Monday, April 13, 2015

Road Trip, Death trip: The Freeway Maniac (1989)

The Freeway Maniac (1989) (AKA "Breakdown")
Rating: ***
Starring: Loren Winters, Shepherd Sanders, Donald Hotton

Sometimes, it’s a healthier option to just go with the flow and let the stupidity of a movie entertain you for whatever it is worth. This, of course, is a gamble as some movies can be so stupid that loosening up would lead to a celluloid torture comparable to having your skullcap surgically removed and have your brain sautéed by Hannibal Lecter. Then again, there are also those movies that are so effin bad, it’s effin lovable and worthy enough to be enjoyed over and over again like a cheesy 80s pop song.

The Freeway Maniac, doesn't fall in any of these category. In fact, it is best described as confused.

It tells the story of Arthur, our titular freeway maniac who got thrown to a mental asylum for murdering his mum and her boyfriend as a kid. He grows up into a fine well-built psycho with a mullet who, one day, finds the chance to escape captivity and murders every orderly that tried to stop him before hitting the road to continue the joys of spree killing.

Eventually, he crosses path with a rising starlet, Linda Kinney, who was just having the worse of luck; not only did she found her boyfriend sleazing up with another bimbo and nearly got herself assaulted by a couple grease monkey when her car broke down in the middle of the nowhere, she now has to deal with a runaway psychopath. After a lengthy chase, Linda eventually saves herself by tossing off Arthur with her car; psycho got captured, Linda got famous from the attack and becomes some sort of cult favorite cuz, a year later, she’s acting for a low-budget scifi movie titled “Astronette”.

While Linda goes into filming, Arthur escapes for the second time (!!!) and murders his way cross country to the shooting, bumping off some of the casts and crew before going for the one that got away! Will he succeed? Will he fail? And how does anyone survive a four story drop?

I'm going to keep this review as simple as possible since there isn't really anything new to tell here; Arthur is a smirking maniac who simply kills anybody that are literally in the way, Linda is a girl with a dream, victims remain victims and the kills, though plentiful, reek of dairy.

Seriously on the latter, this movie boasts an impressive double digit killing spree, with some of the more entertaining bits being the bellyflop of death that Arthur did on a orderly early in the film (Take notice, again, of the "four story drop" claim I made at a previous paragraph), some guy getting ran over with a motorbike (with an obvious ramp placed under his shirt), and an impressive looking truck stunt that leads to multiple casualties. The rests of the count are simple stabbings, strangulation, blunt object braining and one guy getting hit on the chest with a chair. For the sake of this movie's corniness, I'm counting that last one as a death toll.

Production, from acting to lighting, to special effects and direction, is abysmal, however, but it's naturally expected from a low-budget cheesefest like The Freeway Maniac. Like, for real; with a plot so thin and straight forward, I wouldn't expect high standards. I guess that's one particular reason why I'm so forgiving to this movie; it's so unintentionally funny and it stank the stink of a hundred McDonald Big Macs, delicious in every way but it clogs up your arteries, destroys your liver and makes your butt look big.

That being said, this is yet again another junk food equivalent of a slasher movie, not meant to be enjoyed by just anybody, but by somebody! Somebody who can exchange character development for a dead body for every minute. Somebody who can enjoy seeing hammy acting and cheesy special effects. Somebody who is probably smoked on something and is completely unaware of what they're watching. Have I ever done drugs? Hell no! I got The Freeway maniac as an alternative!

Either that or Horror House on Highway 5 but even I still can't stomach that!

1 female knifed to death
1 male knifed to death
1 male hit on the chest with a chair
1 male brained against the wall
1 male strangled
1 female strangled
1 male pounded on the face
1 male thrown off a building, crushed by killer’s belly flop (!)
1 male strangled
1 male brained with a lead pipe
1 male had his head dragged across the road
1 male stabbed on the side with a syringe
1 male brained with a lead pipe
1 male ran over with a truck
1 female thrown off during a car crash
1 male and 1 female mangled in car crash
1 male and 1 female immolated in car explosion
1 male pounded to death
1 female impaled on a thrown javelin
1 male had his neck broken
1 male repeatedly ran over with a motorbike
1 male dismembered with a chainsaw
1 male brained to death with a hammer
1 male had his head pushed to a clothes peg
1 male hacked to death with a prop claw
Total: 27

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