Sunday, 5 September 2010

All a' 'Bored' The Road Train

Road Kill
aka Road Train
(2010/Australia)


‘‘You didn’t take the truck, the truck took you’’
Road rage possession where any body is an accident waiting to happen, and a spare part in this movie pretty much means just that !.

Four twenty something friends start out on their annual vacation of self discovery together. This time it’s a tense affair as of the two guys, both have slept with the same girl in the group and emotions are bubbling. The new girl in the group is oblivious to the tainted love triangle and just wants to fit in and have a good time. The journey ahead may have thrown them together, but in the end it tears them all apart.
The basic plot is that of man versus machine with an eerie overture as a strongly implied supernatural force embodies the main villain of the piece, a rampaging road rampart of metal, forged as a long distance road truck. Tumultuously terrorising the Australian terrain, in an ongoing forward motion of mass machination against man. Twenty two wheels of grinding terror bearing down upon all that flail before its wanton wake.

Like a condensed take on Duel (1971) this colossus of the highway appears quickly from out of the distance into the rear view mirror of the four companions, surprising them with brutish intent, and ultimately ramming them off the road. Their car careens into the desolate outback, flipping over and violently coming to a crushing conclusion. There is a long moment of stillness, until life emerges from the wreckage and the occupants emerge, mostly dazed and unnerved, but also to the realisation that one of the guys has a broken arm with a protruding bone. Off on the horizon the multi ton vehicle of mass destruction sits, like a preying mantis, waiting for its intended victim to make its next move before making its final strike. With limited supplies of food rations, and water between them, the shaken friends have no other choice but to approach the motor monolith face to face.
Having opened promisingly, albeit with many a formulaic premise, the rest of the movie literally goes off track and confuses its audience as to its intentions. A mess of almost hallucinogenic hokum transpires that has our protagonists battling against each other as they all fall under the hypnotic spell of the road train. Blood and bitching follows before the film makers seemingly remember that they need to explain what all the weirdness is about surrounding the vehicle spawned from hell !?.
The padlocked containers resting atop the mighty wheels of the juggernaut hide a horrendous revelation that explains why the terror truck never grinds to a halt, but just continues to grind right on along !. An engine with an appetite that even regular visits to the gas station cannot appease.
This road train is a ticket to terror with no refund, which for many unsuspecting patrons may prove to be one journey to the rental store too many !. There’s some nice moments of gore and the Australian scenery with its enraptured hot hue is always a bonus, but what is lacking here is a cohesive storyline and distinct lack of any real likeable character to at least cheer for. Road Kill is perhaps one extenuated Australian horror hybrid too many, and better taken outback and re-shot for its own good. When it comes down to it, its the story of a boy, a girl and a truck. Just not the ride you were anticipating.


Movie Rating: 4/10
Review Paul Cooke / Source PAL Region 2 DVD
Road Kill (2010)
Director Dean Francis
With Bob Morley, Sophie Lowe, Georgina Haig,
Xavier Samuel & David Argue

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