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Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead: Dead End: Dead Reckoning: Dead Ringers: Dead Man Walking: DeadAlive: Dead or Alive: Night of the Living Dead: Dead: Dead: Quentin Tarantino Presents Dead Review
by Doom and Generalissimo Furioso
They're going to be dead...AHEAD!
"Rusty's back" is like a tagline R.L. Stine would use on the 759th Goosebumps book.
What do you get when you take a shitty movie about an evil guy who uses CB radio to terrorize people and make a direct to video sequel starring none of the original cast, not even the voice of the evil CB radio guy? You get Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead, another one of the many fucking piece of shit horror movies we watch because it's easier to watch sexy teens in danger than please a girlfriend who claims not to be materialistic yet loves all those fucking shiny things. Of course, said sexy teens in danger spectacle was an event watched without alcohol, thereby making it more excruciating than usual. I advise doing the same if you're stupid enough to end up watching this refuse. By the time DTs set in, you'll wish Fake Matthew Lillard was dead.
The plot of this movie is basically the exact same plot as many other movies of this variety, including Joy Ride. A group of horny teens do something completely stupid - in this case break into Rusty Nail's magic murder-shack and steal his car - and then leave a note that perfectly describes their exact destination and travel route (including their cell phone number) and then expect to not get murdered horribly. The plot of the entire movie revolves around people being stupid and then leaving messages for stupid murderers to follow them for murder. For fuck's sake, this movie's thrust completely revolves around the stupidity of one asshole who we all wanted to die in the first five minutes. Fake Matthew Lillard literally is the sole reason anyone in the main cast gets killed at all in this movie. His self-serving attitude and biting remarks infuriate Rusty Nail and get them all into deep shit. I'm surprised that no one ever blamed fake Matthew Lillard for getting them all murdered. I would. Hell, I'd probably kill Fake Matthew Lillard myself if given the chance. Though he dies by the end, it's not enough to compensate for his idiocy. I expected comeuppance and all I got was scenes of him dressed like a girl and crying. Yeah, apparently Rusty Nail has a thing for the chicks with dicks as one of his 'pranks' forces the boy to dress in girly clothing and walk up to truckers who homophobically mock him because since when were truck drivers beacons of tolerance. That's right - never.
But that's not all. The sister of the main girl flips off Rusty Nail, which of course he sees because he sees all. This causes him to demand she cut off her middle finger and give it to him. The gang tries to get around this by going into a morgue and cutting off a finger, but it doesn't work, since, as before, Rusty Nail sees all and knows all. Eventually some people die and the surviving two must save themselves from the evil of Rusty Nail the Hitler Truck. They do manage to gain the upper hand at the end of the whole thing, but...Rusty Nail still survives. Yes. Despite him being able to jump out of his truck before it goes off a cliff (don't ask the context of this, it's completely fucking stupid), he doesn't and yet survives the fucking crash. Even after an explosion. How? Why? It makes no sense. The only explanation I can think of is whenever he dies he is reincarnated as a different colored truck (hence why in the last scene he drives a red truck). But rest assured, Rusty Nail will go on to plague sexy teens and us several more times because this establishes he's just as indestructible as Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees or the California Raisins.
IT MEANS HE'S ANGRY
The characters are the prototypical strong white girl, the white girl's boyfriend who becomes Rusty Nail's torture dummy and bait for the group (this happens in a lot in recent shit movies, surprisingly, like in The Hitcher), the white girl's sister who has no discernable personality, and the aforementioned Fake Matthew Lillard who is the sister's Internet boyfriend and a terrible mixture of bad Goth fashion stereotypes and emo faggotry. Throughout, not once do you ever feel sympathy for any of the characters. The actors, perhaps, for having to appear in such shittiness without a substantial paycheck (I assume, since this is a godawful direct to video project), but not the characters. They constantly make stupid fucking decisions, speak either lame snarky dialogue or clichéd action/horror plot movement lines (i.e., anything beginning with "we have to"), and just piss you off in general. You just want all of them to die by way of Rusty Nail's magic mystery machine. Fortunately, some of them do. Unfortunately, some of them don't and there's no telling if they'll die in a possible sequel. A central flaw of horror movies is they don't make the protagonists relatable and sympathetic. And the villain isn't very cool either, so you're left with no one to root for in Joy Ride 2. Except for the video file to stop working or for the computer to explode.
The funniest thing about this movie is that Rusty Nail has seemingly transformed himself from deranged murderer into evil truck from Hell. There are only a few scenes in which he's shown as a person, the ones which necessitate him being person-sized (like in enclosed spaces). Instead, he's almost always shown as his evil black truck. Even when he's examining his murder-shack, he doesn't leave the truck, he watches the shack from the truck, which billows angry black smoke in order to show his/its anger at the car being pilfered by the kids. This leads to some interesting questions, like, why the hell is Rusty Nail a magical truck? Did he anger some sort of evil roadside witch by raping her over the CB? Did she curse him to an eternity of raping other women over the CB as an evil black truck with nothing to gain and nothing to lose except the ability to talk to random strangers over the CB? I don't know anymore, this movie is fucking retarded. He sounds like the Sugar Crisp bear asshole mixed with Adolf Hitler.
Oh God No
Just as with many other sequels premised on the evil of a pseudo-iconic serial killer, like Jason or Freddy or Eddie Murphy, Rusty Nail becomes way too capable of everything, with no real weaknesses or character flaws besides his questionable employment of semantics. He sees everything, he does everything, he has unlimited resources and he probably eats people too. In essence, Rusty Nail equals God. Think about it, it does make some sense. In the first one, Zahn and Walker broke the commandment telling not to bear false witness against your neighbor. In the second, Rusty Nail punishes the kids for stealing shit. Should there be a Joy Ride 3: Three's a Crowd, I fully expect Rusty Nail to chance upon a group of sexy teens who failed to go to Church on Sunday. The level of punishment Rusty inflicts on people is proportional to the sorts of insane shit God heaped upon nonbelievers and lax Jews in the Old Testament. If the evil truck suddenly sprouted angelic wings in the last third of the film, it'd be far more interesting than the stupidity that ultimately did result.
The actors don't do well with their shoddy material; the fact that it's shoddy doesn't excuse them since a bad script can be elevated by talented actors. Nicki Aycox used to look hot, but now she's just bland and her acting skills were never substantial. Fake Matthew Lillard is better known as Henry Fitzroy off that godawful vampire program/pogrom Blood Ties. He sucked there and he sucks here, although at least on that show he wasn't decked out like a tranny Goth. The rest of the cast I didn't recognize and didn't care enough about to find out who they were. I don't know who voices Rusty Nail this time around, but he sure isn't Ted Levine. I wouldn't normally list the lack of Ted Levine as a negative for a movie, but Joy Ride 2 especially sucks. Fuck, I'd rather watch Monk, which doesn't even have the prospect of an evil black truck trying to kill that retard Monk.
Surely he can survive that.
This film comes from the obviously talented directing eye of Louis Morneau, who is best known for his work directing Bats and his involvement in the Busey-chocked Hitcher II: I've Been Waiting. The writer was involved in the writing of Dumb and Dumber as well as a stand-up special for Paul fucking Reiser. I don' know who's worse, Bats-man or that fuck who did Dumb and Dumber. They're both terrible, however, and that is what matters most in regards to Joy Ride 2. The directing is competent in that I didn't notice any boom mics enter the frame at any time, but the whole thing feels cheap. It is cheap, but direct to video isn't supposed to look as though it's a syndicated TV show you accidentally watched in the 90s. This could easily pass for a really violent revitalization of Knight Rider or something on the Sci-Fi Channel. Characters spout atrocious dialogue and none of them are likable at all. The situations Rusty Nail puts them into aren't interesting, entertaining or original. It's obvious the screenwriter hacked it out over a weekend.
"It's over! The nightmare's over!" Exactly my reaction too. Weird.
Joy Ride 2 fails on almost every level - narrative, characterization, directing, acting, cinematography. The only thing that can generously described as a success is the fact that some continuity between this and the first movie exists. Unlike other direct to video pieces of shit (Open Water 2, Urban Legends 3, several Hellraiser sequels), Joy Ride 2: Dead Dead Dead doesn't appear to have received the title in post-production. For better or for worse (worse), Rusty Nail is one of those characters you can use without any connection to his prior adventure or adventures. So I'm certain Rusty Nail will continue in some form for way too fucking long in popular culture. God...damnit.
How many drinks do I need for this to be good?: 1019