|Directed by||Richard Franklin|
|Produced by||Richard Franklin|
|Written by||Everett De Roche
Jamie Lee Curtis
|Music by||Brian May|
|Editing by||Edward McQueen-Mason|
|Distributed by||Embassy Pictures|
|Running time||101 minutes|
|Box office||A$100,800,000 (estimated)|
Patrick Quid (Stacy Keach), a truck driver assigned the delivery of a meat shipment across to Perth, repeatedly notices a green van at various points on his route. When he learns of a serial killer at large in the area, he starts to suspect the van's driver.
Quid picks up a hitchhiker, Pamela Rushworth (Jamie Lee Curtis), and the two discuss their theories about the killer. When they spot the van parked near the restroom of a service station, Quid investigates. Upon seeing a pair of feet beneath the cubicle door, he assumes the killer is inside. However, Pamela simultaneously investigates the van, only to discover the killer inside, who kidnaps her and leaves. The man in the restroom turns out to be an innocent traveler.
Quid pursues the van, but upon noticing that the driver and Pamela are apparently conversing freely, believes his theory to have been disproved, and his pursuit is soon stalled behind a slow moving car.
Later that night, Quid notices the van parked off the side of the road, and pulls over to investigate. He hears people giggling in the bushes nearby and assumes that Pamela and the van driver are engaged in sexual intercourse. When he breaks into the van to investigate, he finds an esky which he expects to contain body parts, but finds that it actually contains food so he rests his suspicions.
Quid arrives at the outskirts of Perth, and while reporting to the weigh station, sees the same green van. The proximity of several police cars revives his suspicions, and he follows the van through the streets of Perth, trailed by the police. Eventually the van reaches a dead end, and Quid's truck becomes stuck in the narrow alleys.
The van driver approaches Quid's truck and attempts to strangle Quid with a garrotte, but Quid manages to disarm him. When Quid starts to strangle the van driver with the same weapon, the police arrive and falsely assume that Quid is the killer. Upon freeing a gagged and bound Pamela from the van, the police learn that Quid is innocent, and pursue Pamela's actual captor through the crowd.
When Quid finally delivers the meat shipment, a torso and human head, presumably belonging to a murder victim, are found in his trailer.
While making, Patrick, Richard Franklin gave Everett De Roche a copy of Rear Window as an example of how he wanted the script typed. De Roche loved the script and expressed his desire to write a film with a plot similar to Rear Window, but set on a moving vehicle. He developed the idea with Franklin in Fiji, where the latter was co-producing The Blue Lagoon (1980). De Roche wrote the first draft of Roadgames over a period of 8 days in a hotel, with Franklin visiting periodically during breaks in the production of Blue Lagoon.
Shot on location in the Nullarbor Plain and in Melbourne, the budget of $1.75 million was the highest ever for an Australian film at that time. Avco Embassy paid $500,000 for all rights outside Australia, and the balance came from the Greater Union, the Australian Film Commission, the Victorian Film Corporation, and the Western Australian Film Council.
Australian actress Lisa Peers was cast to play opposite him, but the US distributors insisted on an American co-star, so Franklin cast Jamie Lee Curtis. The film ran into trouble with Actors Equity when the Melbourne branch of the union approved the importation of Curtis, but the Sydney branch opposed it. "We found ourselves as the ping-pong ball in a game of politics between Melbourne and Sydney, and it nearly resulted in the film closing down," said Franklin. Franklin later acknowledged wishing he had increased the size of Curtis' part to take more advantage of her.
Roadgames did not perform as well in the United States as originally expected, which Franklin blames on its marketing as a slasher film. However, it did lead to Franklin landing the job of directing Psycho II in 1983.
- David Stratton, The Avocado Plantation: Boom and Bust in the Australian Film Industry, Pan MacMillan, 1990 p261-262
- "Interview with Richard Franklin", Signet, 15 September 1995 accessed 18 November 2012
- Scott Murray, "Richard Franklin: Director/Producer", Senses of Cinema, 12 July 2008 accessed 26 October 2012
- Kangaroo Hitchcock: The Making of Roadgames (2003)
- Interview with Richard Franklin, Mondo Stump, originally published in Eros Magazine Vol 3 No 1 (2003), Canberra accessed 15 October 2012
- IMDb awards
- Roadgames at the Internet Movie Database
- Roadgames at the National Film and Sound Archive
- Roadgames OST track listing on 1M1 Records' website