"Deadly Nightmares" Joker (TV Episode 1987) Poster

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Strange, crude, creepy, tingling, and sadistic episode that's one of the most memorable of the series.
blanbrn20 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
"Joker" a 1987 episode from "The Hitchhiker" series is in my opinion one of the most memorable and well crafted episodes for the way it was written and for one the strange and twisted story it tells. Timothy Bottoms stars as Peter a man who's lost his mind and soul and gone on the crazy side after he tells his doctors at the institution that's his ex wife Melissa has destroyed him when he was thrown out. The episode then takes off and is told thru the point of view of Peter as it tells the past thru flashbacks of his pranks and attempted mental torture of his ex love. Only the woman he knew as Melissa has changed her name and identity to a red headed lady now named Theresa. Theresa(Kelly Lynch) is an independent successful fashion designer who lives in a spacious apartment seeking new life and love especially from a co worker named Alan(Jeff McCracken) yet the disturbances start from fake birthday parties to strange presents appearing at home to the very cruel and sadistic prank of Theresa and Alan being duct taped at gun point by Peter in the dark of her work place one evening and it ends as a big joke by Peter spraying water from a toy gun! Yet Peter finally meets his competence as Melissa knows how to play to her old tricks and escape and drive Peter over the edge. Really a great episode proving that many jokes backfire and it raised awareness to the stalker problems that women were facing. Very memorable and creepy well worth a watch many times.
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A very twisted and upsetting episode
Woodyanders5 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Deranged Peter (superbly essayed with startling intensity by Timothy Bottoms) relentlessly stalks and terrorizes Teresa (a strong and sympathetic performance by Kelly Lynch), a lovely young lady Peter believes is his ex-wife Melissa. Peter frightens Teresa out of her wits by playing a series of cruel jokes on her. Director Colin Bucksey, working from a nasty, yet crafty and gripping script by William Gray and Robert Reneau, does an expert job of creating a profoundly edgy and unsettling atmosphere that gets more increasingly mean and disturbing as the sick story unfolds (a vicious set piece with Peter taping Teresa to another man at gunpoint in particular is positively nerve-wracking). Bottoms and Lynch both do sterling work in the lead roles; they receive fine support from Jeff McCracken as Teresa's smitten co-worker Allen and Michael Emil as wannabe helpful psychiatrist Dr. Latimer. Moreover, this episode's pronounced emphasis on sadistic humor and psychological torture gives the proceedings an extra scary and unnerving sting. The surprise ending is a real pip. Thomas Burstyn's slick'n'shadowy cinematography and the rattling score by Haim Saban and Shuki Levy further enhance the considerable skin-crawling suspense. One of this show's single most warped and hence incredibly harrowing half hours.
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