Truck driving is more than getting cargo from point A to point B. It’s about inspiring filmmakers to make movies that are equal parts camp, cheese and hopeless 1970s nostalgia. Click if you missed PART 1 or PART 2 of this article.
Top trucker movies No. 15 – ‘Over the Top’ (1987)
Sylvester Stallone is a down on his luck truck driver with a special talent that will surely help him win back the affection of his estranged young son. That talent is… wait for it… arm wrestling. Some of the hilariously overwrought dialogue in 1980s cinema is on display here in this piece of tripe, and that hilarity is underscored by Stallone’s almost exclusively whispered delivery. Is he a sensitive enigma, or does he just have laryngitis? Either way, it’s OK. His guns do the talking more than his unintelligible grunts.
Top trucker movies No. 16 – ‘Jackknife’ (1989)
Vietnam must make men want to become truck drivers, because this time, Robert DeNiro’s character wants to give it a try. Post-traumatic stress disorder must push people toward wanting to be alone for long stretches at a time, so as not to have to deal with the constraints of society. However, all that time alone and the temptation to pop amphetamines can lead to a bad kind of introspection, the kind that Kathy Bates can’t solve. Bates’ character becomes romantically involved with DeNiro’s Army buddy, and introspection ensues.
Top trucker movies No. 17 – ‘Breakdown’ (1997)
Perhaps only Burt Reynolds has been in more truck driving films than Kurt Russell. This time, Russell doesn’t battle against the lightning powers of an ancient Chinese wizard, but against the treachery of J.T. Walsh, who kidnaps Russell’s wife (Kathleen Quinlan). Taut, suspenseful and fully indicative of just how little you can trust the trucker who pulls over and offers to give you a ride.
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Top trucker movies No. 18 – ‘Black Dog’ (1998)
Here’s another unbeatable cast in a trucking film: Patrick Swayze, Randy Travis and Meat Loaf! An ex-con would do anything for truck driving cash, be he won’t do an illegal weapons run. Unfortunately, he isn’t given a choice, so he must run for his life. He’s like the wind, that way…
Top trucker movies No. 19 – ‘Joy Ride’ (2001)
This stars Paul Walker, but critics found “Joy Ride” to be neither fast nor furious. There’s a psychopathic truck driver (not again!) who is terrorizing the Midwest. While fooling around with a CB radio, Walker, Steve Zahn and Leelee Sobieski make contact with the killer, who trains his murderous Mack truck on them. Paul Walker objects to the thought of becoming a grease stain, which I find amusing.
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