Roadkill (1989) * Worst Hit *
Genre: Adventure Drama (Canada)
Starring: Valerie Buhagiar (Sheltered Life • Highway 61), Don McKeller (Monkey Warfare • Last Night)
Directed By: Bruce McDonald (Pontypool • Hardcore Logo)
Overview: A girl is sent up north by a music promoter to bring back a deliquent band. She doesn't know how to drive, she has no car, she has no doubt that she'll get them home.
You've all been there: "Here's a movie I've sorta been meaning to see for about a dozen years" .
Well kiddies, I finally saw it Last Night, going Waydowntown to the Mayfair theater, newly owned and operated by a local filmmaker and friends.
I went into this film knowing full well that it wouldn't be comparable in quality to Highway 61, also directed by Bruce McDonald and written and starring Don McKellar, a film I have a special affinity towards due to the wacky characters, memorable quote-rich script and great replay value, but I digress.
Within the first, oh say 10 second, one can peg 3 things about Roadkill:
1.) It's going to be Uber-independent - ie: cheap
2.) It's going be as Canadian as all ... er, maple syrup - the opening scene is a Hinterland Who's Who
3.) It's definitely one of Bruce McDonald's first diretorial attempts - cause I can just feel it in my bones
Later we can figure out that it's one of Don McKellar's first scripts, but at least it takes a good minute or so to discover that.
The premise is roadtrip simple. We open with a band promoter, flipping out all Twitch City at the news that one of his bands, 'Children of Paradise' had missed their last four gigs on their tour to Thunder Bay. He sends Ramona, his new assistant to go up north, find the band and bring them back in hopes of salvaging an ounce of his investment. Immediately the film turns forced-wacky-road-trip when her cabbie insits on driving her from Toronto to Sudbury, sharing stories about pot smoking and cabbing big shots like Robert Plant. The story continues as most road-trips do: adventure leads to insight leads to strange characters - from Nash the Slash to serial killers who want to make friends with her as she tries to get the band to actually show up on stage for a show.
I wouldn't go as far to say as I was bored to Blindness with the plot, however I wouldn't call the underlying theme of 'Ramona
on a road trip without a car or any driving experience and a couple dead animals' any kind of theme at all. In fact the whole movie, though infused with the occasional chuckle seemed about as forced as a scripted adventure ever could be, regardless of Joey Ramone cameos.
The Boredom Corridor
Performance: 6 Cinematography: 7 Script: 5 Plot: 6 Mood: 6
Overall Rating: 60% (Toss To The Roadside)
Granted, perhaps writing about the touching-without-being-saccarine One Week would have made for better CanCon review. Perhaps it would have been best to warn you of the absolutely failed potential that was the beautiful yet meanderingly bland Fear[s] of the Dark. Ah well, no need to mourn these unborn reviews to the tune of The Red Violin. Just know that instead of those reviews I was making the world safe by blasting zombies emblazonned with the Hardcore Logo of Umbrella Corp!