Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Horror Masters of Horror, Larry Cohen: Pick Me Up (2006)

Masters of Horror, Larry Cohen: Pick Me Up (2006)

Two features of this movie are abundantly successful: the showcasing of Michael Moriarty’s (Jim Wheeler) range and accomplishments as an actor and how refreshing it is for the viewer not to be treated at length to those childhood miseries dubiously thought responsible for pathology…even the murderous kind. No, the mayhem here is clear cut, predation for fun, possibly in preference to metal detecting or obsessing about personal relationships gone awry. In this somber atmosphere and in a spirit of “no rest for the victim” (or recourse) lies the movie’s best claim to horror.

Instead of staging one kill after another, one more creative way to strangle a victim (like with a dead rattlesnake) or to crush a skull (like with banging it with the heavy door to the luggage compartment on a bus) the viewer is provided an underlying action core as a bonus to what puts “serial” in serial killer, serial killers competing over territory. This reviewer is loving it already.

The victim the camera stays on longest (seasoned way of putting it) is the surly and well developed role of Stacia (excellently casted Fairuza Balk) the only prey in a long list coming close to a chance of escape.

Of course, as was intimated, much of the success is provided by the stunning performance of Michael Moriarty giving an incredible depth to his role as a predator exploring his own style of approaching the victim and setting up the kill to the extent of artistry. A brooding sinister attitude drips from every one of his delivered lines barely cloaked by a laconic sense of humor.

Talented as well is the multidimensional performance of Warren Kole as Walker (as in THE walker, his name not brought up) as Jim Wheeler’s rival. His is a role more typical of serial killing and, maybe, just a little more colorful…in a very bad way.

Direction, by Larry Cohen, typical to the Masters of Horror series, is remarkable in quality and in the artistic choices made. Although much of the storytelling expertise may be laid to its “creator” and writer, Mick Garris, along with fellow writer, David J. Schow, the flow and breaks of scene in this film are exceptional. As natural as peeling a banana.

I won’t give away the surprise ending, suffice it to say the movie has one. Will it offer you something lacking in The Hitcher? Why yes it will, three for the price of one….

No one under sixteen because of some nudity and a rather strange way of appreciating it.

2 thoughts on “Masters of Horror, Larry Cohen: Pick Me Up (2006)”

  1. You will never be worth a damn as any kind of critic or reviewer judging
    the work of others by your own narrow frame of reference and limited
    personal taste.

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