When a car gets stolen, most people will just let insurance take care of it. However, if you’re the type of person who would stalk and torture a bunch of college kids just because they played a prank on you over a CB radio, it’s perfectly reasonable to do the exact same thing to the people who swiped your wheels.
That’s just what happens in JOY RIDE: END OF THE ROAD, Fox’s direct-to-DVD sequel to its 2001 chiller, which recently lensed in British Columbia. Starting fresh with a completely new cast and crew headed by BATS and THE HITCHER II director Louis Morneau, the new story (scripted by James Robert Johnston and Bennett Yellin) is about a group of young adults on a road trip to Las Vegas. After their car breaks down, they steal another one in desperation to get them the rest of the way—only to discover that it really belongs to the deranged sociopath known as Rusty Nail, who will stop at nothing to get his auto back—nor will he stop once he does.
Taking advantage of the (then-impending) WGA strike and British Columbia’s variable climate, END OF THE ROAD recreates the original film’s creepy atmosphere on the Canadian location, doubling the deserts of Utah. One will also recall that JOY RIDE was decidedly light on gore and violence, with a heavier emphasis on psychological terror, even going as far as leaving the villain largely unseen. Not that the team behind the follow-up isn’t pulling out all the stops, however (pun intended), providing plenty of automotive mayhem and even some makeup FX by Bill (FREDDY VS. JASON) Terezakis.
“We have an awful lot of stuntwork, and there are a lot of resulting special effects and crashes and explosions,” producer Connie Dolphin tells Fango. “I believe we’ve been fairly true to the original JOY RIDE. There are some punctuations of horror; Bill has provided us with some great pieces that will show up in the movie.”
Much as in the previous film, Rusty Nail goes largely unseen, outside of a shadowy figure and a menacing voice on the CB (intoned originally by THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS’ Ted Levine, who had not yet been approached to reprise the role as of this writing). Playing the villain on screen is Canadian actor Mark Gibbon (previously seen in THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK and the Sci Fi Channel’s FLASH GORDON), who is quite aware that he may be seen but not heard in the final feature. “Movement is very important, and the biggest challenge is being aware of my physicality,” Gibbons says. “I chose to create a voice, but we’ll see if they decide to use me or the original [actor].”
The cast of Rusty Nail’s potential victims is filled with fresh but familiar faces, including Kyle (TV’s BLOOD TIES) Schmid, Nick (WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU) Zano, Nicki (JEEPERS CREEPERS 2) Aycox and Laura (THR3E) Jordan.