Sunday, October 18, 2009
Roadgames (1981, Richard Franklin)
Roadgames is not your average slasher, as the poster above would make you believe (that was not a dig, I love the poster). It is one of those movies that's really hard to categorize. I guess it's a suspenseful road movie. As most people know, Jamie Lee Curtis' movie career started in horror and this was one of those early horror movies that she was in (along with Halloween 1 & 2, The Fog, Prom Night and Terror Train) before becoming super famous. Though, as I said before, this isn't just another horror film.
Stacy Keach plays Pat Quid, a truck driver delivering a trailer full of meat across Australia. The night before he sets out on his long haul, he notices a man in a green van pick up a female hitch hiker and then puts out a few suspicious big bags of trash at their hotel the next morning. Quid then hears on the radio about a suspected killer going around and dismembering women. He puts two and two together and tries to prove that this man in the green van, whom he keeps seeing digging holes on the side of the highway, is the killer. Along the way he picks up a hitchhiker named Pamela (Jamie Lee Curtis) and together they try to follow the suspect and catch him in the act.
Roadgames has a lot going for it. First and foremost is Stacy Keach. Never would I think I would be so entertained by a movie that has a truck driver talking to his dingo (the ones that eat babies) in the cab of his truck for a good chunk of its running time. Keach is just so damn likable in this film that you can't help but root for him on his dangerous quest that at first seems like nothing more than a crazy hunch. Jamie Lee, though she doesn't really show up until about halfway through and then disappears until the end, is a real treat too. Australian director Richard Franklin, a Hitchcock devotee who even directed the (excellent) first Psycho sequel, adds a fair amount of mystery and tension to this very unique film. I've watched this movie 3 times in the past two years and though I may not call it a perfect film, I don't think I could ever get sick of it. It's just very well made and entertaining.