For a second when I saw that I rolled up Highway to Hell, I panicked a little because when we reviewed Goth¸ I looked up the person that played the titular Goth and they had a movie called Hell’s Highway. Thankfully, this movie is not a Phoebe Dollar joint. Instead, we get a weird little movie that isn’t quite horror but more like a comedy about hell. I’m still counting it though because it was on the suggestion list and I want to talk about it.
Highway to Hell features a young couple on the way to Vegas in order to elope. Charlie is total goober that is convinced that the cops are after them because he thinks their parents freaked out when they left. Rachel is Kristy Swanson and that’s about the extent of that character. When taking a backroad route to avoid police, they end up having a run in with Hellcop and he takes Rachel to hell to be one of the Devil’s brides. Thankfully the local gas station guy knows what’s up and gives Charlie a sweet new ride, a shotgun and tells him how to get to Hell. Now it’s up to Charlie to drive into Hell, find his girl, and get back before 24 hours have elapsed or else he’s going to be stuck in Hell forever.
This movie is mostly an excuse to get a lot of stupid jokes about Hell and the entire Stiller family together in one place. Jerry Stiller plays a cop, Ben Stiller plays a Cook and Atilla the Hun, Amy Stiller plays Cleopatra, and Anne Meara plays a waitress. We also get cameo appearances from Lita Ford as a hitchhiker and, in the role he was born to play, Gilbert Gottfired at Hitler. It also ends up being chock full of little puns like having the Good Intentions Paving Company and a car with the bumper sticker “Pontius if my co-Pilot”. It is also amusing that hell is pretty much just Nevada with huge swaths of desert broken up only by a random casino named Hoffa’s and there’s only one town worth going to.
The plot feels like your standard Greek myth of someone traveling to the underworld in order to get someone they’ve lost back. We even get Charon and Cerberus making appearances. I almost feel bad pointing out the inconsistencies in a movie as goofball as this but it still bothered me while watching it because I am silly. The “24 hour” timer thing where you will be trapped forever seemed entirely pointless. They end up taking some kid that has been down there for a while when they leave Hell and the only reason they get out is bargaining with the Devil anyway. Any type of development on Rachel would have been nice, too. At the end of the movie we find she plays violin which is apparently a thing she does but we would have no idea. I will say I liked that the gas station guy was a helpful old dude instead of a creepy old harbinger like he normally is in movies.
Overall, the movie is definitely what you want from an old B movie. It’s stupid but it knows it’s stupid and has as much fun as it can. Also, any more with Ben Stiller in Hell is alright by me. I’d give Highway to Hell a 4 out of 5.
Favorite part of the movie: Gilbert Gottfried in full Hitler get-up trying to explain that his name is actually Bob and he totally isn’t Hitler, you guys.
Least favorite part: Any scene with the biker gang. They show up a lot, always seem like they will be important to the story somehow, and then just aren’t.