Road Games (1981)

Road Games (1981)

Pat Quid is driving a semi across Australia. On the way he encounters various other travellers, and the occasional hitchhikers repeatedly as they’re traveling the same road. A favorite pastime of Pat is to play games to pass the time on the journey. (Such as to make up backgrounds of the other people on the road.) Pamela is one hitchhiker he picks up. But when she disappears, he suspects that the driver of a van who has been acting a little strange, (Smith or Jones) maybe the serial killer mentioned on the radio. But his pursuit of the van driver brings him to the attention of the police, who begin to suspect him.

Roadgames (also known as Road Games) is a 1981 Australian thriller film directed by Richard Franklin and starring Stacy Keach and Jamie Lee Curtis. The film follows a truck driver traveling across Australia who, along with the help of a hitchhiker, seeks to track down a serial killer who is butchering women and dumping their dismembered bodies along desolate highways.

About the Story

The film opens on truck driver Patrick Quid (Stacy Keach) as he pulls into a motel for the night. Quid notices a man in a green van checking in with a female hitchhiker he had passed earlier because the trucking company policy forbids it. Nevertheless, Quid is upset at the man for taking the last room in the motel and picking up the attractive hitcher. In the motel, the hitcher strums a guitar naked on the bed, while the unidentified man unpacks a new guitar string. He winds the string around his gloved hands and uses it to strangle the woman.

Quid wakes the next morning in his truck. His pet dingo sniffs relentlessly at the garbage outside the motel, and Quid notices the van driver watching the dingo from the window of the motel room. Quid picks up a load of pigs from Universal Meats. He sets off for Perth with his load and passes various characters on the road: a nagging wife and her family, a cautious man hauling a sailboat, and a station wagon crammed full of toy balls. He repeatedly passes by another female hitchhiker.

The nagging wife creates a roadblock by streaming pink paper across the highway. When Quid stops at the sight of it, she climbs into his cab and orders Quid to catch up with her husband who left her at the side of the road. They play What’s My Line? to pass the time. The woman informs Quid about the grisly murder of a woman, and his nonchalant answers start to disturb her. She suspects that he might be the serial killer from the news. Quid stops the truck when he sees the green van parked along the road. Its driver has several trash bags and an esky. He appears to be burying the bags. When the van driver notices Quid watching him through binoculars, he abandons his work and drives away.

At a roadhouse, the van driver assaults Quid’s dingo while he is inside. Quid gives chase, but he encounters the slow driving boat owner who refuses to let Quid pass. Eventually, Quid destroys the boat, but the green van is too far off to catch.

Quid picks up the female hitchhiker, Pamela Rushworth (Jamie Lee Curtis), that he has passed before. She gradually reveals that she is the daughter of a powerful American diplomat. Quid urges Pamela to let her father know that she is alright. The duo eagerly discuss the serial killer. At a service station, they notice the green van parked near the restroom.

Quid sees a pair of feet in the toilet stall, and he thinks he has the killer cornered. Pamela investigates the green van while Quid tries to get the man to exit the stall. As Pamela reaches for the esky inside the van, she realizes that the driver is sleeping on the floor. In the restroom, a biker emerges from the stall and rushes outside. Quid rushes outside to see that the green van is gone.

Road Games Movie Poster (1981)

Road Games (1981)

Directed by: Richard Franklin
Starring: Stacy Keach, Jamie Lee Curtis, Marion Edward, Grant Page, Thaddeus Smith, Steve Millichamp, Alan Hopgood, Angelica La Bozzetta
Screenplay by: Everett De Roche
Production Design by: Jon Dowding
Cinematography by: Vincent Monton
Film Editing by: Edward McQueen-Mason
Costume Design by: Aphrodite Kondos
Set Decoration by: Jill Eden
Art Direction by: Jon Dowding
Music by: Brian May
Distributed by: Embassy Pictures
Release Date: November 19, 1981