Wednesday, October 19, 2011

31 Days Of 80's Movie Slashers: 10/19 - Road Games (1981)

Day Nineteen:


Road Games
From AVCO Embassy Pictures
Original Theatrical Release Date: June 26th 1981
DVD: Yes


Plot: A truck driver (Stacy Keach) finds himself on the same road as a killer. Can he stop him in time before he continues to turn rest stops into blood baths?


Director Richard Franklin (Patrick Psycho II, Link) was a protege of Alfred Hitchcock. Watching a film like Road Games, you can see the clear inspiration. Bits of Rear Window and Psycho are sprinkled throughout, though Franklin's film has it's own identity and personality. Quirky is not a word you usually associate with a Horror Film, but it seems to fit the film here nicely.


A lot of this picture's unique personality could be attributed to star Stacy Keach. A formidable actor who brings a lot of grit and charm to his roles, Stacy inhabits the role and makes it his own. He spends a good deal of the film behind the wheel on the road, talking to himself; sometimes to his dog. He plays the harmonica and occasionaly waxes philosophical. When he meets up with Jamie Lee Curtis, who plays a hitchhiker, the two hit it off and have a great chemistry together.


Jamie Lee Curtis ends her horror scream queen reign with two films in 1981: Road Games and Halloween II. There will probably never be anyone who could live up to her Slasher Royalty. Although her role in this film is relatively small in comparison to her others in the genre, she makes the most of it. Jamie's unique beauty and intelligence continually shines through and gives every one of her roles in this era something special. Curtis re-teamed with Stacy Keach in 1983 in her first real dramatic Feature Film role, Love Letters (ironically directed by Slumber Party Massacre's helmer Amy Holden Jones). Their considerable chemistry carries over.


Road Games is not quite that action packed of a Slasher and Thriller. It's not even that gory or even all that horrific. This is a Picture that has extremely well done set pieces and takes it's time to build suspense. It's all about the atmosphere and the way it chooses to build the tension. For an unusual trip along the Slasher highway, Road Games is totally worth hitching a ride for.


Trailer:



1 comment:

Ryan Clark said...

Great review. I liked this one a lot. It was very suspenseful, but then I wouldn't expect anything less from the director of one of my absolute favorite movies of all-time, Psycho II. And Jamie Lee was wonderful as always. I wish the DVD wasn't so hard to find! I enjoyed Love Letters as well.

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