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Riding the Bullet (2004)

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When a man finds out his mother is dying and tries to hitchike his way to the hospital, he is picked up by a stranger with a deadly secret.



(screenplay), (novel)
1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Parker
George Staub
Jean Parker
Jessica Hadley
Julian Parker (as Barry Levy)
Jackson Warris ...
Alan - Age 6
Alan - Age 12 (as Jeff Ballard)
Mature Alan
Hector Passmore
Archie Howard
Mr. Clarkson
Simon Webb ...
Grim Reaper
Danielle Dunn-Morris ...
Mrs. Janey McCurdy


A young man hitchhiking back home to visit his mother is picked up by a mysterious stranger. As the ride goes on, the young man uncovers a terrible secret about the stranger, and is given a choice by the stranger. A choice that can mean life or death. Written by Sarah

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The dead travel fast


Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, disturbing images, language, drug use and some nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

3 February 2005 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

Stephen King's Riding the Bullet  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$101,107 (USA) (15 October 2004)


$101,107 (USA) (15 October 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Nurse Annie Wilkes who cares for Mrs. Parker is also the name of the antagonist in the Stephen King novel Misery. See more »


Alan's "inner voice" says, "You are not going to Toronto with Cheech & Chong here while your mom's lying in a hospital...." The story is set in 1969, when Cheech & Chong were still unknown comics working in Canada. Their first album wouldn't come out till 1972. See more »


Alan Parker: Shit, one more life or death seems pretty insignificant in the greater planetary scheme of things.
See more »

Crazy Credits

FOR MOM, DAD, and CRAIG. See more »


References Night of the Living Dead (1968) See more »


I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night
Written by Nancie Mantz and Annette Tucker
Performed by The Electric Prunes
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
By Arrangement with Warner Strategic Marketing
See more »

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User Reviews

If you're a fan of King's work, watch it. Anyone else might be disappointed.
16 August 2006 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

MickGarris, director of Riding The Bullet, is no stranger to adapting the work of Stephen King for the screen, having previously tackled TV versions of Quicksilver Highway, The Stand, and The Shining, and the big screen adaptation of Sleepwalkers. Of all the directors that have turned King's blockbuster books into movies, Garris seems to be the one of those best able to capture King's literary style on film. This is great news for fans of King's work, but not so great for me; I've always struggled with his books, finding them something of a chore to work through. Naturally, this is also how I felt about Garris's adaptation of Riding The Bullet.

Troubled teen Alan Parker (Jonathan Jackson) is hitch-hiking to see his mother in hospital. On the way, he encounters many strange people and before his journey is through, he is forced to confront his demons and make some life-changing decisions.

I must stress that this is not a horror film; there are spooky moments, but these are not necessarily supernatural, and are more likely the result of the lead character's fertile imagination. To me, the film was more about not wasting the gift of life, dealing with guilt, and the importance of making good choices.

Garris attempts some particularly strange visual gimmickry during the telling of this tale, but I personally found his quirky directorial style to be annoying, and a truly awful performance from David Arquette certainly didn't help matters; only one or two genuinely creepy moments manage to stop this from being a complete waste of time. It is ironic that, for a film about 'making good choices', the makers of this movie sure seem to have made some bad ones.

10 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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