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Joyride (Roadkill, Squelch)

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

It started as a joke. Now the joke is on them.

It's summer break and university freshman Lewis Thomas (Paul Walker) has decided to embark on a cross-country road trip to pick up the girl of his dreams, Venna (Leelee Sobieski). But Lewis' romantic hopes hit a detour when he stops on the way to rescue his older brother, Fuller (Steve Zahn), who goads him into playing a practical joke on a lonely trucker, over a CB radio. Now, that trucker, an unseen and terrifying force known only by his CB handle, Rusty Nail (Matthew Kimbrough), wants the last laugh... and revenge.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Roadkill image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film thriller university holiday road trip truck car CB radio practical joke revenge corn field

Persons of interest

  • Paul Walker .... Lewis
  • Leelee Sobieski .... Venna
  • Steve Zahn .... Fuller
  • Matthew Kimbrough .... Rusty Nail
  • Jim Beaver .... Sheriff Ritter
  • Stuart Stone .... Danny
  • Michael McCleery .... Officer Akins
  • Vern Urich .... Officer Alexander
  • Clay Tarver .... Screenwriter
  • Jeffrey Abrams .... Screenwriter
  • John Dahl .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Secret Agent Acid Thunder

Theatrical report

I have never seen Paul Walker playing a good guy before: it's weird. I'm just so used to seeing the golden-haired boy being the villain that it's hard to believe him as the gullible hero. I... can't... do... it! Nope. Sorry. Steve Zahn plays his part well, as the older brother and social butterfly, likewise Leelee Sobieski as the victim, but not Paul.

Paul just doesn't look the part. For one thing, he's too perfect. By the standard that Hollywood defines for heroes, he's way too good. You start wondering if he's going to do something bad. I had that feeling all the way through Roadkill, which spoiled it for me. I must mention at this point that the music telegraphed well in advance the arrival of thrilling stuff, though, so there was plenty of time to get ready to be scared.

Not that it helped the sexy brunette who was holding onto my shoulder like grim death. Who does she think I am? Really! Hey, might be a good plan for anyone out to get physical with their girlfriend...

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

A scary movie with a super baddie who stays off the screen for almost all of the film, appearing only as a shadow or a vague figure in the distance. This is good (see also Alien). Scary monsters are always scarier in the dark. Heck, just the dark is scary, especially in this urbanised, light-polluted, LCD-illuminated 21st century world.

On the down side the psycho trucker is just too clever to believe: he follows people all over the countryside, kidnaps people that the heroes met in passing but just happen to be the heroine's best friend, finds out where they're staying when the heroes don't even know themselves .... the FBI should've been so tight with Al Qaeda.

Despite the logic problems, Roadkill manages to put a good scare into anyone who chooses to watch it, using some tried and true movie tricks: dark rooms, dark nights, omniscience, obsession. Great for getting someone to cuddle up to you during the scary bits.

FYI: CB stands for "Citizen Band" and refers to the part of the radio spectrum left free for ordinary citizens to use, as opposed to those parts which are restricted to military, commercial, emergency use.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Disc: Single side, single layer
  • Languages: English
  • Picture: Widescreen 16:9/2.35:1
  • Subtitles: English captions

Security censorship classification

MA 15+ (Violence may disturb)

Surveillance time

93 minutes (1:33 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 25 July 2002
DVD rental: 8 January 2003
VHS rental: 8 January 2003
DVD retail: 6 August 2003
VHS retail: 6 August 2003

Cinema surveillance images

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