Directed by John Shiban, 2006
Straight-to-DVD films are an anomaly. I can’t think of any other arena of filmmaking that so often inspires something along the line of, "I’ve seen a lot of bad movies lately, but X is the worst I’ve seen in quite some time".
I’ve seen a lot of bad movies recently, but Rest Stop – the flagship film from production house Raw Feed – takes the cake. Cut and dry, this is the most moronic script I’ve come across in quite some time. John Shiban, writer and director, may have been satisfied with a one trick pony script about a woman tortured by a trucker at a rest stop, but that’s no excuse for the script to be so damned stupid.
Not even stupid in an exclusively non-entertaining kind of way. Every single event in the film detours so drastically from what any conscious human being (mentally handicaped included) would do, that you can’t help but yell at the television screen in anger. The lack of common sense on display is unavoidably rage inducing.
And, it is pathetic when the best actor in your film – by light years – is Joey Lawrence.
Jamie Alexander’s, who plays the ever so annoying main heroine, "art" exists on a level subservient to even the lamest of soap operas, so her taking up nearly 89% of the screen time by herself becomes mind numbingly boring. Especially when the first reel of the film is 20 minutes longer than it should be because of endless shots of her character acting even less bored than the viewer. There was absolutely no reason why we needed to see such lengthy takes on her waiting for help to arrive.
The makeup effects are far and few and sorely lacking when they do make actual appearances. Other than a can of Ragoo pasta sauce, I’m not sure there was anyone running makeup
As already mentioned (repeatedly), the script is stupid. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid. Nicole never, ever does anything logical. She goes out of her way to sit on a vomit worthy toilet seat more than once just so the script can have an excuse to show the writing on the bathroom walls. Both she and the cop wait until the thought of using it for suicide occurs before realizing they have a gun to shoot the trucker in the face. And, of course, they only think of this after being locked inside the rest room after the driver takes a leisurely stroll right in front of their faces.
The ending is stupid and could be called from miles away. The only slightly positive thing I have to say about the whole ordeal is that there is nudity early on, but even after only 5 or so minutes of watching, you already hate both characters so much you’d actually rather not even see them naked.
But, and I say this with extreme hesitance, Joey Lawrence is actually pretty damned good in it. I’ll be God damned if I ever recommend a movie on Joey Lawrence alone, though.
Forget the Saw series or Hostel, watching Rest Stop is torture.