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
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
SPECIAL FEATURES :
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.
by Stefan Shih