Highway to Hell is a 1992 American B horror comedy film directed by Ate de Jong and starring Chad Lowe, Kristy Swanson and Patrick Bergin. It was written by Brian Helgeland. The film tells the story of Charlie Sykes (Lowe) and his girlfriend Rachel Clark (Swanson), who is kidnapped by a demon and taken to Hell to become one of Satan's brides, while Charlie must travel to the other dimension to rescue her.
The film features cameo appearances by Lita Ford, Gilbert Gottfried, actor Ben Stiller, his sister Amy Stiller and their parents, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara.
Charlie Sykes and Rachel Clark are a young all-American couple that decide to run away and elope in Las Vegas. On the road to Vegas, they ignore the warning of a local gas station attendant named Sam. They take an abandoned backroad where Rachel is kidnapped by a zombie Hell Cop who takes her to hell. Charlie goes back to Sam, and Sam explains what the Hellcop is and how to save her. Sam then gives Charlie a shotgun with special ammo and a car that holds a special attribute. After a few attempts, Charlie passes through the portal to hell, an expansive desert with buildings scattered about.
On the highway, Charlie meets other dead people that live in Hell and even a motorcycle gang led by a rebel named Royce. He manages to catch up to Hell Cop, but his car gets shot up during the chase and becomes disabled. His car is then taken by a repair man named Beezle, who is able to fix the car and continue his pursuit.
Charlie eventually finds out that Beezle's kid assistant Adam had sneaked into the car wanting to help him find Rachel and keep his dog Ben company. Adam tells him that Hell Cop killed his family and took him to hell and gave him to Beezle. Charlie promises to bring him back with him.
Charlie eventually tracks down Hell Cop and Rachel at a nightclub/casino. He tries to free Rachel, but Hell Cop would grab Charlie's shotgun and fatally shoot Charlie before they both leave. Fortunately Beezle came, and after securing a promise from Adam to come back with him, he uses his repair powers and saves Charlie so he can continue his pursuit.
Charlie decides to try a short cut, but before he goes in, Clara, Royce's girlfriend (and Sam's former girlfriend before she was taken) warns him about short cuts, and that a decision she made forced her to spend eternity in hell. He goes on where Charlie defeats "Hell Cop" and saves Rachel, who's sexually aggressive towards him. He finds out from her reflection that Rachel is a demon in disguise and this was a trap. After defeating the demon, he heads back on the highway and makes it to the outskirts of Hell City.
With Sam distracting Cerberus, Charlie convinces Charon to give him a ride over the River Styx to the city. He's able to sneak his way around and make it to Rachel. Satan then appears, wanting Rachel as a bride. Since Charlie went through all the trouble, Satan decides to let them go. But when Charlie looks back, a large group of minions appear. They manage to break into Hell Cop's car, and using its power, is able to break through the wall and jump over the river to their car.
When he goes back to Beezle's place to get Adam, his repair shop had become a mansion. Beezle comes out, revealing that he's Satan, and won't allow him to take Adam. Charlie proposes a deal: A race against Hell Cop. If he loses, both Rachel and Adam would stay.
As the race begins, Royce drives up to Charlie, demanding that he let him inside so he can go back to the real world. When Royce tries to stab Adam when Charlie refuses, Clara covers his eyes, causing both to crash into a ravine. Just as Hell Cop is about to disable Charlie's car, Rachel finds a switch which releases nitro, propelling their car through the portal winning the race. However, Hell Cop would follow, wanting revenge. As he's about to kill Charlie, Rachel shoots Hell Cop in his shades, causing him to blow up.
- Chad Lowe as Charlie Sykes
- Patrick Bergin as Beezle
- Kristy Swanson as Rachel Clark
- Jarrett Lennon as Adam
- Adam Storke as Royce
- Pamela Gidley as Clara
- C.J. Graham as Sgt. Bedlam, Hellcop
- Richard Farnsworth as Sam
- Lita Ford as The Hitchhiker
- Gilbert Gottfried as Hitler
- Anne Meara as Medea, Waitress in Pluto's
- Amy Stiller as Cleopatra
- Ben Stiller as Pluto's Cook/Attila
- Jerry Stiller as The Desk Cop
- Be Deckard as Dentist, Royce's Gang
- Michael Reid MacKay as Rachel Demon
- Kevin Peter Hall as Charon
The film was shot in Phoenix and Page, Arizona. Antelope Canyon was also a location. Parts of the film were also shot at Glen Canyon in Utah.
Hemdale shelved the film for a year before finally giving it a limited release. It was released to home video on August 21, 1992. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray February 2, 2016.
Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "Although ambitious, amusing and even romantic, replete with lots of striking sets and jazzy special effects, its humor is not sophisticated enough to attract the wide audiences of a Beetlejuice." Michael Dare of Billboard called it "smart, witty, and incredibly imaginative". TV Guide rated it 2/5 stars and wrote, "Highway to Hell is no masterpiece, but it is a genuine video find." Todd Rigney of Beyond Hollywood called it a "deliriously enjoyable satanic road trip" film that is "fun if you approach it in the right frame of mind". HorrorNews.Net called it "one of the greatest campy horror films to never arrive on DVD".
Highway to Hell has since developed a cult following.