Horror Movie Review: Joy Ride 3: Roadkill (2014)

The third and final entry in the Joy Ride series of movies just so happens to be the worst of the bunch. Which really is an impressive feat when you consider how bad 2008’s Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead was.

The very first Joy Ride in 2001 was no classic by any stretch but a solid cast, imaginative set pieces, and a memorable villain made it stand out. Joy Ride 3: Roadkill couldn’t be further from this.

Written and directed by Declan O’Brien, an opening that sees a pair of drug addicts fall foul of Rusty Nail (Ken Kirzinger) in a Saw-esqe set-piece is all the clues you need that this series has lost its way. The titular villain of the series (played by a third different actor) is more psychotic and more brazen than ever before. So much so that the stretch of road he ‘patrols’ is known as a murder hotspot by the locals and police. Yet still, he evades capture, all while driving his big rig and killing those who offend him.

The latest to get the ire of Rusty Nail are members of a race car team, who are travelling to the next big race and try to save some time and test the car’s ability by taking the highway that Rusty Nail hangs out on. When they run into him, they end up pissing him off and from that point onwards, he vows to make them pay.

It’s as boring as it sounds. Filled with a bunch of highly unlikable characters played by a wholly average cast. All the focus is on Rusty Nail and his abilities to be everywhere they are, abilities to track them with ease, and escape any scenario that could see him draw the attention of the police. Which he does, but they just happen to be some of the most useless examples of law enforcement in horror.

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The realism of the first movie is gone. The realism of the second is nowhere to be found. You can’t help but start to wonder if Rusty Nail has some sort of supernatural powers, so egregious is his ability to hunt and deal with these bland and boring characters.

Happily, it’s not all complete rubbish though. Ken Kirzinger makes a good villain and although he is overused here, he does make for a detestable guy. His punishments, while extreme and clearly inspired by the likes of Saw and Hostel, do result in some nice, gory moments.

The ending, which finally sees someone turning the tables on him, is exciting. These are things that ensure Joy Ride 3: Roadkill isn’t a complete waste of time. Even if it is the worst of the three movies overall.


  • Carl Fisher

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Joy Ride 3: Roadkill (2014)
  • The Final Score - 2.5/10
User Review
8.35/10 (2 votes)