Road Games (1981) (Umbrella Entertainment) (Blu-ray Review)

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Road Games (1981) (Umbrella Entertainment) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Richard Franklin
Starring: Stacy Keach, Jamie Lee Curtis, Marion Edward
Rated: M/Region 0/2:35/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Umbrella Entertainment (Click Here)

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Stacy Keach is Pat Quid, a loan trucker who always 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, on the loneliest highway in the world, is a psychopathic killer – a latter-day Jack the Ripper, whose game is picking up young female hitchhikers, raping, killing and dismembering them before burying their remains on the desolate Nullabor Plains. But when Quid’s innocent curiosity turns into amateur sleuthing, the killer decides to raise the stakes… and the rules of this road take some very deadly turns.

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Road Games is a very different kind of movie and I mean that in a good way. Billed originally as more of a slasher, which isn’t really the case, this Ozploitation flick just so happens to be the favorite of my favorite director, Quentin Tarantino. In this movie, we follow a truck driver named Pat as he and his apparently “Dingo” are delivering some meat in Austrailia. He spots a very suspicious fellow in a van and then he keeps spotting him and odd thing after odd thing seems to happen to catch Pat’s full attention. Sooner rather than later he picks up a “Hitch” played by Jamie Lee Curtis who has some mystery to her as well and she gets caught up in this whole mystery that Pat has going to himself about this van. Things happen, the movie gets strange, it stays a bit funny in spots, but above all else, it remains interesting. We aren’t dealing with a slasher like a Freddy or a Jason, but the bad guy in question here does have some ill vibes coming from him and he clear has some creepy intentions as we watch and try to figure out what those are. Pat also seems to be a fish out of water in the hunt and the whole cat and mouse tends to put him in some bad spots along the way as well. You just never know where this one is going and what will happen next. I really dug that about the movie. It isn’t like most movies and it sticks out. It might not be a style that is for everyone, but it works enough for me.

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The characters are all pretty interesting as well. Nobody here seems to talk like most movie people talk. I guess this could be a major reason as to why Quentin Tarantino is such a fan of it, as Pat is often a character we see rambling to himself and his dog. Even when he has interaction with Hitch he keeps this more natural style of delivery. These characters also seem to have a bit of chemistry and that helps as well. The thing about this movie above all else is probably the atmosphere it has with it. Things just seem different and it is a good different. You got an eerie vibe and while we have a lot of thrillers mixed in with this horror, there is also some terror and creepy stuff along the way as well. It has a bit of everything but seems to blend it all together well. Now, if you are like me and live in the USA then you are aware we have no release of this movie over here. Thankfully Umbrella Entertainment has this awesome release as a region free disc and will play in any player you got. The transfer is a 4K scan and it really brings details out of the film. If you don’t believe me just watch the comparison in the extras as a great example of the work done here to improve the looks of the movie. If you want to see some great Austrailian film then you certainly want to see this.

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Extras

– 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
– Trailer
– Image Gallery and Essay
– Audio Interview with Grant Page
– Audio Interview with Stacy Keach
– Audio Interview with Richard Franklin
– Interview with Richard Franklin
– 4K Featurette with Vincent Monton
– Road Games Lecture with director Richard Franklin, coproducer Barbi Taylor, and composer Brian May
– Kangaroo Hitchcock: The Making of Road Games

Quality of Transfer: 98%

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