Joy Ride 3: Road Kill shockingly (or not) is an all around bad movie and not in the fun kind of way either. The plot is more or less a rehash of the first film just with more characters who are almost all unlikeable, making it really hard to care for their well being, and Rusty Nail as a villain is just another mundane serial killer rather than a truly scary voice over the radio.
Joy Ride 3: Road Kill
Fox | Unrated – 96 min. – $29.99 | June 17, 2014
THE MOVIE – 0.5/5
Fox, please stop. I am begging you. Just. STOP. Between four Wrong Turn sequels and now a third Joy Ride film, it’s gotten ridiculous but obviously they’re cheap to make and with a plethora of young actors to cull from, I guess these direct-to-video sequels pay out well for the studios. But I digress: I suppose I should’ve seen it coming considering it is called Joy Ride 3: Road Kill, after all…
The premise involves a group of new asshole yuppies who cross paths, and cross bad ‘ole Rusty Nail (this time played by KEN KIRZINGER of Freddy vs. Jason fame). When the film opens, we meet meth head couple who, in need of money and/or a quick fix, radios out to truckers for a good time and upon his arrival, the guy would knock him out, they steal his money and run. Of course, Rusty is no dummy, and as we find out in this flick, a bit on the supernatural side also, and he easily gets the upper hand. He proceeds to create an elaborate system which, eh screw it, it’s the opening and they needed some nudity (for the girl), an intro to Rusty and some blood and body parts. Mission was accomplished.
In any case, as I mentioned before we get a group of six street racers and crew this go around: driver Jordan Wells (JESSE HUTCH), his girlfriend Jewel (KIRSTEN PROUT), best friend and mechanic Austin (GIANPAOLO VENUTA), Alisa (LEELA SAVASTA) and a couple of lackeys we couldn’t care less about in Mickey (BENJAMIN HOLLINGSWORTH) and Bobby (JAKE MANLEY). They are headed to Canada for the Road Rally 1000 but unfortunately for them, the quickest way is through Route 17 also known as Slaughter Alley aka Rusty Nail’s hunting ground though the local sheriff isn’t buying the deaths as anything more than animal attacks and whatnot.
So, Austin driving the racing car is driving fast testing the car out when they encounter Rusty’s truck, they cut him off and through a chase on this long stretch of road, made Rusty jackknife his truck and rather than stopping to help (a bright idea suggested by Jewel), they keep going hoping to outrun the trucker who taunts them over the radio after he gets the car’s plate from his dash cam and manages to find the racer’s website with all their names and bios.
That’s the plot in a nutshell with Rusty Nail taking on supernatural powers being in multiple places at the same time and, in most predictable fashion as has been done in numerous horror films before it, a climax where he takes on a Jason-like persona of being indestructible.
The acting in this is pretty passable, though none of them really stand out. Rusty Nail’s victims are cardboard cutouts, interchangeable from any of the others in the variety of thinly plotted horror/slasher flicks although admittedly Kirsten Prout, for her limited role, isn’t all bad and Jesse Hutch might make for a decent lead if he hones his acting skills and/or gets a better script to work with. As far as Ken Kirzinger goes, he’s not bad as Rusty though, and this was the issue I had with Joy Ride 2 (more in the next paragraph), when you get to see him, the character loses all suspense, compare that with the first film and our general impression came almost solely from his voice (by none other than Buffalo Bill, Ted Levine).
When I got this in to review, I knew there was a Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead and looking at my collection, actually received it from Fox and yet I could not recall a single thing about it until I reread my old review (published in 2008) and only then did I remember the particulars and at the end of the review I stated:
“Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead is easily one of most unoriginal hack jobs I’ve ever seen. Obviously it was made to cash in on the name and with a relatively unknown cast; it couldn’t have cost much to make either. In the end, this movie is one inane cliché after another, so ridiculous and predictable that I see no reason to recommend it at all.”
And, well, there’s a new king in town – Joy Ride 3: Road Kill. Don’t bother
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.5/5
Audio Commentary – Writer/Director Declan O’Brien, along with another fellow serving as a mod, sits down for yet another chummy track breaking down the movie from its inception to filming and casting.
Riding Shotgun with Declan: Director’s Die-aries (9:22; HD) – We get a glimpse at 4 days in the life of the director with some behind-the-scenes footage.
Jewel’s Message (1:20; HD) is a video the character Jewel makes pleading for her life not shown in the film.
Road Rage: The Blood, Sweat and Gears of Joy Ride 3 (11:52; HD) is a basic BTS featurette and has some cast and crew interviews chatting about the plot, characters, stunts, etc.
Deleted Scenes (5:41; HD) – Here we get scenes that were removed or cut down most likely due to pacing issues.
Pre-Vis Sequences (6:57; HD) are the scenes done using toy cars to map out certain action scenes.
Finding Large Marge (3:54; HD) is a featurette on casting of the memorable diner waitress which went through local media to find her.
Also includes a redemption code for the Digital Copy.
VIDEO – 4.0/5
Joy Ride 3 shifts onto Blu-ray presented with a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture looks like any other cheap DTV flick with a glossy look where skin tones take on an almost waxy texture. However, detail levels aren’t bad and colors are, during the daylight, bright while the night shots are stark and don’t show any signs of compression or artifacting.
AUDIO – 4.5/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is quite effective from the car chase scenes where we especially hear Rusty’s truck rev up at times from out of nowhere but the blood-curdling screams provides the most depth and frankly if you don’t have a well insulated media room or have windows open, beware you might want to adjust the volume downwards. Still, it’s a good track nothing noteworthy or outstanding but capable enough.
OVERALL – 1.5/5
Overall, Joy Ride 3: Road Kill shockingly (or not) is an all around bad movie and not in the fun kind of way either. The plot is more or less a rehash of the first film just with more characters who are almost all unlikeable, making it really hard to care for their well being, and Rusty Nail as a villain is just another mundane serial killer rather than a truly scary voice over the radio. The Blu-ray released by Fox does have good video and audio transfers and the bonus material isn’t anything astounding, but at least Declan O’Brien’s commentary is worth a listen.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.