The Movie Waffler First Look Review - ROAD HEAD | The Movie Waffler

First Look Review - ROAD HEAD

road head review
Three friends become the targets of a murderous cult.

Review by Sue Finn

Directed by: David Del Rio

Starring: Elizabeth Grullon, Damian Joseph Quinn, Clayton Farris, Misty Bones

road head poster

We first meet the sword swinging antagonist of this movie when a couple who, after indulging in a little sexy time while driving the car, almost run him over.

After they are swiftly dispatched, three new fresh faced ‘sinners/victims’ are introduced as they drive through a barren landscape of salt flats and desert. They are looking for Isola Lake for a druggy weekend camp away. When they eventually find their destination, they are dismayed to find it has sadly dried up due to climate change, leaving them trying to make the best of it in the middle of nowhere.

road head review

Alex (a winning Damian Joseph Quinn) and Bryan (personable Clayton Farris) are a couple, and want to increase their Instagram followers with moody picturesque landscape photography.

Bryan’s friend Steph (a tough as nails Elizabeth Grullon) is getting over her cheating ex-boyfriend David and gatecrashing their romantic weekend.

The trio stumbles upon the two severed heads of our earlier victims and, after striking out with the police, they are confronted by the sword bearing stranger.

Though one of our car-trippers meets their maker here, this at least launches the story into a more expansive narrative, yet first we have to stumble about in the nothingness with the pair of survivors for a time. There are confrontations, near-misses with the police and David shows up as Stephanie’s imaginary friend whenever she feels threatened, but he often offers no comfort and it’s an odd distraction in an already strange movie. Unfortunately, Steph is also a wholly unlikable character as it seems the film-makers had decided that ‘kick-ass woman’ translates to ‘aggressively hostile woman’. When they are discovered again by a bad man in a tricked-out Thor costume, Steph is kidnapped and taken to a secret society called The Order that she summarises succinctly as ‘Douche Lords in cloaks in the desert’.

road head review

This is the part of the film that piqued my interest; the dialogue in this sequence is well written and is an unexpectedly amusing point in what is otherwise a two-hander with exasperating dialogue.

Felicity Fellatio Bones (Misty Bones) is a breath of fresh air as the (Drag) Queen of The Order. Her wisecracks and the confusion about her gender by other members of The Order are funny, though some of the jokes come dangerously close to being offensive (“I used to be gay until it was electrocuted out of me”). I’ll admit I did laugh out loud to the members having new names in the cult, and using their old names to antagonise each other.

Once we leave the cult (way too soon) the film falls back into a less inspired story and ends on a fairly subdued and frankly, predictable note; it should have finished five minutes before it did, as that was a far more satisfying and interesting place to end things.

Written by Justin Xavier and Directed by actor David Del Rio (the duo behind 2018’s Sick for Toys), this is a meandering film that barely scrapes into the horror genre.

road head review

Campy, but not enough to be fun, this is lensed handsomely and well-acted. The direction is inventive and there are some unintentionally hilarious lines, such as a shook Bryan declaring “I can’t promise I’ll stay on the road” as they are surrounded by miles of desert and no roads, or this from Alex after someone is injured - “Is there a hospital nearby?”

This was not a bad movie, but it could have been a good one if it had picked a lane and stuck to it. If it had embraced the hammy farcical shtick at its centre it could have been a deliciously fun time, but by wanting to have its cake and eat it too it is ultimately let down by its indecisiveness.

Next time, trust the drag queen.

Road Head is on US DVD/VOD now. A UK/ROI release has yet to be announced.

2021 movie reviews