A journey of horror sharper and more spiritual than you might expect from a film titled after a sexual act, that of David Del Rio Road head (★★★ ☆☆) brings good laughs and suspense until the plot and rhythm stops along the way to the movie’s gleefully gruesome climax. Not exactly full of twists and turns, the film builds up a fun ride on crisp direction, bloody but not overdone horror chaos, and solid performance.
Damian Joseph Quinn and Clayton Farris make a cute comedic duo as vacationing couple in Los Angeles, Alex and Bryan, walking through the Mojave in their cannabis-colored Chevy Astro pickup truck. “It was supposed to be just us,” Alex complains to Bryan, but it turns out they have a connection to their mutual friend Stephanie, played by Elizabeth Grullon, who essentially runs away with the film.
Stephanie, smoking her rage against the cheating boyfriend she left at home, has energy to spare before her friends’ journey even takes a wrong turn in the death plot of a maniac to death. the sword. But it really intensifies once they cross paths with the hooded menace known as the Executioner (Adam Nemet), who cuts off the heads of travelers unlucky enough to cross his domain.
His friends, most of the time, don’t have it cojones or smart, which is not a good look for gay people. Stephanie won’t be the only one wondering, “Why is your phone in the van, Alex?” “
Quinn, Farris and, in particular, Grullon are tasked with selling implausible turns in the perky script of Justin Xavier, who also wrote Del Rio’s first indie horror film, Sick for toys. The main cast lives up to it, though the same can’t be said for the main villain, whose presence loses impact as soon as he starts speaking.
Of the few other characters that show up in the wilderness, including a drag queen played by Misty Violet, Paul T. Taylor makes an impact as an off-grid nutcase, as does Sierra Santana, as the hapless passenger of the prologue who suggests first the shenanigans suggested in the title.
Stephanie’s boyfriend David (Clay Acker) also materializes, but as a figment of her imagination – and a way for the film to dramatize the inner workings of her out of the ordinary character. Again, Grullon adds nuance to the silliness, but neither Acker’s concept nor Acker’s performance as David is so compelling.
The occasional green screen shots of the desert are more compelling, and overall the film is a well-made and satisfying diversion – not the best you’ve ever had, but good enough to get you there.
Road head is available to stream on Prime Video. Visit www.amazon.com.
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