Written by / 10/04/2022 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , ,

STACY KEACH TRUCKS THROUGH RICHARD FRANKLIN'S 'ROADGAMES'

Stacy Keach in ROADGAMES aka ROAD GAMES Year: 1981 Rating: ****

Australian exploitation director Richard Franklin was picked for the daring task of making PSYCHO II as a student of Alfred Hitchcock, particularly for his Down Under-set vehicle, ROADGAMES, known as a REAR WINDOW on wheels when it's actually Steven Spielberg's DUEL in reverse...

Where a carefree trucker follows and is followed by a killer in a passenger vehicle, and an otherwise optimistic Stacy Keach as Quid, who proudly states "just because I drive a truck doesn't make me a truck driver," also narrates, either in his mind or, for the most part, talking to himself out loud, like Dennis Weaver did in the groundbreaking Spielberg TV-Movie, both also winding up in a diner loaded with possible suspects... 

Stacy Keach in ROADGAMES

Plus there's an aura of George Miller's MAD MAX and, although not set in the Post Apocalypse, the low budget road scenes are deliberately sparse, making every vehicle and passenger matter to Keach's sketchy, paranoid perception of who's either evil or innocuous, including a talkative middle-age woman he gives a reluctant ride to, finally providing actual dialogue/exposition...

All while Keach seeks that driver who may or may not have initially killed a sexy hitchhiker inside a motel: ROADGAMES begins as a horror-slasher flick before taking to the adventurous open road... and it's a possible murder that Keach could be blamed for in a peripheral Wrong Man aspect involving both grungy locals and questioning cops...

Stacy Keach in ROADGAMES and Jamie Lee Curtis

Then there's the anticipated Jamie Lee Curtis as Hitch, aka Hitchhiker, that gives Keach's anti-hero a verbal and visual outlet, yet only for a little while... her hippie-chick character's similar to THE FOG, both picked up by an affable older man, sharing chemistry without any real tension...

But it's a faithful Dingo (wild dog, supposedly) that provides Keach not only a genuine sidekick, but a passenger for the audience to care/worry about as the suspense heightens when the phantom killer becomes more an impending threat, leading to a terrific nail-biting night-city showdown (now showing traces of SORCERER): closing like the modern Spaghetti Western it's been all along.

Angelica La Bozzetta in ROADGAMES
Proof of the actual title in ROADGAMES
Stacy Keach in ROADGAMES and Marion Edward
Jeff Spicoli in the Outback from ROADGAMES
Stacy Keach in ROADGAMES
Stacy Keach in ROADGAMES and Jamie Lee Curtis
Stacy Keach in ROADGAMES and Jamie Lee Curtis
Stacy Keach in ROADGAMES
Thaddeus Smith in ROADGAMES with Steve Millichamp
Stacy Keach in ROADGAMES
Stacy Keach in ROADGAMES and Jamie Lee Curtis
Stacy Keach in ROADGAMES
Stacy Keach in ROADGAMES with Robert Thompson
Stacy Keach in ROADGAMES
Stacy Keach in ROADGAMES
Dingo dog in ROADGAMES
Dingo dog in ROADGAMES
Dingo dog in ROADGAMES
Stacy Keach in ROADGAMES
Stacy Keach in ROADGAMES
Angelica La Bozzetta in ROADGAMES
Angelica La Bozzetta in ROADGAMES
Jamie Lee Curtis in ROADGAMES
Stacy Keach in ROADGAMES
Stacy Keach in ROADGAMES
Stacy Keach in ROADGAMES
From ROADGAMES
From ROADGAMES
From ROADGAMES
Angelica La Bozzetta in ROADGAMES

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