Larry Cohen's entry into the series has to do with a broken down bus and the two serial killers who happen upon it. One of the killers is an old trucker (Cohen regular, Michael Moriarty) who kills anyone he gives a ride to, and the other is a hitchhiker (Warren Kole) who murders those who pick him up. Both set their sights on the lone remaining passenger (Fairuza Balk) of the bus, which leads to a battle of wills to see who can get her first.<br/><br/>This story of two dueling serial killers is perfectly suited for the episodic "Masters of Horror" format, as it's merely a fun little idea with hardly enough material to sustain a feature length film. Throw in Cohen as the master behind this one, and I was expecting to sit back for one of the more entertaining episodes of the series. I have to say that I was disappointed. For starters, it had definite pacing issues. Yes, an hour-long episode dealing with an idea as threadbare as this one suffers from a poor pace. Some of the performances also really brought it down for me. All of the people from the bus (aside from the driver and Balk) were just terrible. Worst acting of the series from these folks, and I wanted them to die immediately so I wouldn't have to put up with it.<br/><br/>Michael Moriarty was fantastic, though. He nailed his role, and Kole was quite good too. I loved the interactions between these two and how they would try to one up each other. We also get a decent helping of morbid humor, and the skinned alive girl was a surprisingly gruesome touch in an otherwise tame episode. As for atmosphere, it was sorely lacking here. Maybe I've just seen too much of British Columbia from this series, and I know it's for budgetary reasons, but I felt that the locations weren't very fitting for the story at hand. Cohen's direction is generally uninspired with the exception of an overhead pan of the rooms during the motel sequence. The absurd ending also fails, all plausibility going right out the window.<br/><br/>"Pick Me Up" needed less of the bus passengers and more of the killers facing off. At least it would've been a bit more entertaining that way. Two good performances, poor episode.
Pick Me Up
Pick Me Up
When a bus breaks down in a desert road surrounded by woods, the passenger Stacia decides to walk ahead 20 km to a motel. The travelers Birdy and Danny get a lift with the deranged serial-killer truck driver Jim Wheeler to return to a dinning place and are killed. The paranoid Marie and her husband stay in the bus with the driver waiting for help. When the sadistic serial-killer hitchhiker Walker comes to the bus, he kills the trio. Later in the motel, Stacia is disputed by the two psychopaths.
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