The Interstate Serial Killer Collection

by onlyjared | created - 06 Jan 2013 | updated - 3 months ago | Public

This is a collection of films that combine two basic themes, highway travel and murder. Some of these titles would be categorized as "Highway Noir". There are many older films from the 50's and 60's that I've intentionally left out trying to keep the list more appealing to the modern movie viewer. The top two films are the work of Robert Harmon; a director who's style and ability have defined the art of illustrating the creepiness and mystery of this film genre. I give similar praise to John Dahl, and appreciation to author Ginger Strand for the inspiration to compose the list.

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1. The Hitcher (1986)

R | 97 min | Thriller

32 Metascore

A young man who escapes the clutches of a murderous hitch-hiker is subsequently stalked by the hitcher and framed for his crimes.

Director: Robert Harmon | Stars: Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jeffrey DeMunn

Votes: 37,404 | Gross: $5.84M

2. Highwaymen (2004)

R | 80 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

Rennie Cray (Caviezel) embarks on a bloodthirsty rampage to avenge the death of his wife who was struck down by a serial killer - a man who hunts and kills women using his '72 El Dorado.

Director: Robert Harmon | Stars: Jim Caviezel, Rhona Mitra, Frankie Faison, Colm Feore

Votes: 7,779 | Gross: $0.37M

3. Badlands (1973)

PG | 94 min | Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

An impressionable teenage girl from a dead-end town and her older greaser boyfriend embark on a killing spree in the South Dakota badlands.

Director: Terrence Malick | Stars: Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek, Warren Oates, Ramon Bieri

Votes: 54,520

4. The Lucky Man (2018)

R | 98 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

A young charismatic preacher and his hot Latina girlfriend travel Route 66 scamming the small churches along the way only to find that the bogus healing powers he portrays become real. The healing powers serve as a blessing and a curse.

Director: Norman Gregory McGuire | Stars: Jesse James, Mariana Paola Vicente, Burton Gilliam, Brad Hawkins

Votes: 1,553 | Gross: $0.02M

5. Identity (2003)

R | 90 min | Mystery, Thriller

64 Metascore

Stranded at a desolate Nevada motel during a nasty rain-storm, ten strangers become acquainted with each other when they realize that they're being killed off one by one.

Director: James Mangold | Stars: John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, John Hawkes

Votes: 198,942 | Gross: $52.16M

6. Breakdown (I) (1997)

R | 93 min | Action, Crime, Drama

73 Metascore

A man searches for his missing wife after his car breaks down in the middle of the desert.

Director: Jonathan Mostow | Stars: Kurt Russell, J.T. Walsh, Kathleen Quinlan, M.C. Gainey

Votes: 42,154 | Gross: $50.13M

7. Surveillance (I) (2008)

R | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

31 Metascore

Two FBI agents attempt to clarify the murders occurring in a desolate region. They approach the witnesses of the latest incident with the help of the local police. All of them hide something and all have wildly different stories to tell.

Director: Jennifer Lynch | Stars: Julia Ormond, Bill Pullman, Pell James, Caroline Aaron

Votes: 15,755 | Gross: $0.03M

8. Octane (2003)

R | 91 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

While on a late night road trip home, a woman must save her rebellious teenage daughter who runs off with a bizarre group of blood-letting psychos.

Director: Marcus Adams | Stars: Madeleine Stowe, Norman Reedus, Bijou Phillips, Mischa Barton

Votes: 2,889

9. No Country for Old Men (2007)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

91 Metascore

Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen | Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson

Votes: 716,160 | Gross: $74.28M

10. Natural Born Killers (1994)

R | 118 min | Crime, Drama

74 Metascore

Two victims of traumatized childhoods become lovers and psychopathic serial murderers irresponsibly glorified by the mass media.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Rodney Dangerfield

Votes: 191,505 | Gross: $50.28M

11. Mojave (2015)

R | 93 min | Thriller

41 Metascore

A suicidal artist goes into the desert, where he finds his doppelgänger, a homicidal drifter.

Director: William Monahan | Stars: Oscar Isaac, Garrett Hedlund, Louise Bourgoin, Cletus Young

Votes: 3,128

12. The Bag Man (I) (2014)

R | 108 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

28 Metascore

A criminal bides his time at a seedy motel, waiting for his boss after killing several men and making away with a mystery bag.

Director: David Grovic | Stars: John Cusack, Rebecca Da Costa, Robert De Niro, Crispin Glover

Votes: 14,818 | Gross: $0.05M

13. Freeway (1996)

R | 102 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

61 Metascore

A twisted take on 'Little Red Riding Hood' with a teenage juvenile delinquent on the run from a social worker traveling to her grandmother's house and being hounded by a charming, but sadistic, serial killer/pedophile.

Director: Matthew Bright | Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Kiefer Sutherland, Bokeem Woodbine, Paul Perri

Votes: 23,687 | Gross: $0.30M

14. Interstate (2007)

Not Rated | 80 min | Thriller

A Montreal DJ, following his girlfriend to Los Angeles, falls into a deadly relationship with a couple of female hitchhikers.

Director: Marc-Andre Samson | Stars: Shiloh Fernandez, Chase Mallen, Joseph Benz, Walter Peña

Votes: 313

15. Transit (I) (2012)

R | 88 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

A gang of bank robbers hide their loot in the car of a family going camping. They chase down the family to kill them and get the loot back, but run into a fight.

Director: Antonio Negret | Stars: Jim Caviezel, James Frain, Elisabeth Röhm, Diora Baird

Votes: 9,967

16. Vacancy (2007)

R | 85 min | Crime, Horror, Thriller

54 Metascore

A married couple becomes stranded at an isolated motel and finds hidden video cameras in their room. They soon realize that unless they escape, they'll be the next victims of a snuff film.

Director: Nimród Antal | Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Luke Wilson, Frank Whaley, Ethan Embry

Votes: 86,271 | Gross: $19.36M

17. U Turn (1997)

R | 125 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

54 Metascore

A man heading to Vegas to pay off his gambling debt before the Russian mafia kills him, is forced to stop in an Arizona town where everything that can go wrong, does go wrong.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Sean Penn, Jennifer Lopez, Nick Nolte, Billy Bob Thornton

Votes: 44,964 | Gross: $6.63M

18. Wild at Heart (1990)

R | 125 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

52 Metascore

Young lovers Sailor and Lula run from the variety of weirdos that Lula's mom has hired to kill Sailor.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Laura Dern, Willem Dafoe, J.E. Freeman

Votes: 70,540 | Gross: $14.56M

19. Lost Highway (1997)

R | 134 min | Mystery, Thriller

52 Metascore

After a bizarre encounter at a party, a jazz saxophonist is framed for the murder of his wife and sent to prison, where he inexplicably morphs into a young mechanic and begins leading a new life.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, John Roselius, Louis Eppolito

Votes: 111,895 | Gross: $3.80M

20. Death Proof (2007)

Not Rated | 113 min | Action, Thriller

Two separate sets of voluptuous women are stalked at different times by a scarred stuntman who uses his "death proof" cars to execute his murderous plans.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Kurt Russell, Zoë Bell, Rosario Dawson, Vanessa Ferlito

Votes: 232,168

21. Joy Ride (2001)

R | 97 min | Mystery, Thriller

75 Metascore

Three young people on a road trip from Colorado to New Jersey talk to a trucker on their CB radio, then must escape when he turns out to be a psychotic killer.

Director: John Dahl | Stars: Steve Zahn, Paul Walker, Leelee Sobieski, Jessica Bowman

Votes: 57,937 | Gross: $21.97M

22. Dark Country (2009)

R | 88 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

A couple en route from Las Vegas are forced to deal with a body out in the desert making their honeymoon one hellish ride.

Director: Thomas Jane | Stars: Thomas Jane, Lauren German, Ron Perlman, Chris Browning

Votes: 4,090

23. Freeway Killer (2010)

R | 85 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

The true story of William Bonin a California serial killer.

Director: John Murlowski | Stars: Scott Anthony Leet, Cole Williams, Dusty Sorg, Michael Rooker

Votes: 1,056

24. Dolan's Cadillac (2009)

R | 89 min | Crime, Thriller

A young man attempts to seek to avenge his wife's death after she is murdered by a Las Vegas mobster.

Director: Jeff Beesley | Stars: Christian Slater, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Wes Bentley, Greg Bryk

Votes: 6,256

25. Kalifornia (1993)

R | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

49 Metascore

A journalist duo go on a tour of serial killer murder sites with two companions, unaware that one of them is a serial killer himself.

Director: Dominic Sena | Stars: Brad Pitt, Juliette Lewis, Kathy Larson, David Milford

Votes: 45,758 | Gross: $2.40M

26. Southbound (2015)

R | 89 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

58 Metascore

Five interlocking tales of terror follow the fates of a group of weary travellers who confront their worst nightmares - and darkest secrets - over one long night on a desolate stretch of desert highway.

Directors: Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner, Patrick Horvath, Radio Silence | Stars: Chad Villella, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Kristina Pesic, Fabianne Therese

Votes: 12,681 | Gross: $0.01M

27. The Road Killers (1994)

R | 89 min | Action, Crime, Drama

At a desert truck stop, a gang of joyriders kidnaps a man's family and kills his brother. The local sheriff is of no help, so the man goes after them himself.

Director: Deran Sarafian | Stars: Christopher Lambert, Craig Sheffer, David Arquette, Josh Brolin

Votes: 1,393

28. Red Rock West (1993)

R | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

79 Metascore

Upon arriving to a small town, a drifter is mistaken for a hitman, but when the real hitman arrives, complications ensue.

Director: John Dahl | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Dennis Hopper, Lara Flynn Boyle, Craig Reay

Votes: 17,430 | Gross: $2.50M

29. Kill Me Again (1989)

R | 94 min | Action, Crime, Drama

61 Metascore

A young detective becomes involved with a beautiful woman on the run from the mob and her psychopath boyfriend.

Director: John Dahl | Stars: Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Pat Mulligan, Nick Dimitri

Votes: 3,768 | Gross: $0.28M

30. American Strays (1996)

R | 97 min | Action, Comedy

The desert can be a lonely place for the people who live there or for those who are traveling through. It is also the teller of different stories including the story of a traveling salesman... See full summary »

Director: Michael Covert | Stars: Scott Plank, Melora Walters, John Savage, Brion James

Votes: 562 | Gross: $0.00M

31. Dead End (I) (2003)

R | 85 min | Adventure, Horror, Mystery

Christmas Eve. On his way to his in-laws with his family, Frank Harrington decides to try a shortcut, for the first time in 20 years. It turns out to be the biggest mistake of his life.

Directors: Jean-Baptiste Andrea, Fabrice Canepa | Stars: Ray Wise, Lin Shaye, Mick Cain, Alexandra Holden

Votes: 22,226

32. Outside Ozona (1998)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A drama revolving around a group of strangers brought together by a common occurrence as well as listening to the same radio station.

Director: J.S. Cardone | Stars: Robert Forster, Kevin Pollak, Sherilyn Fenn, David Paymer

Votes: 808 | Gross: $0.01M

33. Beneath the Dark (2010)

R | 102 min | Mystery, Thriller

Driving to a wedding in Los Angeles through the Mojave Desert, Paul and Adrienne pull off the highway and into Roy's Motel and Cafe. This roadside artifact proves to be a strange and ... See full summary »

Director: Chad Feehan | Stars: Josh Stewart, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Chris Browning, Angela Featherstone

Votes: 1,712

34. Penny Dreadful (2006)

R | 92 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Young Penny goes on a retreat with her psychologist; the intention is to help her overcome her phobia, an intense fear of cars. Unexpected events find her in a nightmarish situation where her worst fears come true.

Director: Richard Brandes | Stars: Rachel Miner, Mimi Rogers, Chad Todhunter, Mickey Jones

Votes: 5,805

35. Rest Stop (2006 Video)

R | 80 min | Horror, Romance, Thriller

The film follows Nicole Carrow, a young woman who is threatened by a maniac serial killer, after her boyfriend Jess, is abducted in a rest stop.

Director: John Shiban | Stars: Jaimie Alexander, Joseph George Mendicino, Deanna Russo, Diane Salinger

Votes: 9,917

36. Duel (1971 TV Movie)

PG | 90 min | Action, Thriller

A business commuter is pursued and terrorized by the malevolent driver of a massive tractor-trailer.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Dennis Weaver, Jacqueline Scott, Eddie Firestone, Lou Frizzell

Votes: 53,630

37. The Hitcher (2007)

R | 84 min | Action, Crime, Horror

28 Metascore

A serial killer pins his crimes on two college students who gave him a ride.

Director: Dave Meyers | Stars: Sean Bean, Sophia Bush, Zachary Knighton, Neal McDonough

Votes: 37,403 | Gross: $16.47M