Roadkill (2011)
By: Devon B. on September 19, 2013 | Comments
Eagle Entertainment | Region 4, PAL | 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced) | English DD 2.0 | 84 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Roadkill DVD Art
Credits
Director: Johannes Roberts
Starring: Oliver James, Kacey Barnfield, Eliza Bennett, Stephen Rea
Screenplay: Rick Suvalle
Country: USA
The quote on the front of Roadkill, not to be confused with Road Kill, reads thusly: "This might be the best Syfy original horror movie I've seen…". Might be? It's good to see that the folks at Eagle Entertainment don't mind using wishy-washy quotes to promote their releases. If they ever re-release Roadkill, maybe they'd like to use a quote from this review for their promo blurb. Here's one – bizarrely I think I kinda liked Roadkill. The DVDs will be flying off the shelves if they put that on it!

Speaking of flying, the movie's about a group of friends that run afoul of a winged terror. A group of Americans are travelling through Ireland, and stop at a place where gypsies sell their wares. Some shenanigans around a sale lead to the friends getting gypsy cursed, which is just fuckin' typical, and the gypsies unleash a simuroc on the friends.

A simuroc is a giant, legendary bird, which, according to the film, has its basis in Sinbad, but I think the filmmakers probably got the idea from Lord of the Rings. I didn't care about the birds in Lord of the Rings, but I like raptors in general and think humongous ones should feature more often in horror cinema. Despite the film drawing comparisons to the Pouakai, or Haast's Eagle, I thought the simuroc looked less like an eagle and more like a buzzard. The CG monstrosity looks pretty funny at times, but sometimes it looks okay, and there are a few little touches that made it seem like the filmmakers had studied Q long and hard before unleashing the simuroc.

Aside from the bird, there's not a whole lot that's new on offer here. Roadkill features yet another group of disposable, uninteresting youths who I wanted dead instantly. The film has some terrible comic relief, but there is some unintentional humour and the occasional intentional gag that works. The story offers a few surprises, but not many, so really the only people that will remain engaged are those that want to see a killer bird attack annoying Americans, which I would assume is everyone who would even consider watching Roadkill.

There were two things that really, really annoyed me with Roadkill, though. The first is there's this song on the soundtrack that is so fucking bad it's worse than almost anything found on an 80s movie. It was probably only on for a minute or so, but it felt like hours of watching the friends drive around to this egregious tune, and I think the experience nearly killed me. The other thing isn't really a fault with the film, but goddamn it, Roadkill got me with a cheap jump scare. I can't even remember the last time a jump scare got me, so why I was suddenly startled by this one befuddles me, but there is the possibility that it's just well done. It'd be the only well done thing in the movie, but I guess it is a possibility.

Roadkill is rated MA, but has no swearing or nudity, no doubt a result of the bizarre ratings system in the States where gratuitous violence is fine but no one better say any naughty words or get their clothes off. It's a bad movie, absolutely, but I found it bad in a fun, cheesy kind of way. I guess I did sorta like it.
The Disc
Roadkill is a newer movie, so the print is clean and sharp. It's a lower budget film so the image isn't going to rival bigger productions, but there's not much wrong here aside from a few artefacts. Similarly clean is the audio, which is a decent 2.0 mix. There're no issues with the sound, but the audio isn't particularly impressive either. The only extras are trailers for Alien Gateway, Hirokin, Saints and Soldiers: Airbourne Creed, Outpost 2, Seven Days in Utopia and Battle Recon.
The Verdict
Roadkill is by all accounts bad, but, as with Beneath Loch Ness, it ticks a lot of the silly monster movie boxes for me. I don't know that it's the best Syfy horror movie I've seen, but it's probably in the top ten or so. Feel free to quote me on that, Eagle.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
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