Road Kill DVD Review
Written by James "Spez" Ferguson
DVD released by Phase 4 Films
Directed by Dean Francis
Written by Clive Hopkins
2010, Region 1, 87 minutes, Rated R
DVD released on September 28th, 2010
Bob Morley as Craig
Sophie Lowe as Nina
Georgina Haig as Liz
Xavier Samuel as Marcus
David Argue as Psycho
Australia must be a pretty boring place. There doesn't seem to be much to do aside from camping and driving. Aussies also seem to be fascinated by tractor trailers. These things are all over the place in the U.S., but apparently they're a true sight Down Under, so much so that this group of young folks are enamored with a "road train" as it drives up to them. This adoration quickly disappears when the truck sends them off the road, flipping their car end over end.
This is how Road Kill starts up. After the kids get up and realize they're still alive, they see the truck sitting alone up the road. They go in to investigate and discover it unmanned with the driver's side door wide open. A shot rings out and a man runs towards them brandishing a gun. Without thinking twice they all clamor into the 18 wheeler and drive off. Then they get sleepy and wake up in some dead end dirt road somewhere. I'm serious.
The truck is more of a character than our four young friends. It's always there and always watching. From the start you can tell that there's something spooky about it, and its vast size and inner darkness is a definite throwback to Spielberg's Duel. After the truck breaks down, one of the girls look around and find a completely dry gas tank and weird tubes leading into the engine carrying a red viscus liquid. It's obvious that the truck is running on blood.
It also has some supernatural pull to it, possibly emanating from the Cerebus hood ornament. Some of the characters stare blankly at it, transfixed by the three-headed dog. Two of the kids go out in search of help, leaving the other two to hang out with the creepy truck. It's around this time that Craig, the only one injured in the crash, finds a key to the trailers. They're opened up and he steps inside only to emerge later a changed man complete with eyeliner.
The truck has possessed Craig. He now has a dire need to feed it human flesh. This is done in a giant meat grinder in the first trailer. Seems pretty logical, right? Craig's girlfriend Nina is the only one not affected by all this and she fights to the bitter end. The reveal at the end of the film suggests that this has all happened before and it will happen again. The truck is a mysterious beast and it needs blood to drive.
What seemed far more terrifying was the Australian outback itself. Director Dean Francis captured some breathtaking shots of the countryside that showcased just how alone this group was. There is not another living soul for miles in either direction. I don't even think there are any kangaroos where they are. This place is seriously deserted. So when they're run off the road, their options are incredibly limited. They can stay at the car for up to a week with their current supplies and hope that someone else drives by that can give them a lift or they can go to the truck and see what's up with that.
Road Kill (originally called Road Train, but presumably changed because no one in America knows what the fuck that means) felt like a weird movie. There's a lot of supernatural crap that's tossed around without much of an explanation. The truck makes people evil and it runs on blood. Why? No one knows. It didn't help much that the characters were cookie cutter replicas from every other horror movie out there. Slutty blonde? Check. Innocent brunette? Check. Hot stud guy that takes his shirt off? Check. Broody other guy that's jealous of stud guy? Check. The only unique thing was the truck and that got boring quickly.
Video and Audio:
The picture quality on Road Kill is surprisingly good. It looked great on both my upconverting DVD player and my MacBook with crystal clear images. The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen. The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is great, as well.
- Making of Road Kill Featurette
- 8 Fangoria Frights (Previews)
- Director's Commentary
- Deleted Scenes
The features included seem extensive, but don't add much to the film. There's a 13 minute behind-the-scenes featurette that throws out a few pieces of trivia but nothing substantial. There's a whopping three minutes of deleted scenes that can be watched with or without the director's commentary. The Fangoria Frights listed on the back of the DVD promises more than what is delivered. The listing makes it seem like there's more going on but in reality it's just a half hour preview of other films in the Fangoria Frightfest line.
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