Top 10 Movie Bus Rides To Avoid

Should bus rides be this traumatic! Mark Fraser buys his ticket and jumps on board to experience 10 bus journeys he’d really rather forget…

Ever get that feeling of déjà vu when you climb on board a bus? Maybe you’ve seen it all before in some film. Before taking your seat, perhaps you should look around and evaluate the warning signs. Otherwise, as Mark Fraser explains, the journey might get a bit slippery.

10. Midnight Cowboy (John Schlesinger, 1969)

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The trip is stalled when some sick, sweaty, hacking hobo up the back dies … plus the bus is going to Florida.

9. 48 Hours (Walter Hill, 1982)

48hours_bus-rides
The bus is stolen and the driver likes to go real fast; he also shoots people.

8. Dirty Harry (Don Siegel, 1972)

Dirty-Harry_bus-rides
After being made to sing endless nursery rhymes by some angry psycho-looking guy with a limp, a strange man jumps on the roof of the (school) bus – then the swerving and shooting starts.

7. Babel (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, 2006)

babel-2006_bus-rides
There is the distinct possibility you will get randomly shot and slowly bleed to death in the Moroccan desert heat.

6. Hearts and Souls (Ron Underwood, 1993)

hearts-and-souls_bus-rides
(Spoiler alert): The bus crashes and you die. On top of that, your guardian angel is Robert Downey Jnr at the height of his drug taking period.

5. Out of the Blue (Dennis Hopper, 1980)

movie-out-of-the-blue-dennis-hopper-1980_bus-rides
A maggoted trucker who, as an aside, is having inappropriate relations with his daughter, will plough his vehicle right into your (school) bus, ripping it in half and killing many on board.

4. The Laughing Policeman aka An Investigation of Murder (Stuart Rosenberg, 1973)

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It won’t be too funny when a hit man whips out his machine gun and mows all of the passengers down in cold blood.

3. Dawn of the Dead (Zack Snyder, 2004)

dawn-of-the-dead_bus_2004
A trip on this fortified vehicle may result in a serious chainsaw wound when it rolls over. And if that doesn’t get you, the zombies will.

2. Jeepers Creepers II (Victor Salva, 2003)

jeepers_creepers2_bus
It’s a grim day when the only salvation from a terrifyingly hideous, flying, murderous monster – one that can peel the roof off your (school) bus as if it is a tin of sardines – comes in the form of Laura Palmer’s dad.

1. Speed (Jan De Bont, 1994)

speed_1994_bus
You’ll be expected to believe that a bus can fly.

Written and compiled by Mark Fraser.

About the Author
Mark is a film journalist, screenwriter and former production assistant from Western Australia.

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  1. JayCluitt Reply

    The bus ride in Hitchcock’s Sabotage is probably best avoided too, seeing as it’s incredibly tense for a while, and then it blows up.

  2. ruth Reply

    I love the new look Dan!

    Nice list Jay, love the inclusion of Babel and Speed, those are the two I thought of right away.

    • Dan Reply

      Glad you like the theme Ruth.

      I think Speed is the one that springs to mind when most people think of this topic. It certainly came to my mind.

      …Mark, who wrote this one, said he came up with the idea while travelling to work on the bus and Speed was immediately top of the list.

  3. Lights Camera Reaction Reply

    Dawn of the Dead for sure, that still give me the creeps.

    Nice list.
    Also, did you change your theme? I really love it.

    • Dan Reply

      Good to hear you like the theme. I needed a spring clean (at the end of summer!) and this is the theme I’ve gone with. Hopefully it makes for a more dynamic reading experience with more stuff to enjoy in a more readily available format.

  4. Mark Reply

    @Lights Camera Reaction: Thank you …. Glad you agree with Dawn of the Dead – it was probably one of the most poignant moments in the film when they drive out into the horde and all you can think is: “They don’t stand a chance.” (A great pic choice by our editor!)

    The theme remained consistent throughout the cobbling together of this list; I did, however, fiddle with the order a bit as it got closer to completion. Having said that, Speed was always going to be number one. Originally thought it up on the bus going to work …

  5. Alex Withrow Reply

    Love this list. Those are some damn hellish bus rides. I don’t know if the ride in Spike Lee’s Get on the Bus is worth avoiding, but it is a long ride all the same.

  6. Dan Reply

    Glad there is someone else out there that appreciates Jeepers Creepers II. It’s a surprisingly effective sequel that benefits from that great baddie they created for the original.

    Speed is the iconic bus ride I’m sure everyone thinks of. A terrific action-film but I do find it a lot less exciting once they’ve got off the bus and we have to go through the tying of loose ends.

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