Hey truck drivers – we’re back with another episode of Truck Driver Movies! This one is an underground gem from the late 90s, starring Kurt Russell and J.T. Walsh. It’s also the first movie we’ve featured that portrayed truck drivers as bad guys! You know it had to happen sooner or later…
One notable thing about this under-rated thriller is how Russell, usually a glaring, tough talking menace in his roles, completely plays against type. He’s the nerdy half of the married couple Jeff and Amy, who seem a little road weary but otherwise happy driving through the vast sandstone spaces of Arizona’s Monument Valley in a Jeep. Anyone could mark these two as city slickers from 100 miles away. In fact, they’re moving from Boston to new jobs in San Diego, safe in the cocoon of their loaded-down car.
Suddenly out of nowhere a dusty pickup truck appears. Jeff hits the brakes and leans on the horn, narrowly avoiding a disastrous collision. His slumbering wife jerks awake but doesn’t see what happened. Mark the incident as the first step in a now-you- see-it, now-you-don’t suspense picture.
Later, when his SUV breaks down on a remote Southwestern road, Jeff lets his wife hitch a ride with a trucker (J.T. Walsh) to get help. When she doesn’t return, Jeff fixes his SUV and tracks down the trucker who tells the police he’s never seen Amy. From there it’s all paranoia and horrifying secrets under the glaring Southwestern sun.
So yes, the villain in the picture is a truck driver. We don’t think you’ll mind that much, however, since Walsh plays the scheming trucker Red Barr with delicious flavor in this very lean and tense picture. It’s a heart-pounder!
If you wish to watch Breakdown at Amazon On Demand, you can do that here.
If you have a Netflix subscription and would like them to send you the disc, you can find that here.
If you would like to reserve Breakdown at a Redbox on your route, do that here.
Here’s the trailer at YouTube. We hope you enjoy it, truck drivers!