Road Games (1981)

“The truck driver plays games … The hitchhiker plays games. And the killer is playing the deadliest game of all!” A highly entertaining and offbeat Australian thriller/road movie directed by Richard Franklin, Road Games (aka Roadgames) stars Stacy Keach (Fat City) as eccentric truck driver “Patrick Quid,” who becomes obsessed with capturing a possible serial killer driving a green van, especially after Quid himself becomes the prime suspect in a series of recent murders of hitchhikers. The slightly demented Quid displays some odd behavior (I love the scene where he destroys the boat with his truck!) and owns a pet dingo, so the audience is kept guessing whether he in fact has anything to do with the murders. Jamie Lee Curtis portrays free-spirited hitchhiker “Pamela ‘Hitch” Rushworth,” the daughter of a wealthy American diplomat, who attempts to help Quid track down the serial killer. Road Games makes good use of Australian locales. The budget of $1.75 million for Road Games made it the highest ever for an Australian film at the time. Sean Connery was Franklin’s first choice for the role of Quid but his salary demands were too high. Road Games would make a good double feature with Duel (1971). Franklin, who directed Psycho II (1982) reportedly set out to make Road Games a road version of Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954).

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