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Declan O'Brien
Ken Kirzinger, Jesse Hutch, Ben Hollingsworth, Gianpaola Venuta
Writing Credits:
Declan O'Brien

A group of hotheaded street racers are on their way to the Road Rally 1000. As they drive through a desolate shortcut on the way to the race, a man starts tracking, teasing and torturing them until the end of the road.

Rated NR

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 96 min.
Price: $29.99
Release Date: 6/17/2014

• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Declan O’Brien
• “Riding Shotgun with Declan” Featurette
• “Jewel’s Message” Featurette
• “Road Rage: The Blood, Sweat and Gears of Joy Ride 3” Featurette
• Three Deleted Scenes
• Pre-Vis Sequences
• “Finding Large Marge” Featurette
• Trailer and Previews


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Joy Ride 3: Roadkill [Blu-Ray] (2014)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 2, 2014)

Back in 2001, Joy Ride delivered a pretty satisfying little thriller. The movie didn’t do much at the box office, but a direct-to-video sequel eventually materialized via 2008’s Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead.

I never saw that one, but my generally positive feelings toward the original prompted me to give 2014’s direct-to-video Joy Ride 3: Roadkill a look. Junkies Candy (Sara Mitich) and Rob (J. Adam Brown) need money for drugs, so they lure a random trucker to a motel to rob him. Unfortunately for them, they attract the sadistic Rusty Nail (Ken Kirzinger) and they don’t survive the encounter. This attracts police attention, especially since the incident takes place on “Slaughter Alley”, the location of many other strange, violent deaths.

While that investigation takes place, we follow a group of road racers on their way to a rally. Despite warnings, they decide to use a shortcut to save a day of driving – a route that leads them to “Slaughter Alley”. Inevitably, they attract the attention of Rusty Nail when cocky driver Austin (Gianpaolo Venuta) antagonizes him. Torment, torture and death result.

Going into Roadkill, I can’t say I expected it to be as good as the original film. After all, that one featured actual “big screen talent”, with actors like Paul Walker and Steve Zahn as well as a script co-written by JJ Abrams.

What does Roadkill offer? The director of Sharktopus and a bunch of actors only their mothers know.

And there’s good reason for that, as little talent materializes here. The actors tend to be either flat and wooden or histrionic, without much between those poles. The original film didn’t deliver killer performances, but at least its leads added some life to the parts, whereas here the participants seem interchangeable and forgettable.

Director Declan O’Brien also fails to bring anything to the table. Prior to Roadkill, I only saw one O’Brien film: 2009’s completely awful Wrong Turn 3. Roadkill never becomes as terrible as that stinker, but it doesn’t cause me to reappraise O’Brien’s talents.

I understand that Roadkill needs to take a path that differs somewhat from the original, as it can’t play “cat and mouse” with us in the same way. We already know what Rusty Nail can do, so the movie can’t tease us in a similar manner.

That said, Roadkill could deliver more character development and drama than it musters. The participants feel like little more than props who exist to be Rusty Nail’s victims. The movie doesn’t care about narrative or tension; it just wants to get us to the “kill shots”.

The unrated Roadkill ladles on the graphic gore. I guess some will like that, but I don’t take any pleasure from the disgusting visuals on display. Like O’Brien’s Wrong Turn sequel, it feels as though the story revolves around the violence, so these elements don’t develop in an organic manner. They occur because viewers expect them and that’s about it.

Since I saw Wrong Turn 3, I know Roadkill isn’t the worst direct to video sequel I’ve seen. Nonetheless, it does little right and mostly just wastes the viewer’s time.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B/ Bonus B

Joy Ride 3: Roadkill appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a strong presentation.

At all times, sharpness looked excellent. Little softness crept in along the way, as the movie seemed concise and distinctive. No issues with jaggies or moiré effects interfered, and I saw no edge haloes or print flaws either.

In terms of palette, Roadkill tended toward an amber feel, though some sickly greens occur during a few scenes as well. Within those constraints, the tones looked well-depicted and smooth. Blacks were dark and tight, and shadows seemed accurate and clear. Everything here gave us a satisfying image.

I also liked the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. Given how much of the movie takes place on the road, vehicles become a major component, and those filled out the spectrum well. Various cars and trucks moved around the room in a satisfying manner and added involvement to the piece. This meant good use of the surrounds, as the back speakers contributed a lot of unique information to place us in the action.

Audio quality also worked fine. Music was full and dynamic, while effects showed positive clarity and accuracy. Louder moments displayed nice pop and offered deep low-end. Speech consistently appeared natural and without edginess. The track came together in a winning manner.

We get a decent array of extras here, and these launch with an audio commentary from writer/director Declan O’Brien. Along with disc producer Brett Levison, we find a running, screen-specific look at story/character areas, sets and locations, stunts, vehicles and action, various effects, cast and performances, camerawork, and related areas.

If O’Brien made movies half as good as this commentary, he’d win Oscars. The director covers all the relevant aspects of his movie in a brisk, compelling manner. I find a lot to like in this informative piece.

A few featurettes follow. Riding Shotgun with Declan goes for nine minutes, 22 seconds and presents the director’s video “die-aries”. This means footage straight from the set, as we go behind the scenes for a few sequences. We get a good array of observations in this collection.

Jewel’s Message lasts one minute, 20 seconds and shows something of a deleted scene. The Jewel character records a video note that tells us… not much. It’s unclear what purpose this serves – promotional, maybe? – but it’s not interesting to see.

Next comes the 11-minute, 52-second Road Rage: The Blood, Sweat and Gears of Joy Ride 3. It features O’Brien, producer Kim Todd, special makeup effects Doug Morrow, special effects coordinator Cameron Paterson, picture vehicle coordinator Mark Dann, stunt coordinator Rick Skene, stunt driver Daniel Skene, and actors Kirsten Prout, Jesse Hutch, Ken Kirzinger, Gianpaola Venuta, Benjamin Hollingsworth, Jake Manley, Leela Savasta, and Dean Armstrong. The piece covers cast and performances, kill scenes and various effects, different vehicles, and stunts. We get a passable overview here, but the piece tends to be fluffy and without a lot of depth.

Three Deleted Scenes fill a total of five minutes, 41 seconds. We see “Creepy Gas Station” (3:38), “Changing Tire” (1:11) and “Jenkins and Williams” (0:52). These provide minor extensions to existing scenes and add nothing of value.

A collection of Pre-Vis Sequences occupy six minutes, 57 seconds. O’Brien introduces the compilation and narrates the crude planning video. The footage itself is charming in its simplicity – the pre-vis uses toys, not CG – and O’Brien gives us good information about the components.

Finally, Finding Large Marge runs three minutes, 54 seconds. It involves O’Brien, Todd, Manley Prout, Hutch, and actor Heather Hueging and gives us a quick look how they find a ringer for the Pee-wee’s Big Adventure character. It becomes a fun reel.

The disc opens with ads for Devil’s Due, Out of the Furnace and In the Name of the King: The Last Mission. Sneak Peek adds promos for 3 Days to Kill, Bad Ass 2: Bad Asses, Wilfred Season Three and The Bridge Season One. No trailer for Roadkill appears here.

A second disc delivers a DVD copy of Roadkill. It comes with the same extras as the Blu-ray.

The original Joy Ride provided a winning thriller, but Joy Ride 3: Roadkill fails to recapture any of that film’s magic. Instead, it gives us an uninventive collection of graphic kills with no intelligence or drama along the way. The Blu-ray provides strong picture and audio as well as some good supplements. Even diehard fans of the first Joy Ride should avoid this feeble sequel

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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