Movie Review: ROAD GAMES (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray

ROAD GAMES was produced and directed by Richard Franklin from a screenplay by Everett De Roche and stars Stacy Keach, Jamie Lee Curtis, Marion Edward and Grant Page. The music is composed by Brian May.

Stacy Keach is Pat Quid, a lone trucker who plays games to keep his sanity on long hauls through the desolate Australian Outback. Jamie Lee Curtis is a free-spirited hitchhiker looking for excitement with a game of her own. And somewhere up ahead is a maniac in a van whose game may be butchering young women along the highway. But when the killer decides to raise the stakes, Quid’s game becomes personal … and the rules of this road are about to take some very deadly turns.

This 1981 Australian Hitchcockian-style psycho-thriller centers around Pat Quid (Stacy Keach), a long haul truck driver who’s hired to deliver a trailer full of meat. Pat lives a lonely life on the road but he does have his loyal Dingo that rides shotgun with him. What he does to entertain himself is innocent play games on the highway. He ends up meeting several different people that he ends up rubbing the wrong way and these encounters kind of haunt him during his journey. Pat does pick up Pamela Rushworth (Jamie Lee Curtis), a young woman he nicknames “Hitch” and the two get along really well plus he ends up having another person to play his Road Games with.

What happens is, there’s also a serial killer going around murdering women and when Pat accidentally gets the attention of this sadistic murderer his life becomes a living hell. The thing about Pat is that he doesn’t take any crap off anyone so he decides to chase this mysterious figure across the Outback and “Hitch” even gets caught up in the middle of things because she gets kidnapped by the maniac. Now it’s a race against time for Pat to try and get to the killer so he can save “Hitch” before she becomes the madman’s next victim. Pat finally catches up to the mysterious serial killer and ultimately saves his new gal pal but it wasn’t easy.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. The front features the awesome new artwork by Joel Robinson you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features some original artwork and movie credits so you have your choice of which side you’d like to use for the front cover. The Blu-ray disc features some matching artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release and were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Road Games ended up being another first time watch for me even though I’ve heard about this obcure ozploitation psycho-thriller over the years. This 1981 cult classic isn’t to be mistaken for the survival-thriller with the same name that Scream Factory and IFC Midnight teamed up with to release a few years back. The story about this lonely truck driver who picks up a pretty hitchhiker while a serial killer is playing deadly games was interesting. Stacy Keach does a great job as the main character and even though Jamie Lee Curtis is second-billed she’s only in the movie for a few scenes and completely underused. Even Director Richard Franklin, who did a really good job making this movie, mentions this in the extras. You can definitely see the Hitchcock influence in the way Franklin shoots because his camera work is fantastic. The thing about Road Games is that it’s a PG thriller that relies heavily on its star and the strange things his character goes through on this dangerous trip. There’s a little bit of a shocker in the final scene that the studio requested Franklin come up with, even though he was against it, but it’s nothing that’ll haunt your dreams or anything like that. Scream Factory did a great job digging up this obscure thriller from the Outback and they’ve added a lot of extras to go along with it. Road Games will be available on a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray on November 12th.

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 101 Minutes

Rated: PG

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.35:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono

Subtitles: English

Special Features: The extras include new and vintage audio commentary tracks, a new interview, vintage feature-length script read, music spotlight with the composer, a making of featurette, extended interviews from a documentary, a feature-length lecture, vintage director’s profile, three audio interviews, image gallery and the theatrical trailer.

  • NEW Australian Long Haul – an interview with actor Stacy Keach (13:25)
  • NEW audio commentary with cinematographer Vincent Monton, production coordinator Helen Watts and costume designer Aphrodite Kondos, moderated by filmmaker Mark Hartley
  • NEW 1980 script read with producer/director Richard Franklin and actors Stacy Keach and Marion Edwards (1:56:30)
  • NEW composer Brian May music demos accompanied by stills and poster gallery (04:15)
  • Audio Commentary with producer/director Richard Franklin
  • Kangaroo Hitchcock: The Making of ROAD GAMES – featuring interviews with director Richard Franklin and actor Stacey Keach (20:23)
  • Extended interviews from Mark Hartley’s documentary Not Quite Hollywood featuring Jamie Lee Curtis, Stacy Keach, director Richard Franklin, Stunt Coordinator Grant Page, screenwriter Everett De Roche, cinematographer Vincent Monton and assistant director Tom Burstall (1:03:19)
  • Lecture on the making of Road Games with Richard Franklin, co-producer Barbi Taylor & composer Brian May, introduced by critic Tom Ryan. (2:10:22)
  • Vintage Profile from 1981 on Richard Franklin (24:35)
  • Audio Interview from 2001 with Richard Franklin (23:28)
  • Audio Interview from 2016 with actor Stacy Keach (09:10)
  • Audio Interview from 2016 with stunt coordinator & actor Grant Page (32:48)
  • Gallery of stills, Production Shots, Storyboards, Newspaper Reviews, Promotional & Artwork Materials (32:13)
  • Theatrical Trailer (02:11)

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