"No, it's Q-U-I-D. 'D' as in death to young girls, you cretin!"
Revisado en el Reino Unido 🇬🇧 el 30 de diciembre de 2011
Patrick Quid is an American working in Australia as a truck driver. Along with his dingo, Boswell, he pulls over for the night to get some sleep. Before going to sleep, he recognises a young woman who he saw earlier that day when she was hitchhiking. She was obviously picked up by a man who drives a green van, as he watches the two of them entering a cheap motel together. Later on inside the motel room, the gloved man strangles the woman to death with what looks like a guitar string. Woken up in the morning by the sound of the garbage men at work, he lets Boswell out to do his business. Bos starts sniffing and scratching at a garbage bag that's been dumped outside, Quid then spots a gloved hand and a shadowy face spying out of the window watching the dingo. Quid finds it strange that he's watching the garbage men at 5:30 in the morning, but with no reason to suspect foul play, he get's back on the road.
While driving along he hears on the radio that a serial killer is at large in the area, and he begins to suspect that it could be the driver of the green van. The radio said that body parts had been discovered, and his suspicions grow even more when he sees the van driver burying a garbage bag in the desert. Quid later picks up a hitchhiker called Pamela, and he tells her about what he's seen. The two quickly strike up a friendship, and when they spot the van at a service station, they decide to investigate. Believing the van driver to be in the restroom, Pamela breaks into the van while Quid keeps a look out for the man. When the man in the restroom comes out of the cubicle, it isn't who he thought it was and he rushes out to the van, only to discover that's it's gone along with Pamela. Quid must now set out to find the van, and get to Pamela before the killer claims another victim. If he really is a killer. All the while, Quid himself is coming under suspicion from the police.
I like Stacy Keach, and I really liked him as Quid in Road Games. I don't recall many films with him as the leading man, and he does a fine job of holding this film together. He also has good chemistry with Jamie Lee Curtis who played Pamela, she had only done four films before Road Games, but what a great first four. Halloween, The Fog, Prom Night and Terror Train. She quickly followed up Road Games with the Halloween sequel, but Road Games was the first non horror film she did, as it's much more of a thriller along the lines of Duel or Breakdown. She doesn't have to do all that much here, but she shows more than enough of what led to her becoming a recognised star. Apart from Keach and Lee Curtis, everybody else in the film has minor roles, so it was a good job the two leads are as likeable as they are.
It was shot in Australia by Australian director Richard Franklin, Franklin was good friends with Alfred Hitchcock, and this film feels very Hitchcockian. Apparently the initial idea for Road Games was for it to be Rear Window, but taking place on the road. Road Games was the most expensive Australian film ever made on its release in '81. After Road Games, Franklin moved to America and quickly got the Psycho 2 job, and followed it up a few years later with the film, Link, a pretty cool film about an intelligent killer Orangutan. Sadly he passed away at the age of 58 in 2007 from prostate cancer. Of all the films he made, I feel Road Games is by far his best one. Patrick made in '78 was pretty good as well, and is definitely worth seeking out.
I've read a few complaints about the picture quality of the 2008 Optimum disc. Maybe it's because I'm watching it through my blu-ray player, but the picture quality is absolutely fine, not brilliant but nowhere near bad enough to not add this little known gem to your collection. It is a bare bones disc though, it doesn't even have subtitles. If you have a multi-regional DVD or blu-ray player, then the region 1 release with the same cover as ours has a commentary from Richard Franklin, a making of featurette, cast and crew interviews, a collectable booklet and a few other extras. The region 1 Anchor Bay special edition has also been remastered and appears in widescreen, where as ours is full screen. Road Games is a fantasic little film, and a film Tarantino has claimed as being his favourite Australian film ever made. Thanks to Stacy Keach's charismatic, likeable performance, and the Hitchcockian style in which it was filmed. Road Games is great fun, and a somewhat forgotten classic. Not the best movie of its type, but not far off.
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