Buckle Up: Joyride (2001) aka Roadkill: ‘Let’s Never Go Back There Again’

Writer/director John Dahl started his film career with three great pictures in the neo-noir genre – Kill Me Again (1989), Red Rock West (1993) and The Last Seduction (1994). Since then his movies have been much more patchy, with Unforgettable, Rounders, The Great Raid all proving disappointing, and he has since drifted into TV series direction since his last cinema release You Kill Me in 2007.


But back in 2001 he helmed a terrific genre movie, the road mystery thriller/black comedy Joy Ride. The story is set during summer break and college freshman Lewis Thomas (Paul Walker) has decided to embark on a cross-country road trip to pick up the girl of his dreams, Venna (Leelee Sobieski). But Lewis’ romantic hopes hit a detour when he stops on the way to rescue his older brother, Fuller (Steve Zahn). 


Joy Ride - Trailer


Written by J.J. Abrams and Clay Tarver, the picture depicts the perils of winding up truckers on CB radio, with Paul Walker and Steve Zahn as the brothers Lewis and Fuller Thomas, who play a deeply foolish prank on the ominously named ‘Rusty Nail’ voiced by Ted ‘It puts the lotion on its skin’ Levine. Now, that trucker, an unseen and terrifying force known only by his CB handle, wants the last laugh and revenge.



The movie has some super twists and turns, with Zahn a stand out as the goofy Fuller.

Do you ever miss Mom and Dad?

Yeah, I miss Mom’s chocolate chip cookies, playing football with Dad on Sundays, going to… oh wait, I must have mixed my child-hood with someone else’s I mean… no.


Joy Ride Candy Cane

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Stephen Arnell

Culture Comment Content Provider. Portrait courtesy of artist Darren Coffield. 'Non satis me tempo'