Sunday, 15 May 2011

Duel (1971)

Written by Axemaster on May 15 2011
Rating 8 out of 10

Director   -   Steven Spielberg

Dennis Weaver    -    David Mann
Carey Loftin        -    The Truck Driver

  Hey there all you Highway Hellions !! Axemasters in the dungeon on this rainy night with another Classic of yesterday ..... Duel !!
Its a good thing that this flicks tittle rhymes with Cool , because that's exactly what it is ! Here's the story line in a nut shell ................

   Mild mannered sales man David Mann , is on a road trip to meet an important client . He hops in the old reliable Plymouth Valiant ( I had one of these growing up !! Yes , I'm an old bastard !! ) and heads off on the sunny back roads of southern California . The talk radio is on and Old Dave is having a great time , talking right along with them ! (come on admit it you do it too !) Everything is going fine until he comes up behind a creepy , dirty , stinky old transport truck . This thing looks like Satan himself could be hauling freight on his off days !!
"Satan's trucking ! How May We Help You !?"
  Now , being as he's in a bit of a rush , Old Dave , well he kind of gets a bit close to this rolling death trap , and after inhaling a few lungs full of diesel exhaust , he passes the truck ......... on a solid line ! (Dun Da Da Dun !! ) He keeps right on rolling along . However , old Truck Boy has taken offense to this slight ! This Insult of the High Highway !! How dare he pass ON THE SOLID !!! After all ....... Truck Boy is ... The King Of The Road ! (By No Means !)
"Ten and Two Dam It Ten And Two !!"
  So , as old Dave is rolling along , the Stinky Semi Screams past him and cuts him off !! (Son Of A ..... !!!!) Then slows right down in front of the good old Valiant Again ! Now David says something like "Gee willikers Buddy !" and well , he does what any red blooded north American male would do !! He puts the hammer down (in this case the old valiant is a bit of a dog !) and blasts past that old whore of a truck for a second time ! This earns him a blast from Truck Boys air horn , but he just keeps right on driving , thinking the worst is now behind him . So , he drives about a mile or two , and promptly ...... Stops for gas !! ( two guesses who stops with him !! Duh !) As he's having the old pump jockey see to the trusty Valiant , in pulls the ozone crushing rig ! In a tense scene , Dave , still in his car , sees the truck pull up , and eyes the cab a bit apprehensively . But truck Boy is just sitting in there ..... waiting . All Dave can see is a gnarled hand holding the giant wheel ! (creepy sort of hand too ! ) Well , Dave looks away for a minute , and he hears the trucks door slam ! We see the cowboy boot clad feet (Gee A trucker with cowboy boots !? NO !!) of Truck Boy walking on the other side of the rig . The pump Jockey distracts Dave again , and when he looks back , truck Boy is nowhere to be seen . So Dave goes into the gas station to use the phone . He calls his wife , and in a bit of an exchange , we learn that , said wife is pissed at old Dave because they were at a party , and one of Dave's co-workers came on to her in a big way ! Seems that dave is .... well a bit mild ! He has trouble with confrontation !! (Uh Oh ! sorry for your luck Dave !!) Anyway , after promising his wife he'll be home for dinner (Double Uh Oh !) Dave hits the road again ! And this is where the Shit hits the fan !! The Truck comes barreling up from behind , and the gloves come off !! No more Mr. Nice Guy ! The Duel .... Begins !
"Can't we just play Badminton !? Best 2 out of 3 !?"
    Will Dave learn to be a man and kick some ass !?? Will Truck Boy Turn old dave into a skid mark on the side of the highway ! I'll Never Tell !! You'll have to watch it and find out !!
  Duel is a great old flick , and one that I never saw until recently ! (Thanks Gore Girl !!) It is the debut of Steven Spielberg as director , and you can tell . It has the feel of his work all over it . Now this was a TV film , believe it or not , so there is no gore or foul language . Spielberg uses tension throughout the movie to keep you on the edge of your seat , spilling popcorn everywhere !! The flick has a Hitchcock like feel to it as well . Probably because the screenplay was written by Richard Matheson , who worked on Hitchcocks show , and the Twilight Zone , and much much more . Dennis Weaver does a great job as the nerdy salesman turned road warrior .
  So pick up a copy and rev it up ! You'll get a crazy ride , thats for sure !

         And Remember Fright Fans ..................

                 If you find yourself  on a lonely road , with a dirty old truck smoking away in front of you .....

                          Turn around ........ while there's still time !! 

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