Road Games Richard Franklin

The re-release of Road Games as part of a new Cult Classics Film Series gave me the opportunity to revisit this Anchor Bay film, which I don’t at all hesitate to call a "classic.” I’m not sure that Road Games is as well known as some of the other films in the series (like C.H.U.D., for example) but it definitely deserves to be included. The "Kangaroo Hitchcock” featurette about the making of Road Games likens it to a sort of Rear Window on wheels, which is in many ways accurate. The film follows poetic trucker Quid (Stacey Keach) as he drives a rig full of meat across the desolate Australian outback. He shares the road with an assortment of oddballs, all of whom continually pass each other and pause at the same rest stops and lonely highway outposts. Quid becomes obsessed with the mysterious driver of a dark green van, who he becomes convinced is a serial killer picking off pretty young hitchhikers. When his own hitchhiking companion, the quick-witted and charming Hitch (Jamie Lee Curtis), is kidnapped by the killer, Quid takes matters into his own hands but only entangles himself in increasingly incriminating circumstances that point to him being the dreaded highway killer. In a way, the film is more Don Quixote than Rear Window. The romantic Quid and his trusty dingo, a quiet but loyal companion, roam the countryside in search of adventure, which may or may not be imagined. They’ve even got a beautiful damsel to rescue... maybe. Reality, paranoia and coincidence blur together in the film’s dreamy third act, as Quid tries to make sense of his bizarre circumstances. Packed full of suspenseful twists and turns, Road Games does take a page out of Hitchcock’s book but never feels like a rip-off. Plus, Stacey Keach is alone on screen for at least half the film and pulls off the sensitive, I may drive a truck but that doesn’t make me a truck driver vibe pretty damn well. (Anchor Bay)