“Help me! I’m in a made-for-TV movie!”

What happens when you cross Jaws with a little road rage? You get Duel. Or you get a big shark flopping around on a highway. Either way Steven Spielberg’s early directorial effort showcases his unique ability for gripping thrillers. In this made-for-TV movie, Dennis Weaver plays David Man, a wimpy-mannered businessman taking a long drive across the badlands of California. Along his way encounters a intimidating semi-trunk which looks even more sinister in David’s enormous 70’s sunglasses. The trucker continually annoys and taunts him. Just a typical day for commuting for most of us turns into a evil game of cat and mouse for David. The frustration leads to David screaming out such expletives as “Hey man, you jerk!” or “Come on, give me a break.” Wow! harsh words from a hardened street-wise insurance salesman. Actually he might not have sold insurance but it just seems like that’s the type of job he would have..must have been the suit and sideburns. Anyways, the truck, much like the shark in Jaws, is an unstoppable mysterious evil force with a bad exhaust problem. We never really see the driver of the malevolent truck and are put in David’s position even hearing his own thoughts as he tries to come to grips with his situation. I think I still hear his voice when I get cut-off by a semi on the highway. I just want to blurt out “You’re wrong, mister. I mean if you think you can just… just take that… that truck of yours and use it as a murder weapon and uh… killin’ people on the highway… you’re wrong! You got another thing comin’….. Now where are my huge sunglasses?!” I really enjoyed this neat little thriller. Check it out.

rated: 8.2 out of 10
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