Keep your eyes and ears peeled as you watch Dmitrii Kalashnikov’s brand-new dash-cam 2016 documentary The Road Movie, which is distributed by Oscilloscope Laboratories in the US.
OK, the concept is not new to anyone who has ever watched those TV hour-long specials Like Lights, Camera, Police in the UK and US that show footage from the dashboard of police cars with criminals and joyriders causing carnage and grief before their inevitable fate catches up with them, but we guarantee that you will still flinch and be shocked at the unexpurgated material that is on show here.
Effectively, The Road Movie is a montage of uploaded viral footage that has taken the Net by storm and on that basis, it would probably be more suited to users of YouTube and Vimeo who will probably get more joy out of scoping and searching for those popular clips and indeed, by the end of it, you may be tempted to seek out some new searches based on the list of clips that are shown during the end credit sequences.
At first glance, the one-angle view through the various dash-cams shown here would in any other context be a boring way to spend seventy minutes, but as we are for the most part voyeurs watching this kind of stuff, The Road Movie is anything but boring as we watch a group of Russian drivers encountering all kinds of obstacles and loonies that populate the highways of the continent.
It is a guilty pleasure throughout and we shouldn’t take joy in seeing other people’s misfortune as road rage and frustration take over, but there are some occasionally funny moments, notably the episode in which a taxi driver tries to haggle a sexual favour out of a prostitute with some very explicit verbal needs that should effectively remain private at the heart of his mind.
Keeping your eyes firmly focused on the screen is a must, as when particular sequences starts, you know that something will be said or shown that is going to astound and shock you. Animals and the weather elements also play a huge part, with rain and snow both adding to the challenges that face and sudden surprises of craziness (keep watching for the man who hogs the hood of a female driver and a man who suddenly passes out on the road), but it is the brutal reality of what may happen if you don’t observe the traffic regulations, which we are sure are as strict and prohibitive as they are anywhere else in the world.
The Road Movie will certainly re-stimulate fans of this type of entertainment who are fascinated by the lure of the road, but do not try any of this on the open road next time you get into your car. It has been described as a cross between Jackass and Faces of Death, but in both cases those two films created staged professional stunts and fake gore. This is a very real and occasionally shocking experience that deserves a look.
THE ROAD MOVIE / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: DMITRII KALASHNIKOV / RELEASE DATE: JANUARY 19TH (US), TBC (UK)