Friday, August 12, 2011

Road Kill (2010)

Stranded and no way out except a road train

Two gals and two guys in the middle of the remote, dusty, sweltering outback in Australia get at first taunted and then hit by a "road train": a large semi-truck pulling two double long trailers. Their own car is wrecked and one of them is injured. The only mode of transport back anywhere is the road train up ahead that hit them just prior but now stopped. They approach, but no one is inside. A man appears out of nowhere and starts to shoot at them. They take off in the gigantic vehicle to get away.

The four soon find themselves in another bind as they mysteriously pass out and are parked off to the side of the road and the engine won't restart. Two head off to find help but then part ways to a supposed shack that was seen despite being passed out, and the other awaits a car to miraculously drive through. Tensions start to flare with the stress of the situation about two of them cheating in the past and the new girl being the third wheel. They soon find out something strange is going on as they start to feel off, the truck's running on who knows what and the back of the trailers enclose some more odd items.

This was professionally shot but could have gotten some more closeups for tension, and the acting was for the most part adequate if not award winning. Though it's hard to take the character Craig (Bob Morley) seriously as he does the suave and charming remarks on point but forces the tortured and dramatic scenes with facial expressions that don't line up or believably translate. Some portions feel like "eerie" filler by luring you along with ambiguous hints as to what's really going on and how it all functions. Things sometimes work, sometimes don't and are passed off on either being all so "weird" or as an in-joke and blamed on dingos; seems too convenient for the writer to not have to fill too much backstory to either keep it completely mysterious or some of the mechanics just plain don't work. It mainly concentrates on the horror of it by showing how they got trapped by a revolving door, as well as it goes to show that if you were stranded in the middle of nowhere that the people you thought of as closest to you are now your biggest competition like the underlying theme present in "The Descent."

This isn't new stuff going on here, as this was a play on "Christine" and "Maximum Overdrive" where your disbelief is suspended to ignore the facts and leave room towards the supernatural. Though there were too many plot holes and unexplained occurrences going on. The biggest mistake the filmmakers did here was to leave enough down time between significant scenarios happening to be able to pull it apart as a viewer with nothing else to do in the meantime. Keep us busy and our imaginative minds will open, otherwise it's going to be crossed arms and side-to-side head nods. If they closed the gaps in their story, made the flow constant and more thrilling, and explained a little more backstory, this actually had the potential to be a better experience.

Rating: 3/10

From Black to Red recommends instead: "Christine." This is a film that involves some commentary about the geek turning into the cool guy when his new car gives him the power to do so.

Director: Dean Francis
Stars: Bob Morley, Sophie Lowe, Georgina Haig
Link: IMDB

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