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"The Hitchhiker" In the Name of Love (1987)

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The Hitchhiker--In the Name of Love

7/10
Author: Scarecrow-88 from United States
14 April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have to say I thought "In the Name of Love" was better than I expected it to be. I loved the opening where Lucy Gutteridge's hitwoman Jackie imitates a bubble-headed floozy, enticing a drug czar up to a room in some bluesy club, and assassinates him (later taking out a partner of his looking for the czar) in expert fashion. We see that Jackie is very good at killing people. It is very neo-noirish and highly stylized. The story takes a somewhat more conventional route for a while as she takes a vacation after getting paid by her money man (the guy who drops off her cash and offers another target to eliminate) to a resort that costs a pretty penny, falling almost immediately for tennis instructor, Johnnie (Greg Evigan). The older wife of a rich plastic surgeon, Doris (the great Susan Tyrell), isn't too fond of Johnnie's attentions turned towards Jackie (who tells Johnnie she's unhappily married to a rich man, even wearing a ring). Doris seems hellbent on not accepting Johnnie's sudden interest in Jackie, demanding the loving turned towards her. Doris even shows up at a restaurant to cause a ruckus while Johnnie and Jackie are dining. Where I think this episode gets really good is the twist regarding Jackie's "former love" and Doris' "true identity". And we see that Jackie inadvertently sits right into her own doom which adds to that wicked good twist on Doris. Tyrell is ace at taking two or three small scenes (or a supporting part in cult movies) and making them golden. She adds just a little zing to her characters. In this episode she plays a tricky part where we must accept her as one character, and then plausibly another once the Doris charade is uncovered. She can rattle on, so nagging and chatty, clinging and noisy; Tyrell leaves her mark once again. Evigan has the handsome looks of a blackmailing scumbag who bangs wealthy wives by manipulating them through his influential charm, smile, and charismatic appeal. He appears to be easy to talk to and it seems he listens attentively (or so you think; that's part of his act), but it is all in the performance that leads to panties falling and voluntary activity in his bed. Except, this episode, his act ends him as Jackie has a few screws loose (even if she's very thorough at taking out hired hits) and won't tolerate being the patsy. Irony is at play here as Jackie gives the number of a substitute to her employer's middle man and winds up suffering for it! This is still during the show's HBO heyday so Gutteridge smolders on screen, bearing her breasts a couple times, and has a steamy sex scene with Evigan. It all adds up to quite a good time, with all the themes of a contemporary noir showing up for 27 minutes.

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Engrossing episode

8/10
Author: Woodyanders (Woodyanders@aol.com) from The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left
4 June 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

International hit woman Jackie Dresser (a sound and sultry performance by enticing brunette looker Lucy Gutteridge) travels all over the world and bumps people off for a substantial fee. Complications arise when Jackie falls for hunky fitness instructor Johnnie (a charming portrayal by the handsome Greg Evigan) while on vacation in a foreign country. Director John Laing, working from an involving script by Jeremy Lipps, relates the absorbing story at a steady pace, ably develops a good deal of tension, and offers a couple of nifty twists and turns that culminate in a real dilly of a surprise grim ending. Gutteridge and Evigan both do fine work in the lead roles while veteran character actress Susan Tyrell does well in a colorful supporting part as loud and vampy middle-aged broad Doris. As a tasty extra plus, the delectable Ms. Gutteridge bares her nice body a few times. The central plot makes a solid and insightful point about the basic human need for love and companionship. Moreover, there are cool bits by James Crescenzo as sleazy mark Eddie and Hagan Beggs as Jackie's mysterious pipe-smoking employer. Thomas Burstyn's glossy cinematography provides a pleasingly polished look. The shivery score by Shuki Levy and Haim Saban hits the shuddery spot. A worthwhile episode.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Pretty predictable episode of the series with common themes of passion, revenge, plot twist and murder.

5/10
Author: Danny Blankenship from Petersburg, Virginia
6 August 2007

This "Hitchhiker" episode titled "In the name of Love" is pretty predictable as you the viewer watch with the first 10 minutes you can tell what the story is about and clearly see the way it will go. Lucy Gutteridge is an international hit woman named Jackie Dresser who travels aboard doing the dirty work for those who need it even if it's government people. Finally her route takes her to some foreign country she starts to feel relaxed only to start a hot passion love romance with a fitness trainer played by Greg Evigan. It proves true though many times that love wasn't meant and it doesn't last forever you just know how this episode will end. Really predictable but still watchable.

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