Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead (DVD Review)5 Oct, 2008 By: Matt Miller
Stars Nicki Aycox, Nick Zano, Kyle Schmid, Laura Jordan.
Keeping with the general storyline of the original film, Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead gives diabolical, bloodthirsty trucker Rusty Nail four new victims to torment on the open road.
This time around, the victims are two couples — Melissa (Aycox) and Bobby (Zano), who are engaged, and Kayla (Laura Jordan) and Nik (Schmid), who met on MySpace — who find themselves stranded in the middle of nowhere after taking a detour while on a road trip to Las Vegas.
As luck would have it, they stumble upon an old, seemingly abandoned farmhouse with a working car stored in the barn. Wanting to hit the road before sundown, the group decides to borrow the car so they can continue on with their trip — with the intention of returning it as soon as possible with adequate compensation.
Unfortunately they don’t get far before Rusty Nail, the rightful owner of the house they broke into and the car they took for a joy ride, tracks the couples down at a truck stop, where he kidnaps and proceeds to torture Bobby.
This turns Melissa’s fiancé into a bargaining chip that Rusty Nail uses to force Bobby’s friends into deadly, often humiliating, situations for his amusement. As the ante grows, it’s up to Melissa to keep her cool and play his games long enough until she can get the upper hand and rescue Bobby from the throes of Rusty Nail.
Joy Ride 2 is on par with the same grisly style of death and destruction as the first film, with scene after scene of mental and physical torture — from decapitations, brandings and chopped-off fingers, this movie has it all. The story is simple, fast-paced and filled with some impressive special effects that keep the film from falling into ‘B’-movie territory.
The filmmakers also did a good job of casting seasoned young actors such as Aycox (Fox’s “Dark Angel” and The X-Files: I Want to Believe), Zano (Beverly Hills Chihuahua) and Schmid (Lifetime’s “Blood Ties”).
The DVD includes a making-of featurette about surviving on location in freezing British Columbia, and a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the make-up artist behind the film’s blood and guts.