December 24th, 2006


Masters of Horror: Pick Me Up

You know, for a while there it almost seemed like Masters of Horror was getting good again. But no.

"Pick Me Up" has a brilliant premise. There's a serial killer named Wheeler who picks up hitchhikers in his truck and dispatches them. There's also a serial killer named Walker who hitchhikes everywhere and kills whoever picks him up. Logically, it was only a matter of time before Walker found himself on Wheeler's strip of highway, and now the two of them are fighting over the same prey.

Neat, huh? Except "Pick Me Up" is nothing but an hour of missed opportunities. Wheeler should be enraged that there's another predator hunting his turf, not playfully intrigued, and the victim they're fighting over is a cardboard cipher (it would have been better without her, actually, if Wheeler had simply picked up Walker and then the two serial killers tried to off each other). And that's not even mentioning the terrible acting and frightening collagen lip implants. Plus, the final scene in the ambulance is fucking ridiculous.

Director Larry Cohen (Q, It's Alive, Black Caesar) does a good job with a lackluster script. There are a couple of fine shots, including a camera panning Hitchcock-like over three adjoining motel rooms, but overall the whole thing comes off like someone telling a joke with the best setup you've ever heard but a stupid, unworthy punchline.

I think I've seen all the first season MoH episodes now except "Fair-Haired Child", which I've got Netflixed. Given the series' track record, though, I'm not sure I'm going to bother with the second season at all.