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MARCH 8, 2014

ROAD GAMES (1981)

ROAD GAMES is hidden gem that is both charming and thrilling and worth the trip. Directed by Richard Franklin (PSYCHO 2), it’s no wonder that he is considered the Australian Hitchcock as this film feels like it could be one of the maestro’s later works. 


Pat Quid (Stacey Keach) drives a truck, but does not consider himself a “truck driver.” He is too smart for his own good and prefers poetry and the classics as well as his harmonica. With his faithful dingo as his companion, he hauls loads across Australia even at the expense of getting a good night sleep. 


He hears about a serial killer picking up hitchhikers and sees something that doesn’t sit well with him. Has he discovered the killer? 


Doing some investigating of his own, he unfortunately becomes a prime suspect and without the police to help him, he must take matters into his own hands to save a Hitchhiker (Jamie Lee Curtis) who has been abducted by the madman. 


Stacy Keach is charming as the lead and given that he’s in every scene in the film, really does a great job of carrying the film. Jamie Lee Curtis is quite good as well in what amounts to an extended cameo. 


The movie has a certain whimsy that might rub some people the wrong way, but the thriller aspects still work even though tonally the movie is an odd nut at times. 


I can’t help but like this film and though it might be hard to track down, it’s worth the effort. A fine, solid thriller that I revisit from time to time.