Joy Ride (2001)

Directed by: John Dahl

Written by: Clay Tarver & J.J. Abrams


Steve Zahn ....
Fuller Thomas
Paul Walker .... Lewis Thomas
Leelee Sobieski .... Venna
Ted Levine .... Voice of Rusty Nail

Special Appearance:

Jim Beaver .... Sheriff Ritter

Release Date: Toronto Film Festival: September 9, 2001; Theatrical: October 5, 2001; Tokyo International Fantastic Film Festival: October 26, 2001; Fantiastic Film Festival: April 12, 2002 (Netherlands)

*Photo's courtesy at







A young man named Lewis Thomas (Paul Walker) goes on a road trip to pick up his girlfriend Venna Wilcox (Leelee Sobieski) from college.
On his way there he bails his brother Fuller (Steve Zahn) out of jail. Fuller still wants to act like a wild child and decides to go along for the car ride.
Before they pick up Venna, Fuller decides to play what he calls a harmless prank on Lewis' CB radio as he is talking to a truck driver named Rusty Nail (voiced by Ted Levine) making out that he is a sexy woman named Candy Cane.
After they pick up Venna they stay at a hotel and Fuller continues to talk to Rusty Nail as they try to get even to a grumpy resident at the hotel telling Rusty to come over to his room for fun.
Rusty does just that but then things turn serious as Rusty nearly kills the man by breaking open his jaw.
They are not off the hook that easily as Rusty follows them wherever they go and terrorises them half to death.


There's many great scene's between both Fuller and Lewis as siblings driving in their vehicle together with side shots on them. There's also a great moment with Fuller trying to urge on Lewis to imitate a voice of a female on a walkie talkie as the scene looked very well done with close up shots on Lewis doing the voice and then they end up cracking up. All of this looked realistic on some people having fun.
There's a good scene with a customer acting aggressive towards a night hotel clerk as with a good shot on Fuller entering and asking for a room with this customer exploding at him. All of this looked very well done.
There's many good shots with Lewis in his car making a prank on his walkie talkie with a red hotel light reflecting on their vehicle.
The best frightening moment of all on the film is when both Fuller and Lewis are in their hotel room and listen next door when they try to set up Rusty Nails and they hear little sounds with a good camera shot on both of them listening to the wall with a picture in the middle as the camera zooms in with a flash of lightning occuring. There's good expressions on the two of them acting concerned and other events of them calling the manger to see if everything is okay. This scene really leaves a chill down your spine.
There's many good shots between an officer questioning both Fuller and Lewis about a deadly incident at the hotel with nice moments on him getting demanding towards the two of them with both of them acting nervous which was quite impressive.
There's a good slow motion shot on Fuller and Lewis approaching a window with shocked expressions on what they see.
Good camera shot looking up on a Sheriff getting obnoxious and aggressive towards both Fuller and Lewis at what they did which shows great energy surrounding all of them.
There's also great shocked reactions on the two of them after the voice of Rusty telling them about their broken taillight and looking behind and sideways when they're driving to see who's talking to them on the walkie talkie.
There's a nice moment with the two of them freaking out while trying to speed away and suddenly trapped by a gate while speeding away from an ice truck with a good shot on the driver tapping on their window and the two panicking like crazy.
There's a perfect dark camera shot on a truck smashing through the ice truck with Fuller and Lewis scared out of their wits and speeding away. There's great shots on the car speeding away in a forest area with the truck on their tail.
A nice shot on a car next to a tree with a close up shot on the truck slowly moving in and pushing the car up next to the tree with both of them crying in fear screaming and begging forgiveness on the walkie talkie.
There's a good cringing moment with rednecks in a bar trying to come on strong towards Venna and Lewis trying to defend her which looked good on him being scared as the rest were getting ready to beat him up. It leaves you a good impression imaginging you were in that position and trying to get out of it.
Good close up shot on Fuller talking to Venna trying to make a move on her at her hotel door.
There's a good shot on a phone ringing with Lewis sleeping and struggling to pick up the phone with suddenly him jumping up realising he's being harrassed once again by Rusty Nail. Then there's a nice shot on him running out of his hotel room and coming into another room where Fuller and Venna are in with panic going on between the two of them and Venna questioning on what's going on. The moments here was really whipped into a frenzy during this moment.
A nice moment with both Fuller and Lewis coming out of their car stripped naked walking into a diner with customers looking disgusted which looked good. There's also a good moment with Venna trying to act calm talking on the walkie talkie with tears streaming down on her face.
We spot a nice misty shot on the three of them out of their car near a cornfield and the truck chasing after all of them in a cornfield with good close up shots on them trying to hide in certain area's looking scared as well as a shot on the truck stopping and using a light to look around.
There's a nice shot on Venna being taped to a chair with shots on Rusty in the darkness placing traps around her which involves a shotgun as well as a nice close up shot on the gun and the gun looking up at her.
There's terrific energy with Fuller and Lewis panicking and going to a certain hotel room and pounding on the door of the room to try and find her.
Also the truck constantly chasing after the three by smashing into anything especially crashing their car into a tree is absolutely marvellous.
Bottom line: Oh yesssss. Full of mystery and lots of scares too as you will fear what if a driver does that to you, terrorising you to pieces and won't leave you alone. The film teaches you a lesson on what can happen if you pull off a prank to a stranger. This film is a must for all horror film buffs. It really psychs you out when this Rusty Nail guy pressures the two other guys on what to do in order to save their friend who is kidnapped by them which boggles you thinking to yourself what could happen if you were in their shoes. It's just really insane. Also Rusty isn't fully revealed which makes you wonder where he's from but that's what makes a great horror film. Think of Black Christmas. There's tons of twists and turns in the story with excellent stuntwork on the truck attacking anything in it's way too. At the end leaves a sequel open and it was great that one happened leaving more terror and excitement but not as good as this one. Normally sequels aren't.

The acting is great as everyone performs very realistic. Steve Zahn (Fuller Thomas) was a natural playing a free spirited young man just bending the rules alot as he knew how to act like a goofball showing lots of great energy to his role in the film. He had a ton of spunk.
Paul Walker
(Lewis Thomas) really knew his stuff as well playing the serious brother bringing a good charm to his role and had the perfect heartthrob appeal to him. He knew how to really be forceful and aggressive when it was necessary.
Leelee Sobieski
(Venna) has a nice easy going type of attitude to her part in the film showing a good healthy attitude as well as really knowing how to try to keep it together when the terrors are happening. She shows good fearful expressions while being taped to a chair and tied up.
Uncredited voice actor Ted Levine (Voice of Rusty Nail) is the best with his cold sounding voice and sounds very threatening and deadly.
Jim Beaver
(Sheriff Ritter) had a small role in the film but he was worth discussing in which he showed a great redneck attitude by acting aggrerssive and very stern bring every ounce of energy to the big screen. He was a true born character actor and had a good aggressive look to him too.

Steve Zahn and Paul Walker show off their butts while they are forced to be naked while walking into a diner.

A man's bottom jaw is torn off.
A persons leg is stabbed through a metal object on the ground.

Marco Beltrami composes his stuff perfectly for the film by making his music sound suspenseful with lots of powerful classical violin and trombone playing. Plus we hear some dark music too along with many booming noises which makes the film effective for the jumping scene's. There's never a dull moment with this fellow.

Lewis: He's watching us!

Fuller: Do a woman's voice.

Rusty Nail: I was just playing.

Lewis: Do you ever miss Mom and Dad?
Fuller: Yeah, I miss Mom's chocolate chip cookies, playing football with Dad on Sundays, going to... oh wait, I must have mixed my child-hood with someone else's I mean... no.

Rusty Nail: Candy Cane? Hey anybody know a Candy Cane?
Lewis: Rusty Nail?

Ice Truck Driver: Do you guys need help back to the main road?
Fuller: No, we're okay, now that we're not murdered or anything.

[about the car]
Venna: Have you guys named it yet?
Fuller: Not yet, but we were thinking about "Tad" or "Lewis's Shitty Newport".

Fuller: I have never felt like more of a pussy in my entire life.

[after installing the CB]
Fuller: This is like some kinda prehistoric Internet.

Fuller: I'VE GOT A GUN!

Venna: I'm not going anywhere until somebody tells me why I should be afraid of a radio.

Rusty Nail: [on the phone] Ya know what I really get a kick out of? Pretending the person I'm talking to is right next to me. Right next to me...

Venna: How afraid should I be?
Fuller: More than usual.

[Over the CB radio]
Rusty Nail: You know, Black Sheep, you really oughtta get that fixed.
Fuller: Get what fixed?
Rusty Nail: Your tail light.

Rusty Nail: Apologize.
Fuller: No. Listen, you sick fuck, you pathetic, lonely, walkie-talkie, freak show motherfucker. You're not getting anything from me. Know why? Because I have something that's more powerful then your psychosis. It's called a volume knob, and the only thing I have to do to make you go away is to turn it counterclockwise. You got that? You copy that?
Rusty Nail: You know, Black Sheep, you really ought to get that fixed.
Fuller: Get what fixed?
Rusty Nail: Your taillight.

[after Paul Walker intentionally runs off the road]
Fuller: So, do you need me to drive, er, you good?

Fuller: [holding up his thumb and index finger] I got a gun!

Fuller: [talking into the CB radio] Howdy, you got Black Sheep here with Mama's Boy. Who we got? over.
Lewis: Can I please get a better handle than Mama's Boy?
Fuller: No.

Fuller: Alright no cops 'til Jamestown. Free to speed like a mother fucker for like the next 40 miles or so.

Fuller: [Fuller and Lewis are driving] You know, with the exception of the seat spring piercing my ass, this ride's excellent.

Lewis: I've got a plan.
Venna: What's your plan?
Lewis: Let's never go back there again.
Venna: Oh, I can't wait to never go back there.

Fuller: Do what I do. Just remind yourself that in a hundred years you're gonna be dead. It's the closest thing I've got to a philosophy.

[after fuller has the cb radio installed]
Lewis: You put a hole in my car.

Fuller: Come on, I know what Dad says about me behind my back. That I'm the world's biggest loser. And that's coming from a plumber! That's coming from a man who wears a lime green jumpsuit to work everyday!

Rusty Nail: Now they know what it feels like... to be the butt-end of the joke. Your palms sweating, your face burning up. Now they know what it's like... to be the fucking punch line.

Lewis: You should call home every once in a while. You know, when you don't need bail money?
Fuller: Yeah, but how often is that?