Engaged couple Bobby (Nick Zano) and Melissa (Nicky Aycox) travel along the country road on their way to Las Vegas for a joint bachelor party/hen night. Also along for the ride is Melissa's sister, Kayla (Laura Jordan).

They stop off at a gas station and, to the loved-up couple's surprise, "third wave emo punk" Nick (Kyle Schmid) turns up as Kayla's date. She's met him on MySpace and her sister clearly doesn't approve with the way the pair start necking upon first sight of each other.

Anyhow, Nick jumps in the car and reluctantly the group agree with his advice on taking a shortcut to Vegas. This inevitably takes them onto a beaten track where their car overheats and they can't get a signal on their mobile phones. They decide to proceed on foot.

Following a short hike in the desert, the group happen upon a remote house. Seemingly abandoned, Nick breaks in and they have a rake around. They find a car in the garage, complete with keys, a full tank and a functioning CBV radio. After a battle of consciences, Bobby reluctantly agrees that they should take the car to the nearest town, then hire a car and return the stolen one along with money to pay for damages. Melissa even leaves her mobile number at the house, should the occupants return before they do.

A short while later, our hapless foursome stop off at a roadside diner to feed and take the piss out of the hick locals. Bobby excuses himself to the toilet and, when he doesn't return, Melissa becomes concerned. Her fears are confirmed when her mobile rings and the voice on the end of the line is none other than mad trucker Rusty Nail (Mark Gibbon). He says she stole something from him (the car), so he's stolen something from her (Bobby).

If Melissa wants to see Bobby again, she'll have to perform a series of tasks along with her sister and her goofy boyfriend. All of which leads to much car chasing, hacking the finger from a fresh cadaver, Melissa stripping to her underwear in front of a pervy trucker (my favourite scene) and much more gore than the film's predecessor.

And there's the problem with ROADKILL 2. Whereas the original film relied on old-school tension and suspense, the sequel dispenses with these in favour of episodic bursts of bad taste and gore. It's little more than a teens-in-peril film, blessed with an attractive open desert setting.

The cast are pretty but two-dimensional. Schmid comes across like a poor man's Matthew Lilliard while Zano is about as interesting as watching paint dry. Whereas the predecessor gave us the likeable Steve Zahn and charismatic Paul Walker, this quartet of potential victims are boring and lifeless in comparison.

Rusty Nail is given too much radio airtime and consequently is no longer scary. His one-liners bring to mind later Freddy. Chase scenes end in minor splatter rather than the smart twists and jolts that punctuated the first film. From the opening decapitation of a hooker, it's clear that this is a gorier but infinitely less intelligent and less satisfying road trip.

By-the-numbers and predictable (the false scares of the first thirty minutes; the inevitable coda), ROADKILL 2 disappoints.

ROADKILL 2 at least looks good in a pristine anamorphic 1.78:1 presentation. Colours are bold while remaining accurate, images are sharp and texture is as smooth as standard definition allows. Much of the film benefits from nice outdoor photography, making great use of the sunny desert landscapes. And it's all been captured superbly on DVD in this gorgeous transfer.

5.1 audio is provided in English, German, Spanish and Italian languages. The English audio track is a solid, consistent and evenly balanced one. Optional subtitles are available in English, Spanish, German, Italian, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish.

A scene-selection menu can be found on the static menu page, allowing access to the main feature via 20 chapters.

Extras begin with a 14-minute Making Of featurette. This provides a healthy amount of on-location footage along with retrospective cast and crew interviews which are more concerned with theme than the film-making experience.

"Blood & Guts: The Make-Up of Horror" is 7 more minutes of behind-the-scenes footage, continuing with interviews taken from the same sessions as above. As with the Making Of featurette, this is presented in anamorphic 1.78:1 and comes equipped with optional subtitles in 8 languages.

A 3-minute storyboard-to-scene comparison follows, using a split-screen to show the similarities between the completed "Scene 118" and it's original concept sketches.

If you love good-looking landscapes and pointless, tension-free gore, you'll like this. If you're a fan of the original film though, you may well think this is rubbish. ROADKILL 2 takes all the best bits of THE HITCHER and the original ROADKILL, discards them and then takes whatever's left over to forge a contrived, suspense-free snoozefest.

Review by Stu Willis

Released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Region 2 - PAL
Rated 18
Extras :
see main review