WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
There have been times in the past where I have accused directors of forgetting to have things happen in their movies. As some form of karmic retribution for that comment I was subjected to Road Train (a.k.a. Road Kill), a movie where there’s just far too much going on. We have angry couples, cheating couples, a haunted truck, madmen with guns, road trips, the Australian outback, Cerberus and what I believe to be an unintentional homoerotic subtext. With so much going on the movie never really has time to explain anything properly, and a truck really isn’t as menacing a killer as the director was probably hoping it would be. It’s an interesting idea, but one that isn’t properly developed and one that doesn’t really have the effect you can feel the movie was going for.
I’m always a bit concerned when a movie opens with a sex scene. It gives you the sense that this isn’t a very confident movie because it’s not saving the nudity for later when the plot might be taking a little dip and it needs to keep the audience’s attention. Since this isn’t Dead Boyz Don’t Scream I was also a little perplexed as to why we saw more naked man than woman, since this is very uncommon in the horror world. The sexing twosome are Nina and Craig, and a little bit off from their tent is the non-sexing couple Liz and Marcus. Craig, Liz and Marcus have been friends for donkey’s years and they go on little camping excursions into the outback every year and Nina’s just tagged along for the ride. There’s also a very strong Brokeback feeling going on between Marcus and Craig. Whether it’s meant to be there or not I’m not sure, but something’s just odd between them. Anyways, having sexed themselves out and had coffee the group heads on to find even more nothing in the great outback for them to enjoy and camp in.
Whilst driving and looking for more nothing the group spots a road train coming up the road. A road train is a really enormous truck and the kids are pretty excited because apparently being overtaken by one is the ultimate road trip high. Things take a little turn for the worse when, instead of overtaking them, the truck plows into the back of them. After trying a few evasive manoeuvres the truck eventually rams into them again, forcing their car off the road and sending it flying. The car ends up being completely wrecked and Craig has a little bit of bone sticking out of his arm, but other than that the group is left reasonably unharmed. Marcus and Liz notice that the truck has stopped just off in the distance, so they decide to go and have a little chat with the driver while Nina tries to calm Craig down about the excruciating agony he’s in.
The rest of the movie is just a mix and match of ideas that desperately try to hold onto one another. When Marcus and Liz get to the truck they find that there’s no driver to be found anywhere. When Craig and Nina join them a madman appears out of nowhere and starts shooting at them, so the four jump in the truck and drive it off. The truck then puts them all to sleep and drives them into a dead-end where it starts pitting them all against one another. Nina also discovers that the truck has no fuel, and judging by the smell of its fuel tanks it never has, so how it actually manages to drive is another story that no one gives much thought to. Cerberus also seems to be locked in one of the trailers at the very back and lures Craig in there and possesses him. Everyone’s fighting with one another, the madman at one point passes the torch onto Marcus, there’s a cult of sorts in an abandoned house, who’s been cheating on who comes out and leads to more arguments, water runs out, heads are placed under tyres and so on and so on and so forth. By the end you don’t actually care what’s happening, you’re just begging for it all to end.
Road Train was clearly made on a decent budget but its whole premise was just poorly executed. Without all the bickering and the inclusion of Cerberus (which really doesn’t make sense and is never explained) it may have worked, but this was really painful to sit through.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Women who hear other people having sex instantly want to have sex themselves.
- Being part of an enormous accident where the car flies off the road and flips will only result in mild bruising.
- Even with absolutely no experience it’s dead easy to drive an enormous truck.
- Independent women are often threatened with becoming dingo food by Australian men.
- Women think you can flag down a commercial plane and ask them for help.
- When your best friend sleeps with your girlfriend a homoerotic bromance is bound to break out.
- Women are oblivious to things like miraculous healing, a blood-stained muscular torso and Satanic possession.
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