Roadkill (1989, Bruce McDonald)

“If you wanna drive, you’ve gotta kill.”

Opens with a mini-documentary about rabbit breeding, and I’m thinking someone had been watching L’age d’Or lately.

Bruce with his lead actress:

Record label flunky Ramona (Valerie Buhagiar, later in Highway 61) is assigned the task of tracking down a touring band gone missing, Children of Paradise. She takes a taxi for this purpose, drives 18 hours straight. Main label guy Roy, with slicked-back hair and a vaguely familiar look (he had small parts in eXistenZ and A History of Violence) stays back, yelling at her over the phone when she calls in.

Roy:

She finds the band briefly, but the singer has disappeared. So she pools her efforts with a documentary crew (the director of which is played by Bruce McDonald himself) also hired to document the Children of Paradise. At some point she has sex with a 15-year-old guy at the drive-in, who gives her his car. Ramona finally finds the band’s singer, now a spaced-out mute bald hot-dog salesman. But he wanders off, leaving her with a self-proclaimed serial killer, played by Don McKellar, the movie’s writer. All the players (including Roy) meet up at a bar for the finale, supposed to be the Children of Paradise’s final show, and it is, since Don shoots a whole bunch of people (including the documentary crew – only movie I’ve seen in which the writer gets to kill the director).

Mute vocalist:

Postscript: the taxi’s meter rolls over and Ramona only owes a couple bucks. Also the cabby meets Joey Ramone for some reason.

Fun indie movie, creatively and energetically shot, with wall-to-wall music. I’d be glad to see more indie films take their cues from punk rock instead of from Little Miss Sunshine.

Joshua at Octopus Cinema:

Aesthetically, the film contains many more iconic moments than one would think, from the silhouetted conversation [Don McKellar] has with Ramona to the solitary dance Ramona shares with Luke in the center of a grouping of cars, McDonald peppers the film with moments of intermittent beauty, striking images that remain on the brain for hours afterward.

Related posts