Review: Road Games

Blu-ray & DVD: Road Games (1981)

Pat Quid (Stacey Keach) is a lone trucker who plays ‘road games’ with himself and his pet dingo to pass the time on the long hauls across the Australian landscape. As he tries to guess the jobs and names of passing motorists, his radio keeps updating a news story about female hitchhikers that keep disappearing in the area. Upon picking up (against company policy) free-spirited hitchhiker ‘Hitch’ (Jamie Lee Curtis), their paths become intertwined with the mysterious stranger who is abducting the women, and so begins a chase to try and solve what is really happening.

Beautifully shot (and fantastically presented in this new 4K master) by director Richard Franklin and cinematographer Vincent Monton, the stark and desolate Australian outback vistas are a perfect accompaniment to the rising tension that slowly unfurls as Quid gets himself deeper and deeper into a situation that he can no longer turn back from.

It’s another great performance from the always reliable Stacey Keach, who gives Quid a playful charm that you can’t help but be enamoured by. His relationship with Hitch is believable, despite the age gap (which Quid alludes to in the movie), because let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to bed Jamie Lee Curtis!?

While not containing any particular big action sequences (though a speedboat does get trashed in a rather spectacular way), Road Games is all about the unbridled tension constantly boiling away as hot as the Australian air surrounding everyone.

Although the identity of the kidnapper is revealed early, this in no way detracts from the apprehension felt for the characters while watching the narrative progress.

Another disc from Umbrella Entertainment loaded with amazing special features, as well as a cracking movie to watch.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

  • Feature taken from a brand new 4k master
  • Audio Commentary with Producer/Director Richard Franklin
  • Kangaroo Hitchcock: The Making of “Road Games” – Featurette with Producer/Director Richard Franklin and Actor Stacy Keach
  • Uncut ‘Not Quite Hollywood’ Interviews with Jamie-Lee Curtis, Stacy Keach, Grant Page, Richard Franklin, Everett De Roche,Vincent Monton & Tom Burstall
  • Newly-Discovered Two Hour lecture on the Making of Road Games from Richard Franklin, Barbi Taylor & Brian May – 20/11/1980
  • New Extensive Gallery accompanied by Essay written by Fangoria writer Lee Gambin: Gallery of stills, Production Shots, Storyboards, Newspaper Reviews, Promotional & Artwork Materials
  • Featurette on 4k Telecine Transfer by Roar Digital featuring SD-to-HD Comparisons, Quality Approval & Interview with DoP Vincent Monton
  • 1981 Interview with Richard Franklin
  • 2001 Audio Interview with Richard Franklin
  • New Audio Interview with Road Games Lead Actor Stacy Keach
  • New Audio Interview with Road Games Stunt Co-ordinator & Actor Grant Page
  • HD Theatrical Trailer

Review by Dave (host of 60 Minutes With) from a disc kindly supplied by Umbrella Entertainment.