director Bruce McDonald
“a rock’n’roll road movie about a girl who learns to drive”
Bruce McDonald’s 1989 feature, Roadkill, is an odd mishmash of things and ideas, strung to the comic story of music label intern Ramona (Valerie Buhagiar) on the trail of a rock band gone astray on tour in Ontario. She doesn’t know how to drive at the outset, first riding with a pot-smoking cabby, then hooking up with an oddball documentary film crew, and eventually with a wannabe serial killer (Don McKellar), as she strives to get the band Children of Paradise to at least their final gig of the tour in Thunder Bay.
The comedy/road movie, like Ramona’s journey, is kind of all over the place, segueing here, fishtailing there, sometimes funny, sometimes remarkably amateurish, but somehow maintaining a likability perhaps uniquely Canadian. Perhaps uniquely Ontarian?
I queued this up after watching McDonald’s zombie apocalypse mood piece Pontypool (2008), which surprised and impressed me. I’d had a bad experience with his film Hard Core Logo (1996) at some time in the past, something I’ll have to reconsider, possibly. Maybe if I’d seen Roadkill back around that time I might have been more dismissive, too. I don’t know. But around now, I kind of liked it.