GORE IN THE STORE
Film, DVD, Blu-Ray & Streaming Reviews - By Fans For Fans
Directed by Alexander Whitrow. Starring Alexander Whitrow, Robert Bell, Sarah Milde.
Thriller, Australia, 93 minutes.
Released On Demand 29th May by 101 Films.
There are shades of THE HITCHER and DUST DEVIL in this low-budget Australian thriller that takes place along the myriad dirt roads that snake across that country’s arid and immensely cinematic landscape. Alexander Whitrow writes, directs and stars as Connor, a young man who lures passers by on desolate roads into helping him with his broken-down car, only for him to rob them at gunpoint, saving the money so he and his girlfriend Lucy can set up home elsewhere. At the same time, detectives Albert and Ernest are investigating a spate of murdered women whose only lead is a white truck witnessed near the scene of the crimes. Connor soon finds himself slap bang in the middle of these two opposing forces when he unwittingly holds up the killer, who then, in turn, pursues his unwitting robber.
Despite its intriguing premise, ROADKILL keeps tripping up itself with awkward plotting, flat dialogue and unconvincing performances. Clocking in at a shade over ninety minutes, the film is bogged down by several superfluous scenes, some involving completely unnecessary flashbacks and multiple characters who also contribute very little to the overall narrative. This all contributes to a baggy and unfocussed film and not the streamlined, propulsive thriller that its premise seems to suggest.
This is a shame, as there are hints elsewhere that suggest Whitrow could be more than capable of delivering such a story. The early scenes display a keen eye for a landscape which, while familiar, is still full of dramatic and filmic potential. Also, there is a sense that despite some repetitive scenes, he is more than capable of introducing a couple of wrinkles into the plot that offers up some real dramatic potential.
It may be unfair to raise, but his baby-faced appearance also goes against the film's attempts at being gritty. On the other hand, it could also suggest that this young man has a more than promising career ahead of him once he figures out the scriptwriting issues that make this film such an unsatisfying experience. Perhaps when he does so, we will get the merciless and streamlined film that he seems to be striving to deliver here. Until then, however, this amounts to little more than a missed opportunity that sadly fails to deliver for an audience looking for the uncompromising B-movie thrills that have already sprung forth from this unforgiving landscape.
Film, DVD, Blu-Ray & Streaming Reviews
By Fans For Fans