Masters of Horror (2005–2007)
38 user 24 critic

Pick Me Up 

In the middle of nowhere, with only a two-lane highway to connect it to anywhere--probably upstate New York--a recently divorced female traveler, who is a passenger on a bus that has broken down, gets caught in a bizarre and violent turf war between serial killers.



(creator), (teleplay) | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview:
Bus Driver
Kristie Marsden ...
Ambulance Attendant
Ambulance Driver


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. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Fantasy | Horror


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Parents Guide:






Release Date:

20 January 2006 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Laurene Landon not only plays a small role in this episode, but also wrote the lyrics to the ending credits theme song. See more »


When the punk women is tired to the bed in the motel room she is wearing red underwear, the scene cuts to the TV being turned off, then the women is now wearing white underwear. See more »


Walker: Now, our judgmental trucker friend here, he's the type of guy who likes to hunt. He likes to theorize about prey, and he likes to think about worthy opponents and fair game, and just with all that bullshit. He loves it. Very romantic. Now, he thinks he ain't a predator. You should have seen him back at that bus.
Walker: [pause] You see all these little trinkets? These little souvenirs? Look at that. He never saw the Horrible Thing. He just kept the button.
Walker: Now, your genuinely ...
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References The Ambulance (1990) See more »


Snakes in the Snow
Written and Performed by Michael Moriarty.
See more »

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User Reviews

Pick up something else
18 September 2010 | by (Cleburne, TX) – See all my reviews

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.

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.

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.

"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.

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