|Since this played on cable TV on HBO, THE
HITCHHIKER has violence and sexuality of an R-rated movie. Not only that but also these
episodes featured talented directors like Paul Verhoeven, Phillip Noyce and Carl Schenkel.
There is also a pretty famous list of guest stars like Kirstie Alley, Gary Busey, Margot
Kidder, Willem Dafoe, Helen Hunt, Joe Pantoliano and James Remar.
Here is a breakdown of
"The Last Scene"
This Paul Verhoeven directed episode starred Peter Coyote who played a director who would
do anything to get the right performance from an actress. LeGena Hart is excellent as the
little blonde vixen that submits to the directors demands because she wants to
please him. But its her that gets the last laugh. Verhoeven does a fantastic job of
teeter tottering back and fourth between reality and the movie being made. You wonder how
much of Verhoevens reality is put into this little fun film. In his audio
commentary, Verhoeven states how this was his first job working in America and that it
cemented a difficult decision to move from Europe to make films in the USA.
This is probably the scariest episode out of all ten on this DVD. Phillip (DEAD CALM)
Noyce helmed this creepy story about a greedy nurse (Margot Kidder) who takes advantage of
the elderly. Darren McGavin is unlike anything youve ever seen him before THE NIGHT
STALKER or since. Noyce made this very tense and moody.
"Miracle of Alice Ames"
Joe Pantoliano plays a crooked priest who is running a cathouse to support his church. He
gets religion when a young woman (Coraly Zahonero) with the "Stigmata" makes him
see the light. Pantoliano is his normal impressionistic self and Zahonero gives the Alice
Ames the innocence to make the character work.
Jeffrey (Willem Dafoe) fakes his own death only to find his wife Vivian (Madeleine
Sherwood) and best friend Tony (Barry Bostwick) has planned to make it real. Nice twisting
"Mans Best Friend"
Michael O'Keefe plays Richard, a guy down on his luck that loses his job and wife only to
find a friend in white dog. People who are threats in Richards life start getting
killed and the question becomes is it the dog, are someone else carrying out the violence.
Phillip Noyce does another stellar job of creating a tense atmosphere where nothing is
Gary Busy is an outspoken minister who preaches the gospel across the airwaves of a radio
station. He is thrown for a loop when a caller asks him to confess his sins from a past
transgression. Busey is almost over the top as this religious (?) zealot but his
enthusiasm works to make the payoff have more punch.
"The Legendary Billy B."
An odd episode featuring Kirstie Alley as a seedy reporter, Andy Summers from the band the
Police as her photographer and Brad Dourif as another wacko character. Alleys
character goes beyond whats needed to get a story and it costs her big time.
While two thieves rob a family, the younger guy becomes attached with the family value and
must make the decision to stop the robbery or finish it. Director Carl Schenkel does a
fine job and in his audio commentary talks about working with star James Remar.
"Why Are You Here?"
Brad Davis plays a TV reporter who pushes every button to create a story. Helen Hunt is
the rich, beguiled girl who Brad Davis starts following around. Hunts character and
her friends like to hear the last words from people right before they die. Davis becomes
obsessed with getting this on video for his story, even if it may lead to his death. This
is the most confusing and least enjoyable episode in the 2-Disc set.
"In the Name of Love"
A female killer (Lucy Gutteridge) meets athletic instructor named Johnny (Greg Evigan)
while resting at a resort. Like any good episode in this the series, Johnny is not who he
appears to be and it may cost her dearly for getting close to him.
I must not forget to mention that Page Fletcher as the Hitchhiker character is the glue
that puts all these episodes together. His intro and closing comments in each story are
fun yet somewhat predictable. Im sure the female audience will enjoy seeing him as
The DVD includes five audio commentaries and episode selection. There are many other
episodes I remember seeing that were better than most of those chosen for this DVD. HBO
would be smart to continue to release the other episodes over time as there is definitely
an audience for this ground breaking show that opened the doors for the other shows that
have followed like Tales From The Crypt, Sopranos and Sex In The City.