Masters of Horror (2005–2007)
40 user 28 critic

Pick Me Up 

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


Larry Cohen


Mick Garris (creator), David J. Schow (teleplay) | 1 more credit »




Episode cast overview:
Fairuza Balk ... Stacia
Michael Moriarty ... Jim Wheeler
Warren Kole ... Walker
Laurene Landon ... Birdy
Malcolm Kennard ... Danny
Tom Pickett ... Bus Driver
Peter Benson ... Deuce
Kristie Marsden Kristie Marsden ... Marie
Michael Eklund ... Cashier
Paul Anthony ... Stoney
Yan-Kay Crystal Lowe ... Lily (as Crystal Lowe)
Michael Petroni ... Ambulance Attendant
Mar Andersons ... Ambulance Driver


When a bus breaks down on a deserted road in the middle of a forest, passenger Stacia decides to walk the 20 km to a motel. Another pair of bus travelers - Birdy and Danny - get a lift with Jim Wheeler;a truck driver who happens to be a crazed psychotic killer. The paranoid Marie and her husband - terrified of what might be 'out there', stay on the bus with the driver awaiting help. Soon, Walker, a hitchhiker comes to the bus. Can he help, or,is he only more to fear? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Fairuza Balk's character doesn't appear in David Schow's original short story See more »


When the punk women is tied 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 dangerous ...
See more »


References It's Alive (1974) See more »


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

User Reviews

Pick up something else
18 September 2010 | by Cujo108See 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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Canada | USA



Release Date:

20 January 2006 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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