Highway to Hell (1992)
What’s It About: A young couple hell-bent on getting eloped have come under (hell)fire from a cop from Hell. This is the story of one mad as hell man who goes to hell to find his fiancé! Hell hath no fury like a man whose girl has been kidnapped!
Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:
- The film already failed me since it didn’t open with AC/DC’s famed song.
- The opening credits have a lame postcard saying “Greetings from Highway to Hell?” This does not bode well at all. AT ALL!
- Written by Brian Helgeland. He’s responsible for some decent stuff like L.A. Confidential, Man on Fire and Payback. This may actually be fun. (He also is responsible for 976-EVIL so it’s a crap-shoot)
- Cutie Kristy Swanson. Whatever happened to her?
- Hey it’s Rob Lowe’s younger brother!
- This couple (Charlie and Rachel) is paranoid about a cop chasing them because they’re eloping. Is eloping a crime?
- It might help them to discreetly get where they’re going if he turns off the large triangular shape lighted “Nunzio’s Pizzeria” sign on the top of his shitbox Ford Pinto.
- Hey Richard Farnsworth!
- “Don’t sleep too much at my age. It’s a biological fact.” So says Farnsworth. I thought the elderly did nothing but sleep, play bingo and watch Matlock.
- “He’s weird.”
“He’s just lonely.”
“We both know what that’s like.”
I think everyone knows what it’s like to be lonely.
- So Charlie drifts to sleep while driving but recovers right in front of a cop. A HELL COP!
- Hell Cop has handcuffs made from real gripping demon hands!!
- Hell Cop doesn’t say a word but rips off Charlie’s car door and abducts Rachel. No reason other than he’s a Hell Cop.
- R.O.T.O.R. would’ve simply executed Charlie and Rachel on the spot immediately. Hell Cop’s a pussycat compared to R.O.T.O.R.
- I wonder if the Highway to Hell is right next to the Freeway of Love.
- Farnsworth explains that Hell Cop has the nasty habit of kidnapping pretty girls and taking them to Hell City. Ooookay.
- Farnsworth gives Charlie one of those Ford Coupe “Eliminator” cars that ZZ Top’s magical ladies drive when someone flashes the “ZZ” keys in the music videos.
- “Take this anti-freeze, it gets mighty hot down there.” Haha hardy har har.
- “I forgot to tell you that there’s something in that car! Something special!” He tells Charlie as Charlie speeds away. Maybe the ZZ Top girls are dead in the truck?
- Charlie gets pulled over by a real cop and threatens his life with the special homemade shotgun Farnsworth gave him. Realizing his error he high tails it out of there and after a quick chase he disappears into the highway to hell.
- Which looks like any other highway in the desert.
- BEN STILLER!!! As a chef in a diner in hell. And his mom and dad too! Anne Meara is a waitress and Jerry is another cop flirting with her. Why are the Stiller’s involved with this movie?!
- Jerry Stiller teases Hell Cop and steals his food so Hell Cop shoots him and a bad special effect tornado takes him away.
- Rachel pours hot coffee on her “hand”cuff and it lets her go. Worse. Handcuffs. Ever.
- Ben Stiller just called Swanson a vegetarian bitch because she refused his steak.
- Lita Ford! Looking foxy and sweaty and talking about sex, drugs and rock n’ roll! Nice!
- Lita Ford tricks Charlie and sicks a demonic Ice Cream Man on Charlie and Charlie blows a nice hole in his face with the shotgun. It was a cheesy special effect but still charming.
- So Hell Cop’s squad car has no outer door handles until he magically makes them appear. I don’t know why this is necessary and I wouldn’t mention it but in this one scene he makes them appear to put Rachel back in the car but he somehow opens the door without even touching the door handles. Huh?
- There’s a gang in hell fronted by this cat named Royce who offers favors for simply “owing him.” So far he does this twice without saying what they owe. Not very intimidating. Especially when he looks like someone who belongs in a Kevin Smith movie. I’m guessing he wants souls of who owes him but he’s just a common dickhole.
- Seriously, this film should have nothing but hard rock music playing. Instead of Maximum Overdrive having all the songs by AC/DC, this movie should since it’s named after one of their most famous tunes. This scene Charlie is attacking Hell Cop’s vehicle and some very weak-ass song is playing. It would definitely play out better with “Shoot to Thrill” or “Thunderstruck.”
- During the chase, Hell Cop shoots Charlie’s car with his gun and just makes some minor damage like a hole here and there, a blown-out headlamp and a broken window. Moment’s later there’s a truck in the middle of the road and Hell Cop shoots it and it explodes so much that it makes a hole for him to pass through it. Why didn’t the gun destroy Charlie’s car during the chase!?
- Now I’m saying it’s not impossible to have kindly people in this hellscape but why would nice, decent people live and work here? Charlie comes across a Triple-A service truck mechanic (Anarchy, Armageddon, Annihilation) and the guy seems nice and even has a young son. All I’m saying is how can Charlie trust anyone in this dimension? Why would anyone good be here in Hell unless like Charlie, they were trying to get someone out?
- This movie thinks it can be satirical like Robocop with fake commercials. There was a quite attempt at humor with a Styx Beer ad about it being the “worst” beer. Sadly, the commercial was just some lame blue-collar fella with devil horns on his head speaking in front of a black background.
- Now there’s a scene where a bunch of ”sinners” are lining up in a construction site stating their sins and trying to get out of trouble. All the construction workers look like Andy Warhols. Very odd.
- The Mechanic’s son sneaks into Charle’s car to join him in his quest. That’s what this movie needs is a kid side-kick. Great. I was just starting to appreciate this flick.
- Plus I just learned the mechanic’s name is Beezle. yaaawn.
- Shit, I just realized that Beezle is played by Patrick Bergin, better known as Julia Robert’s psycho husband in Sleeping With the Enemy. Nice!
- Charlie goes in some dance club. I sure hope there’s bewbs. Yup there’s bewbs!
- Charlie tries to shoot Hell Cop but the special shotgun does nothing to him. As Charlie is reloading, Hell Cop wrangles the gun away from Charlie and shoots him. After he does, the “hand” cuffs flips Charlie the bird.
- I wonder why Patrick Bergin didn’t have a better career. He’s handsome, charming and has a strong screen presence. I actually think he was a very intimidating and terrifying villain in Sleeping With the Enemy. He kinda reminds me of Liam Neeson or Robert Shaw. If they ever remake Jaws (Damn them if they do) he could play Quint.
- An Adi Amin joke? Ben Stiller is now playing Attila the Hun. But we also have Gilbert Gottfried as Hitler so there’s that.
- A table at the club has a reserved seat for Jerry Lewis. Hahahahaha.
- One of Royce’s goons is pissing green piss on Charlie’s car. FYI.
- Now we meet Clara. Clara was Farnsworth’s girl that Hell Cop kidnapped a long long time ago and has been in Hell this whole time and hasn’t aged. There’s a redemption story in here somewhere I bet.
- Wait, what? When Charlie was talking to Clara he was in a cave-like rock hole. But somehow a door lead him to a normal looking house. What kind of devil trickery is this?!
- He then finds Rachel tied to a bed and she’s begging for it. Of course Charlie hears Hell Cop and needs to fight him. Dammit.
- But was Hell Cop planning on boning Rachel? That’s the only explanation for her being tied up in a black dress to a bed.
- Charlie shoots Hell Cop with Hell Cop’s pistol and he disappears. Except for his boots. More attempt at humor I suppose.
- For crying out loud, Charlie will you make love to Rachel!!!
- Or not since it’s clearly an ugly demon posing as Rachel. I mean, I knew that. Anyone could’ve seen through that ruse. Except for Charlie of course. Because he’s an idiot.
- Decent demon make-up though.
- Route 13-13? Not Route 666?
- Now Charlie and Hell Cop are in the middle of what looks like a race but it’s just Hellish traffic of random crazy drivers all driving VW Beetles. Why Beetles?
- Ah, now we’re at the river Styx apparently. And the film has a very bad claymation Cercerbus or three-headed hell hound. The one in Clash of the Titans was done much better, albeit being only a two-headed hound.
- According to imdb, Charon is played by Kevin Peter Hall, who played the Predator and the titular Sasquatch in Harry and the Hendersons. They just needed a very tall fella and I suppose Manute Bol wasn’t available.
- Now Charlie finds the real Rachel but has to get her away from Satan. It’s an easy task though when Satan just lets them go on the condition that they never look back. He then laughs and reveals to be Beezle, but sans mustache.
- Somehow Rachel figured out how to activate Hell Cop’s squad car door handles.
- So they drive Hell Cop’s car through a mountain rock wall into a ravine and into another mountain. And then they wreck the squad car. If the squad car has that kind of abilities, you’d think they’d keep driving with it until they escaped Hell. Dopes.
- OK, Charlie and Rachel you have the chance to leave but you just have to make things more difficult by trying to persuade Adam, Beezle’s son, to leave and come with them. Fuck the kid! Get the hell out of there. You’re not cut out to be a hero dipshit.
- I’m kinda bummed that the landscape of this Hell is just common-looking desert. They at the very least could’ve tinted the sky red or something to make it look bizarre and not middle-of-nowhere Arizona.
- Now they are wagering with Satan with Rachel’s soul in a race with Hell Cop. If Charlie wins, they get to leave with Adam. I’m still not sure how Charlie thinks he can win. We all know he will win because it’s a movie but it’s not like Charlie is a hotshot car racer or anything. Also the fact that Hell Cop has a way better supernatural vehicle and will most likely cheat without Beezle caring.
- Finally Royce has something to do and that’s be pissed that he was passed over to go back to Earth and wants to also join the race.
- Royce falls off his bike with Clara and falls a few feet off a cliff and the sword he had sheathed on his back somehow impaled him in his back. That makes no physical sense.
- Why would Hell Cop’s sunglasses be his achilles heel? I mean, I get that he needs a vulnerable spot but why the sunglasses?
- It doesn’t much matter anyway since Rachel found the nitrous for the Ford Eliminator and zoomed way past Hell Cop and went through the portal back to Earth.
- Hell Cop’s not taking losing to Rob Lowe’s brother lightly.
- How old is this other human patrolman? He looks 17 years old.
- Rachel, of course blasts Hell Cop’s eyes with the shotgun and Hell Cop explodes.
- Now Charlie and Rachel have to explain how that fresh-faced patrolman died with no other evidence to back up their incredulous story.
- Well Clara is still alive but we’re rolling credits now so fuck that redemption story. There was zero point in her being in this flick.
- What the hell is this ubercrappy song playing over the credits? It sounds like Amy Grant. Next time spend less money on a Gilbert Gottfried cameo and splurge a little more for the right to AC/DC music. Jackasses!
- There’s a epilogue about how they got married with their parents’ blessing and they are successful and happy…yada…yada…yada. We don’t care at all. AT ALL!
- Although they mentioned Mr. Ben twice and I’m sorry but I don’t have a fucking clue who that is! The credits say Mr. Ben was played by Rags. Just “Rags.” And it’s not Charlie’s dog so seriously, who the fuck is Mr. Ben?!
Scare Level: A lame attempt at a horror/fantasy/comedy. So if you’re scared of anything in this flick you are an ass.
Gore Level: There’s nothing serious in this movie so even when there’s a kill or maiming it’s done to comedic effect.
Nudity Level: A few scant seconds of bare breasts.
Best Line: “That way! She went that way! I offered her my finest slab of beef and she snubbed me. Vegetarian bitch!”
Best Scene: There’s really nothing memorable in this movie or stands out as great. The movie peaked at the diner scene with the Stiller family.
Worst Scene: Any of the scenes that have Royce in them. Seriously, he was completely pointless and was terribly acted.
Level of Hell: The Satan in this film was too likable for my tastes. He was kind and hardly a trickster. In fact he helped Charlie and Rachel more than hurt them. If anything Hell Cop was the one true evil one in this movie and he wasn’t that great of a villain either. This film tried to walk the fine line between kid-friendly and sinister and failed on both counts.
Overall: This movie had a lot of potential but ultimately failed to be either fun or entertaining. I’m struggling with figuring out if had I saw this back in 1992, would I have liked it and the answer is probably maybe. It tried to be a hip and quirky action/adventure fantasy but wasn’t good enough. It needed better characters and better special effects to start with. It also wavered between clean and dirty in terms of the subject matter and tone. If you’re going to make a movie set in Hell, you should at least be more sinister and provocative with your tone. And also the movie suffers because of the horrible soundtrack. I know this was made on the cusp of the “alternative” boom of the early 90s wherein Hair Metal music was becoming passé, but I’m telling you, if they had nothing but metal music then this movie rises a few notches to being memorable at least. Hell, I would’ve at least taken hard rock alternative music if they didn’t want to do metal. Such a shame. Anyway, this was one of the better movies of this month but that’s hardly saying much.
Score: 5 Handjobs From Hell Cop’s Handcuffs (out of 10)