September was all over the map, with episodes on influential slow burn It Follows, A Nightmare on Elm Street‘s wacky “final” entry Freddy’s Dead, David Lynch’s surreal LA satire Mulholland Drive, and classic lesbian vampire film Dracula’s Daughter. Now that we’re into October, it’s time to bring out some big titles, starting with director John Dahl‘s under appreciated 2001 highway horror flick, Joy Ride.
In the film, estranged brothers Lewis (Paul Walker) and Fuller (Steve Zahn) pull what they believe is a harmless prank on Rusty Nail, a lonely truck driver (voiced by Ted Levine). But what begins as a joke becomes something far more dangerous when Rusty Nail begins stalking and terrorizing them, as well as Lewis’ crush, Venna (Leelee Sobieski). It all builds to a series of dramatic near fatal encounters as the trio fight for their lives.
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Episode 146 – Joy Ride (2001)
We’re cruising into October with our trusty CB radio in hand for a rewatch of John Dahl’s Joy Ride (2001). The film features a pretty iconic scene of stars Paul Walker and Steve Zahn walking naked into a diner, but that’s not the only queer aspect of this highway horror film.
Using Eric Langberg’s Gayly Dreadful piece, we consider how the film is in conversation with the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard and how that opens up readings of hate crimes, gay panic and repressed sexuality in the film’s villain Rusty Nail (Ted Levine).
Plus: Trace’s hatred of pranks, fears of doxxing, the film’s MANY endings, misusing Leelee Sobieski, and coming to grips with the fact that Fuller is actually an asshole.
Cross out Joy Ride!
Coming up on Wednesday: In anticipation of Michael Myers’ return to theaters and Peacock with Halloween Kills, we’re revisiting the first film in David Gordon Green’s trilogy, Halloween (2018)!
– Joe & Trace
P.S. Subscribe to our Patreon for tons of additional content! For October, we’re going all-in on horror TV with minisodes on Slasher: Flesh & Blood and Midnight Mass. Plus: we’re checking out new franchise entries Halloween Kills and Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin. Finally, to coincide with the release of Don Mancini’s Chucky series on Syfy, we’ll have a full audio commentary on Child’s Play 2.