Australia’s barren Outback provides the setting for this hair-raising thriller about a massive, driverless truck that runs four teenagers off the road and then becomes their personal hell-wagon after they try to drive it to safety. Finding themselves hostages on a surreal journey, the teens discover that they’re not alone aboard the giant big-rig as the action rolls toward a terrifying conclusion.
Directed by: Dean Francis
Written by: Clive Hopkins
Starring: Xavier Samuel, Sophie Lowe, Bob Morley, and Georgina Haig
Road rage leads to repercussions that are often intensified in horror movies, causing a dramatic hypothetical situation from harmless provoking to an attack driven by the annoyed person being provoked. This is the basis from Dean Francis’s “Road Kill,” as a jeep full of young adults go head to head with a semi-truck that is in no mood to be provoked. The young adults soon learn their lesson, as the semi overtakes them both mentally and physically.
“Road Kill” begins with a sexually provocative scene showing young lovers Nina(Sophie Lowe) and Craig(Bob Morley) engaging in passionate sex within their tent, as the other couple lay in their separate sleeping bags. Within the movie, we find out that the couple of Marcus(Xavier Samuel) and Lisa(Georgina Haig) are battling trust issues since Lisa had promiscuous relations with Marcus’s best friend, Craig. They pack all their belongings, and head out on the road in their white Jeep Cherokee, and start to be followed to what the Australians refer to as a “road train.” It is composed of a semi-truck and two trailers, and has a small wolf insignia hood ornaments that beckons the other cars. When the semi starts to get too close for comfort to the small Jeep, the passengers become irate and yell profanities at the truck. This of course provokes the truck, as it starts to hit the Jeep until it flips off the road into the ditch.
Craig is hurt from the wreck, but the other three are left unharmed from the wreckage. Marcus and Lisa can see the truck had stopped up ahead, and go to investigate the deadly semi as Nina is left with the battered Craig. When they investigate the cab of the truck, they find no driver, so Marcus immediately steals the truck to drive with the other three survivors of the wreck. Driving through the night, he doesn’t realize that he goes off onto a country road, and they become lost when the truck breaks down.
Tensions rise, as Marcus and Lisa are sent to find help, and Craig and Nina are left with the truck. When the hood of the truck is popped, Nina finds out that there is no engine and instantly knows that there is something wrong with the vehicle. Craig sneaks into the back of the truck, and comes out with a new attitude. All four must survive in the Australian outback when they find out the truth about how the truck is powered, and must escape the hands of the killer semi-truck.
“Road Kill” had great gore elements, as the four young adults fall victim to the possessed semi-truck. Not only are there graphic killing scenes, but the way that the truck is ran off of the body parts of its victims is both innovative and disturbing to the untrained horror viewer. There are elements of tension within the relationships of the four young adults, which provide a love triangle that invokes a good connection between the viewer and film.
The only aspect of cheesiness involved the three wolves’ hood ornament that was blown up into a giant CGI wolf apparition that haunted the four young adults throughout the movie. Also, I was confused to why the radio in the semi-truck was playing an incoherent station sometimes, but solved the wariness by concluding that the truck was somehow spiritually possessed.
Dean Francis’s “Road Kill” is a battle between a Jeep and a semi-truck that is easily one by the possessed semi-truck. “Road Kill” qualifies as a new age urban legend, that tells the tale of what happens when four young adults provoke a killer semi-truck out to keep running off its prey.