Road Head, directed by David Del Rio and written by Justin Xavier, is exactly what you think it is and more. It opens on a couple driving late at night when the young lady gets a little frisky and offers to orally stimulate the young man while he is driving. They stop when the young man nearly runs over a guy who looks like the bastard love child of Burning Man and the Renaissance Pleasure Festival known only as the Executioner (Adam Nemet). When they confront him, they are decapitated in the middle of the road by the craven cosplaying creature.
Flash forward, and a trio of friends are driving to a lake to enjoy the weekend. Alex (Damian Joseph Quinn) and Bryan (Clayton Farris) are trying to cheer up Stephanie (Elizabeth Grullon) after a nasty break-up. During their visit, Stephanie decides to get high and take a nap. At which point Alex to offers to go down on Bryan while he drives. That’s when Bryan sees two heads in the middle of the road. They get out to investigate (don’t do this) and are met with the hulking mass of muscular malice. Pursued relentlessly by The Executioner, the three friends try to make it out of the desert alive.
“Pursued relentlessly by The Executioner, the three friends try to make it out of the desert alive.”
While Road Head is a fun horror-comedy worth watching, it does have a few problems. I love a good genre-bender more than most, but they are very tricky beasts. The filmmakers are trying their best, but the shifts in tone prove a little jarring. It goes from straight horror to slapstick comedy to genuine pathos faster than you can say, “Hey, give me a b*****b while I operate a motor vehicle.” All these moments work, but the transitions between them will cause whiplash. Stephanie is told by the lurching leather-bound lothario known as the Executioner, that she’ll be raped daily to give the cult he belongs to children. The next scene where she meets the cult is an over-the-top clown scene. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hilarious but also clashing with the horror we just witnessed.
I do love me some Grand Guignol-type stories, and this is a gory good time. The pacing is excellent, and Rio sets the stage and builds the tension to earn the jump scares. And as with most films of this nature, the gore effects are as important as any other aspect. You’ll be happy to know they don’t disappoint.
"…90 minutes of slapstick, gore, and the occasional heartfelt talk."