Two fishermen pick up a psychopathic escaped convict who tells them that he intends to murder them when the ride is over.Two fishermen pick up a psychopathic escaped convict who tells them that he intends to murder them when the ride is over.Two fishermen pick up a psychopathic escaped convict who tells them that he intends to murder them when the ride is over.
The opening caption informs us that this is based on a true story and also tries to engage the audience by pointing out how the couple in the car could have been you (or the people across the aisle). Really though it needn't have bothered with either because the caption doesn't add a great deal. It may be based on a true story but it didn't seem like it was interested in this beyond using the facts as a frame for the story and personally I didn't think it needed to try and put me into the car because Ida Lupino did that well enough by herself. The story is simple and it is to the director's credit that she holds it together so well. Yes it is short by modern standards but she should not lessen how well she has brought out a constant sense of tension whether it be in the tight confines of the car or in the desperate bleak openness of the desert.
She is helped by a strong trio of performances from actors who appear to be punching above their weights. Although they haven't a huge amount of depth in their characters they do convince in the realms of tension and fear. The friendship between O'Brien and Lovejoy is solid and helps to support the slightly weak element of the script which is that they never seem to even considering leaving the other for even a second. Talman is memorable in the title role, easily building a screen of menace before allowing the cracks to show.
A pretty good film then. It trades on atmosphere and tension, both of which Ida Lupino works with really well. The actors maybe don't have depth to trade on but they respond well to the tone of delivery and give suitably good performances.
- bob the moo
- Nov 9, 2006