Joy Ride Reviews
Admittedly, Fuller's prank is cruel, but when it turns out that Rusty is a psychopath that can't take a joke, the boys find themselves in a real world of trouble. You kinda pity them, and feel for them, even if Fuller does deserve to get some sort of comeuppance.
One of the best parts of the film, arguably, is the use of Ted Levine as the voice of Rusty Nail. His delivery and demeanor are creepy and really make your skin crawl, and really help elevate this basic, semi-derivative material into a pretty solid and intense thriller.
Paul Walker is decent as Lewis, and Steve Zahn is fine as Fuller. As Venna, we get Leelee Sobieski, who, to me at least, is a bit of a treat, even if she probably looks at this movie as just a paycheck. But as decent as they are, none of them steal the show quite like Levine does, and he's just using his voice, so that says something.
The film is a bit out there, and not the most realistic, but if you want a movie that delivers the thrills (as well as some visceral stuff), then yeah, give this a look. It's a lot better than it seems it should be.
A guilty pleasure for me.
Starring: Paul Walker, Leelee Sobieski, Steve Zahn.
Somewhere in the earlier years of the new millennium, this film cropped up. Not many knew about it and most ended up seeing it on DVD. I remember seeing it many years ago on the shelf, it didn't look appealing, but it did have a review written on the front of it (then again, what bad straight-to-DVD looking film doesn't?), but I picked it up and I am glad I did.
The story follows college student Lewis who is prepared to travel across country to see Venna, his 'friend' miles away who doesn't realize he has an interest in her. On the way through, he passes a police station where he hears word of his brother, once again being held in a cell. As they travel across country, they buy a CB scanner to keep tabs on the cop's whereabouts and to have some fun with the other truckers. When they mess with one of them, it leads to a horrifying trip to not only stay alive, but to save Venna. There are so many key things that make this film work so well, but it still isn't as original as it could be. The screenplay co-written by 'Lost' and M:i:III' man J.J Abrams and unknown Clay Tarver is a strong point. Although it has its fair share of clichés to help introduce the thrills and scares, its everything around them that work. In any common thriller (or film in general), the structure consists of 3 parts....simply, a beginning, middle and end. As it is in any formulaic film, the thrills happen at the climax, with no real relevance for the first two acts.....Roadkill is different. Within the first 45 minutes, we are given a films worth of intensity and excitement, with a mere 10 minutes of down time before it picks right back up for the last 30. The film never tries to focus on its characters because that could be a downfall for the film, making it strangely paced. Instead, it is tightly paced and delivers pure adrenaline, with John Dahl, who builds suspense deftly and delivers an intense atmosphere and style, with a great feel of such classics as 'Christine'. The acting ensemble could have done with an upgrade, although Steve Zahn can be a comic genius and he has his silly moments here, no one else takes the stand. Paul Walker is as terrible as always, with his sudden outbursts, lack of control and his terrible 'scanning eyes' and 'bobbing head' trademarks that he does so much and Leelee Sobieski just adding a visual touch to the film (she is better than this)....thankfully it doesn't falter the film. And out of the 3, Ted Levine's voice has more depth and skill than all of them combined, its quite chilling.
It can't pass through without having its clichés, but what we do get is a tightly structured, brilliantly directed thrill ride that is tense and highly enjoyable. A very solid B-movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
One thing that makes this film work is Steve Zahn, he really makes his character believable.
Just wish the film stayed with the english title" Road Kill" as it sounds a lot better. Would recomend this film to anyone who hasn't seen it.
Joy Ride is about three young people on a road trip from Colorado to New Jersey who talk to a trucker on their CB radio, then must escape when he turns out to be a psychotic killer. Now clearly the movie doesn't do a good job of providing any scares as the truck driver is never menacing and the atmosphere really doesn't work in this movie. Though it will disappoint horror fans for it lacks of scares, at least the story is actually good and not too over the top like other horror movies. We actually want these teenagers to live and they never come out as annoying which is a welcome from the cliche characters we're tire of seeing. It's certainly better than most of the horror movies with teenagers as the main character, but it's nothing special and the fact that it has no scares is a letdown.
Now when it come to horror movie the cast is usually what sells it for me, the cast does a good job. Though I am disappointed that not one of them offer anything memorable and the killer truck driver never comes out terrifying. Now while on the topic of characters, I will say we do get to learn quite allot about them. It what helps separates this movie because they're not constantly craving drugs and sex which is honestly the only kind of characters like Jason ever kills and I had enough of that to be honest.
Joy Ride fails to provide any scares, but it's characters and story redeems it from being a disaster. While no the ideal horror and certainly not for everyone, it's definitely worth a watch.
Steve Zahn, being the prankster that he is, taunts a mysterious trucker that goes by the handle "Rusty Nail" after the pair have bought a CB radio for the car, to pass the time. Fooling the trucker into thinking it's a woman on the other end, they dupe "Rusty" into meeting "Candy Cane" in a hotel room. However, things go wrong from there and "Rusty" wants revenge and they find themselves stalked by the vengeful trucker (Voiced by uncredited "Ted Levine" who's best known playing Buffalo Bill in "The Silence of the Lambs") on the desolate highways.
The true star of this show though is none other than the psycho of the film, "Rusty Nail". I'll say this much about his performance. Try to watch this movie in the right setting. Lights down low, volume up, attention focused. When you hear his voice come on over the CB communicator, see if you don't get the heebie-jeebies. He makes this film a genuine thrill-ride.