The original Joy Ride might have been described as a serial killer’s version of Jaws, only replace the shark with a trucker. It had some artistic intent in this regard though it still wasn’t anything special. The plot had to with an irate trucker hell-bent on revenge against some pranksters. As far as vengeance goes it had suspense, some blood, and heroism. Typical fare, in other words. Problem is that when you try and expand this concept to a series it loses its luster.
As the “3” indicates this is the third entry in the Joy Ride series. This time a group of racers has the unfortunate luck to piss off antagonist Rusty Nails while on the road. As you might expect the end result is Rusty overreacting, because he is a psychopath, and embarking upon a spree to kill the group of cocky professional racers. The racers try and fight back with a degree of luck but well… the results are mixed. And that’s it for plot. Encounter-flee-fight-uneasy ending. Roll credits.
The problem presents itself right off the bat: while in the original film Rusty worked his way up to murderous frenzy the actual amount of murder was limited, strictly speaking. Furthermore, this gradual incline worked to the plot’s favor as he worked his foes through a series of humiliating rituals before trying to kill them. Not so in this film: the racers slight him while on the road and he wastes no time in hunting them down and slaughtering them in gross fashion; indeed it is easy to describe the film as gore porn. Think of it as a cross between the original movie and “I Spit on Your Grave.” Just minus all the artistic flare present in each of those movies and you have what this third entry is principally about.
So: lewd sex scenes, happy-go-lucky innocents out for a good time, bad luck, drug use, and copious amounts of violence- all check. This is a cheaply made movie: small time actors fill roles meant to induce shock value in order to show the audience that this is not your typical horror film; yet, as it indulges in such excesses, it is hard to view it as anything more than another mass opiate meant to be cheaply consumed by gore porn buffs.