Directed by John Dahl starring Paul Walker, Steve Zahn and Leelee Sobieski.
Colorado college boy Lewis (Walker) and his reprobate brother Fuller (Zahn) hit the road on a summer trip back to their New Jersey hometown. In a bid to ease the white line fever before they pick up Lewis' friend and dream girl Venna (Sobieski), Fuller buys a CB radio and gets Lewis to tell the airwaves that he's a lonely girl called 'Candy Cane'.
Candy finds an admirer in the form of lonely trucker Rusty Nail (voiced by Ted Levine – Buffalo Bill from 'The Silence of the Lambs') and a dialogue which becomes very intimate, very quickly. Convinced that the joke has miles to run, the boys tell Rusty that Candy will meet him at a nearby motel. But when Candy doesn't show up for the date Rusty doesn't take too kindly and soon the brothers are locked in an interstate game of cat and mouse with one very disturbed big rig driver.
John Dahl may never make another film as great as 'The Last Seduction', but after the poor 'Unforgettable' and the hit-and-miss 'Rounders', 'Road Kill' finds him back on fine form. Here he takes that great B-movie staple of the nutter behind the wheel, puts his own distinctive visual style on it and creates one of the better thrillers in recent memory.
Sure, the plot owes plenty to the likes of 'Duel' and video classic 'The Hitcher', but Dahl's film is every bit as scary as those bit-your-nails greats, the tension brilliantly building as the boys wind up the wound-up trucker, pick up Venna and then try and survive the off-the-map insanity which ensues.
With plenty of night-time sequences (brilliantly lit by 40-watt bulb motels and car dashboards) followed by breathe again daytimes, 'Road Kill' has the feel of a bad dream you have to live through all over again once the sun sets. The chemistry between Walker (a vast improvement on 'The Fast and Furious') and back seat buddies is perfect, with Levine's voice far eerier than most onscreen villains could ever hope to be.
A couple of years ago, the Kurt Russell thriller 'Breakdown' garnered great reviews for what – to these eyes – was a very average kidnap movie. 'Road Kill' pounds 18-wheels all over it and will convince you that you'd be better off taking the train.