You know those sitcom jokes you’ve heard many times about some beautiful big-breasted airhead not wanting to read subtitles on an Australian film? Well this one is English and I had to turn on the subtitles. So either 1) I’m a real dumb-ass, or 2) there are some serious English accents here. I retract the question.
Beth and Zakes are on a road trip for Zakes’ job hanging posters in various locations. Not billboards, mind you, but just regular-sized posters and advertisements; seemingly mostly in bathrooms.
Is this a real job? His boss requires him to take pictures of the newly hung posters because he shares Sarah’s opinion that Zakes can be a bit of a slack-ass. His boss also underestimates the dim view that most people take of cameras in restrooms.
As they cruise along in Zakes’ BMW, his beautiful girlfriend Sarah realizes her state-of-the-art (for 2008) camera has no memory available due to vacation pics they took in Egypt. Note to self: check out career in lucrative toilet poster hanging business.
They pull into a truck-stop — or is it called a lorry-stop across the pond — to petrol up and hang some posters in the loo. Zakes even has the nerve to hit Beth up for the petrol money, so clearly posters aren’t the only thing hung around here. While he is photographing his work, Sarah’s phone gets a call from Leo, who she had a fling with.
Back on the road, Beth is asleep and Zakes is searching for the “flask” which I hope means thermos over there. He is trying to reach it and nearly runs a white truck off the road. As he lets the truck pass, the back door rolls open for a few seconds and he sees a a naked woman locked in a cage screaming. I could barely make out the woman and the cage; sadly we have to take his word for the nakedness. A few more frames would have been helpful; there was never intended to be a mystery of whether there really was a woman trapped in there, so a half hour shot of the naked prisoner wouldn’t have been a spoiler.
They call the police, and describe the truck, but the license is too muddy to read. In a traffic jam, after being nagged and ridiculed by Beth, Zakes sneaks out of the car to try to get a better look at the plates. When that doesn’t work, he peeks inside a gap where the door isn’t quite down. Oddly, there are no women screaming, and he doesn’t call, “Hey anyone naked in there?” He just takes a single picture through the crack and runs back to the car. Beth nags him more for not getting the plates and the picture is useless.
They see a police car on the highway and Beth wants them to flag them down about the truck. Zack feels he’s done his part and, despite Beth ranting, takes the next exit to hang some more of his posters. This turns out to be a poor decision in more than one way — Beth is abducted and hauled away in the white truck.
Zakes, in the standard tradition of such movies is accused of peeping over the stall at a woman in the restroom, stealing a car, stealing another car, killing a cop, etc.
All this is played very well, though. Most of the movie is a cat and mouse game with a lot of literal hide and seek around trucks trailers and bathrooms. The cover describes it as Hitchcockian and that is not too much of a reach. We have the falsely accused man (well, he didn’t kill the cop, anyway) in way over his head and trying to stop something terrible from happening.
After a twist that is too fun to reveal, Zakes makes his way to the kidnapper’s lair. the place is wired up with stadium lights,so I assumed it was for naked gladiator-style games. Sadly it is just a security system.
The suspense continues to build as Zakes avoids the hooded man and eventually is able to believably steal his keys and use his gadgets against him.
All this plays out to a conclusion — a conclusive conclusion — that is foreshadowed, but none-the-less an absolute joy to watch. Why such a mechanism would exist, I don’t know, but then I’m not in the sex slave business. I’m sure there have been advances.
- Title Analysis: Well Zakes was shushing Beth while trying to save her, but that is standard movie protocal. So, no idea.
- Truck-stop security guard humor: Woman driver smacks into another car. Other driver gets out and it’s a dwarf. He says, “I’m not happy. The woman says to the dwarf, “Which f***ing one are you, then?”
- And really, naming the black security Guard Chimponda is just racist.