never hold him. They’re transporting him in what? Like, a bus or Something. I don’t even know. 

Todd:  I’m a tryna figure that out. 

Craig:  Bad guy. 

Todd:  Yeah. 

Craig:  Jim is, you know, with 1 of the other cops, and He he grabs the cop’s gun and points it at him and kicks the cop out like he’s going all vigilante, and he’s gonna go find this guy and take care of him. I mean, I guess that’s basically what happens. Like, we see lots of shots of Rucker, Howard, just sitting very calmly in the bus, like, looking at things. Like, oh, look. I see the cop’s gun, and, oh, I’m watching them play Hard. Like and and and then, you know, conveniently, just as Jim pulls up On this transport bus or whatever it is, Ruckerhauer, you know, gets the shotgun away from the cops and blows the cops away, And then he, like, kicks the the back door of the transport bus open, and Jim is right behind him in the police Car, and Brooker Hauer dives out of the back of the bus through the windshield of the Car. Oh, it’s amazing. It’s such a cool scene. 

Todd:  Yeah. 

Craig:  It’s ridiculous. And the, the windshield Shatters like it’s, you know, just like a regular window. Like, cars don’t have safety glass or whatever. Mhmm. Oh Todd. But it it’s fantastic. I mean, just 

Todd:  A great 

Craig:  merits of being a really cool scene, like him Diving out of the back of this bus and diving through the windshield. And and I read that, You know, Ruckerhauer, like, busted one of his own teeth out doing this. He did a lot of his own stunts. He did a lot of the stunt driving, and people were Super impressed. You know, even the stunt guys were super impressed at his, abilities in that capacity. And, but, Again, what is the end game here? Like, he dives in there and and Well I don’t know. Like, then he’s all bloody, and they kind of fight or something. That’s kinda 

Todd:  how it goes. Like, everybody else is suddenly out of the picture, and it’s just these 2, and there’s a truck. The truck that that they’ve had that the that Jim, Ruckerhauer’s character, has been driving, that he took from somebody earlier in the in the film. And, there’s kind of a bit of a standoff out in the middle of nowhere between them. And Jim, who’s the kid, gets inside the truck, but he’s a little incapacitated. He’s down, and Rutger Hauer’s facing him with his shotgun, shooting at the truck, slowly walking towards it. It’s like this sort of high noon standoff type thing. But then he manages to hit the the gas and drives right into him, which would have killed him.   Right. Would have killed him. He flies back, like, 20 feet, but then Right. Gets up. 

Craig:  Well, at first, I thought I thought he was dead because, like, they they show this. Like, he’s laying there on the ground, and you can kind of see him breathing, and then it seems like he stops breathing. So I thought that he was dead. Jim walks up to him and, like, looks down over him, and I feel like he even maybe points the shotgun at him or, like, Pokes him in the head with the shotgun to see if he’s dead. Yeah. And it seems like he’s dead. And and I read that They originally planned on ending the movie with Jim shooting him, like, in the head while he was down on the ground. But I guess they thought that was too brutal.   Like, I guess it’s too brutal to shoot a man when he’s down or something. So, Jim turns his back And Let’s him stand up. Yeah. John jumps up like he’s some kind of freaking superhero. Like, he’s fine, And and Jim turns around and shoots him 3 times point blank with a shotgun through the torso. 

Todd:  Yeah. 

Craig:  So You’re like, dude’s dead. Yeah. 

Todd:  It literally ends there. Like, the guy falls down. Jim turns around and leans forward on the on the hood of the truck As the credits start rolling He’s a badass. Yeah. 

Craig:  He just 

Todd:  suddenly, from from total wiener through the whole movie, he’s a badass for the last 2 minutes. You know? It’s problematic. I think it’s it’s it comes across as a little overdramatic. Again, I don’t feel like the movie really earned this moment, because it’s trying to build up something, I think, between these 2 characters that never really sinks in, Because we never well, we’re flat out told that the bad guy doesn’t have any motivation, really. He’s some dude from nowhere who apparently just likes killing people who, for Mhmm. No real good reason has latched on to this kid and decides that in the mid while he’s killing all these people, he’s gonna kind of make this kid his project. Yet, at the end of the day, he’s really setting him himself up to die anyway at the end. Like Yeah. 

Craig:  He’s Like, he just kinda gives up And or it Seems like he does. I I don’t know. 

Todd:  I think it’s Weird. It’s been suggested, I think, by people that this movie has some homoerotic overtones in it. I could kind of 

Craig:  Oh, I can see it. 

Todd:  I mean, it’s there, but I’m not sure I’m gonna give the rider enough credit to say that that No. You know? There’s there are moments. Of course, when he first gets into the car and he’s they’re staring he’s staring at him, and it makes him uncomfortable. And he says some words, well, why are you looking at me like that? And he’s just, I I like looking at you or something like that. 

Craig:  Yeah. There’s even a gag. You know? Like, 

Todd:  Oh, yeah. 

Craig:  They pull up to, like, a traffic Stop or I I don’t know. Like, there’s been an accident or something. I don’t even remember what it was, but they they pull up and some cop stops them. And Rucker Hauer, I think, is, like, pushing his gun into Jim’s side, but it looks like he’s getting fresh with them. Mhmm. And so the cop Calls them love 

Todd:  Sweethearts. Yeah. 

Craig:  Something like that. 

Todd:  Yeah. 

Craig:  So, yeah, I I can see it. And I don’t know. I mean, there is Rucker Hauer and and I think that, you know, this is just kind of typical of him. He has an intensity about him that is almost seductive. 

Todd:  Right. 

Craig:  I mean, he he has those piercing eyes, and he’s just so Smooth and cool. 

Todd:  With that smile and that grand Uh-huh. Very evil very, very, very over the top smooth, creepy, evil. 

Craig:  And And they and, again, like, I I feel so bad saying it because it’s mean. But but, see Michael Hall, you know, or see Thomas Howell. Who am I talking about? See Michael Hall? That’s the guy from, like, Breakfast Club. See, Todd, how old? He’s kind of got an effeminate 

Todd:  Yeah. 

Craig:  Thing about it. 

Todd:  He does. He does. 

Craig:  You know? And and so I I can see it now. I don’t think it was intentional. I don’t think that’s intentional subtext, but I could see how people could. 

Todd:  You can read it into the movie a lot. Yeah. The the gun scenes under the under the table. The the kid and and the girl don’t don’t, You know, very clearly don’t have sex or whatever in their relationship. 

Clip:  Just just, 

Todd:  you know, whatever. I don’t know. Again, I like you said, like I said, I just don’t think that that was Probably. If it was the writer’s original intent, it’s very poorly written. 

Clip:  It just Yeah. Yeah. 

Todd:  Yeah. So I I mean, I think at the end of the day for me, I I had fonder memories of this movie than I kind of had after watching it the 2nd time so many years later. It’s not a bad movie. No. It just has these sort of core problems that made it really hard for me to recommend it as, oh my gosh. Like, that movie had an impact on me. At the end of the day, it was an interesting plot. Some stuff happened.   It was exciting. It had good action scenes. Yeah. It was scary, you know, and very good moments, especially can put yourself in the place of this guy and you could imagine this kind of thing happening to you but, the thematic core that kind of, like, settles and Sits with you after long after a movie is over that these movies can can often have. That that’s the thing that kinda grips and grabs, and I just didn’t feel like it was there. So it’s not A movie that I’m gonna sit and think about long afterwards. You know? So 

Craig:  I know. I and I no. I actually liked it. This was the first time I had seen it or at least that I remember. So if I have seen it, it was when I was a kid, and I don’t even remember. But I liked it. I I was entertained by it. The but it was just I was bothered the whole time.   Why is he doing this, and How is he doing this? Like, how is he always there? How is he always 1 step ahead? Like, I just don’t get it. And and I and I kinda kept expecting the movie to tell me at some point. Like, there was gonna be some sort of connection. Like, Maybe Ruckerhauer is his dad or, you know, like, I don’t know. Something that would connect these guys other than just, oh, you happen Todd be the 1 rando guy who got away from me, so now I’m gonna torment you forever Mhmm. Until I eventually give up and and allow myself to get captured. And that’s the other thing too. Like, he’s so enigmatic.   Like, the police don’t even believe he exists for the whole movie. And then he basically just throws himself under the bus. Like Yeah. Yep. It’s me. Like, here I am. Now I’m depressed, and I’m, like, Suicidal in a truck. Like, I Well, that I don’t know. 

Todd:  That should have been, like, a real pivotal scene. That should have been, like, a like, that scene should have meant something. You know, here he is. He set himself in the situation where he’s finally surrounded by cops. He’s giving himself up. There there should have been something more meaningful about it. Like, something about killing this girl was a thing. You know? Or this confrontation, this moment with him in the truck was kind of a do or die kind of Somehow revealing something about him or his character or his motivations or, you know, just a Special turn in the movie, and it really wasn’t.   It’s just another thing he did, and now he’s captured. So Right. Yeah. 

Craig:  Well and and I also kind of feel like he shouldn’t have died at the end. Like, he he was so Seemingly superhuman, really, throughout the whole rest of the movie. It just it it felt a little bit Sheep that you know? 

Todd:  Just blasted point blank by 

Craig:  a shotgun? Right. And then he’s dead. Yeah. I don’t know. They made a sequel. C Thomas Howell was even in it. And and I and I’ve never seen it, and I don’t really know anything about it. I just read the synopsis, And it says, he plays the same character.   He plays Jim Halsey in the sequel. The sequel came out in 2000 3. 

Todd:  Todd, it happens to him again? 

Craig:  Yes. Like, he he and his fiance are, like, traveling cross country, and they pick up a hitchhiker. Why? Why? Like, And it’s Jake Busey, which is hilarious. Oh, geez. But, seriously, like, In the eighties, you were terrorized by a hitchhiker for an hour and 37 minutes, and then you’re gonna pick another one later. 

Todd:  Well Like, 

Craig:  it doesn’t even make any sense. 

Todd:  Yeah. 

Craig:  And and they they also remade it. And I have seen the remake, And it wasn’t particularly memorable either. Like, I can’t remember. I think what I do remember about it is that The guy and the girl were more of a team. Like, it was they were together a lot and, but it it followed basically the the same premise. As I remember, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen it. And, you know, I just happened to catch it on TV or something, and and I sat and watched it. I mean, it it it Had to have been alright, but I don’t know.   Yeah. I don’t it’s you’re right. Like, it’s kind of an oddity. I don’t really know what to say about it. I don’t know that I would necessarily recommend it. I I I enjoyed it, and And I Rucker Hauer is is very scary. He wasn’t even originally cast. Sam Elliott was cast in that role first.   And, apparently, like, he just blew everybody away with his audition, and they were just absolutely thrilled to have him. But then there was a scheduling conflict, and and Ruckerhauer was 2nd or even 3rd choice, I think. But I I do think that he’s very good in it. He is very Sinister. He’s one of those few people actors who is sinister Almost because they are charming and and charismatic. 

Todd:  Yeah. 

Craig:  And he’s played, Rucker Hauer has played vampires. He he played, like I said, he was in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which was goofy, and he he totally was hamming it up in that movie, but it’s fun. But he also, played Dracula. Was it it was it Adario Argento Craig I don’t know. It was 

Todd:  Dracula three d. Yeah. I don’t Yeah. 

Craig:  I don’t know. And I I didn’t see it. 

Todd:  I think he was in Dracula 3 legacy in 2005. He actually played Van Helsing in Dracula three d. I’m sorry. 

Craig:  Gotcha. But but he does have kind of that that vampire type thing where, like, it’s sexy sinister. Well and I and I mean that as a compliment. I think that he’s, was. You know? I I think he lived a long and full life and had a very successful career, and and so it’s sad that he’s gone, but, you know, he certainly leaves a a legacy. But, He was a cool guy, and and he’s very charismatic on screen. And and he’s good. He does a good job in this movie.   It may not be the greatest movie. It may be a little bit nonsensical in fact, but, he plays that sinister, Quiet villain quite well. 

Todd:  Well, it’s interesting you mentioned the vampire thing because, apparently, according to an interview that Anne Rice gave, He was her original vision for Lestat when she was writing the book. 

Craig:  Craig. See that? 

Todd:  Yeah. Totally. So, Yes. I agree with you. Go out and check out some of his other movies, especially if you haven’t seen, like, blade runner or whatever. He Still has, like, 5 projects that he’s filmed that are still in postproduction. So you’ll be seeing him in a few more movies even posthumously here. He’s been on a couple television series lately, acting up to the very end.   So, really a go getter, very well respected by pretty much everybody. And seemed just like a high quality person even though he could play that sinister, sweet villain role so well. 

Craig:  Yeah. He was charitable. You know? He worked for all kinds of of, you know, very noble causes. He he was a cool guy. 

Todd:  Yeah. Well, Thank you again for listening to another episode. If you enjoyed this podcast, please share it with a friend. You can find us on Facebook. Just search 2 Guys and a chainsaw, or you you can find our website. It’s Just leave us a comment on either of those places. Tell us what you thought of this show, And, also, any requests that you might have.   We have a short pile of them, coming up, and so I think, before long, we’ll be doing a few, maybe a month more of requests coming up. So Yes. Get those in. Until next time. I’m Todd 

Craig:  And I’m Craig. 

Todd:  With 2 Guys and a Chainsaw.

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