(director: Richard Franklin; screenwriter: story and screenplay by Everett De Roche; cinematographer: Vincent Monton; editor: Edward McQueen-Mason; music: Brian May; cast: Stacy Keach (Patrick Quid), Jamie Lee Curtis (Hitch/Pamela Rushworth), Marion Edward (Frita Frugal/Madeline ‘Sunny’ Day), Grant Page (Smith or Jones) ; Runtime: 100; MPAA Rating: PG; producer: Richard Franklin; AVCO Embassy (Quest); 1981-Australia)

Under the radar Hitchcock influenced thriller is a road version of Rear Window.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Under the radar Hitchcock influenced thriller is a road version of Rear Window. It’s ably produced and directed by Aussie filmmaker Richard Franklin(“Visitors”/”Brilliant Lies”/”Cloak and Dagger”) and expertly written by Everett De Roche, who bases it on his own story.

Eccentric, poetry spouting, and chatty Melbourne independent truck driver Stacy Keach, accompanied by his pet dog, is on the road to Perth to deliver pork. The trucker, believing he sees the driver of a green van burying a body by the side of the road on the Outback, grows suspicious that the driver is the serial killer of female hitch-hikers, someone the police are looking for. When he reports this info to the police, he’s rebuffed and becomes a suspect. With that, the obsessive trucker, who talks to himself when behind the wheel, goes after his suspect by himself.

Jamie Lee Curtis plays an heiress hitch-hiker, who is befriended when picked up by Keach. She is later kidnapped by the killer.

The pic features two superior car chases. But the film falters when it goes on for too long without action, relying just a blend of suspense and comedy, and its conclusion is rather disappointing.