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Genre: Thriller/Horror
Starring: Nicki Aycox, Nick Zano, Laura Jordan, Kyle Schmid, Kathryn Kirkpatrick, Rob Carpenter, Daniel Boileau
Director: Louis Morneau
Rating: M18
Year Made: 2008



- Joy Ride 2: The Making of "Dead Ahead"
- Blood And Guts: The "Make Up" of Horror
- Storyboard Comparison



Languages: English/Spanish/
Subtitles: English/Mandarin/Spanish/
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 1 hr 31 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Alliance Entertainment
Official Website:




When four friends embark on a road trip to Vegas looking for fun and a few cheap thrills, they have no idea that they're about to fall into a blood-drenched charnel house of tension, torture, and the darkest depths of pure primal fear! After their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, they must find a way back to civilization. But their plan soon arouses the malice of Rusty Nail-a murderous, vengeful trucker with an insatiable appetite for gruesome mutilation and sadistic pain - and he'll stop at nothing to ensure they pay their toll...one body part at a time!


One must wonder if Hollywood's getting a little desperate in digging back as far as 2001 to look for franchise potentials. In the original Joy Ride, we had at least some notable names like Steve Zahn, Paul Walker and Leelee Sobieski starring in a horror thriller where they go up against a psychotic trucker in a big rig during their cross country road trip. The formula gets repeated of course, but you'd know it's heading straight for video with the likes of Nicki Aycox, Nick Zano, Kyle Schmid and Laura Jordon. Who?

The film is in the good hands of director Lois Morneau with experience from movies such as Hitcher 2 and Carnosaur 2. Given that it's straight for video, one cannot expect too much in terms of quality, but for a weekend matinee to pass time, this Joy Ride provides just enough fodder to prevent you from stopping the player and turning off the TV. It may seem tame in comparison with its peers from the same genre, but does have its fair share of gore thrown in to make up for its lack of an interesting story or cast.

In this version, we have an engaged couple Bobby (Zano) and Mel (Aycox), together with Mel's sister Kayla (Jordan) and her new online friend Nik (Schmid) take a road trip to Las Vegas for a joint bachelor/bachelorette party. Then the formula for trouble start pouring in - taking an unfamiliar shortcut through desert land away from civilization, having their car stall, getting no signals on their cell, and in what would be the lesson learnt from here, never to break into a stranger's home and make away with a car even with the intention to return it to the owner later.

Especially when the limited edition vehicle belongs to a psychopath. So begins a cat and mouse game with Rusty Nail (Mark Gibbon), who kidnaps Bobby and have the rest at his beck and call. Don't be expecting the body count to pile as it doesn't, and quite surprising too given that the kill rate here is extremely low. If anything, this flick reinforces the point that the empty vessels always make the most noise, and the most gung-ho in attitude is quite the pussy cat when it comes to the courage department.

It's standard fare plus lavish doses of predictability, nothing scary though the music does crank up when it comes to some gory bits. Just don't be expecting anything genre-breaking and this film should serve you well for those lazy weekend afternoons.


As the clips shown in the special features contain deep spoilers, do make sure you view the movie proper first before you hit this section. In Joy Ride 2: The Making of Dead Ahead (13:47), you have a very basic making-of documentary containing the usual interview clips with the cast talking about their characters (except for villain Rusty Nail who stays in character). The only take away from this is to know everyone faced a huge challenge in making this in Canada and experiencing some unkind - cold and damp conditions - weather during production. You'll also get to see the making of a major stunt sequence in the film. Blood and Guts: The "Make-Up" of Horror(7:17) allows the make up folks to showcase the number of prosthetics designed for the film, while Storyboard to Scene Comparison (Scene 118)(3:00) is self-explanatory, but contains the final battle, so do not watch this until you're done with the film.


Presented in anamorphic widescreen format from the film proper right down to the special features, the images do look a little bit grainy during scenes which take place in darkened enclosed areas. Trust the air horns and big rig vehicles to max out your sound system under the 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack.



Review by Stefan Shih


Other titles from Alliance Entertainment:

. Asylum

. Bangkok Dangerous

. Babylon A.D.

. Journey to the Center of the Earth

. Desert Saints

. The Dark Knight

. Horton

. Right At Your Door

. Deception

. Doomsday

. Never Back Down

. Virgin Territory

. Shutter

. Little Fish

. Shanghai Kiss

This review is made possible with the kind support from
Alliance Entertainment


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