Opens: Aug 23, 1996 (limited) | Rated: R
A classic updated in the tradition of "Clueless," "Freeway" is "Little Red Riding Hood" with a white trash, teenage tramp Red (Reese Witherspoon) versus a serial killer wolf (Keifer Sutherland, continuing his tour de force of great American creeps).
The sheer creativity of twisting a traditional fairy tale into a cheesy B movie might alone make this movie a drive-in novelty, but "Freeway" is much more.
Hilariously cheap but oddly reflective at times, it is giddy in its provocative violence, but follows closely the tale that inspired it.
Vanessa (Witherspoon) takes off to live with her grandmother when her mom (Amanda Plummer) is busted for prostitution and her molesting step-dad for drugs.
Red basket in hand, she thumbs a ride from Bob (Sutherland) a nice guy who turns out to be the "I-5 Killer," who preys on girls just like herself.
She shoots him and leaves him for dead, but he makes it to a hospital and Vanessa is arrested. Of course, no one believes her.
Sharp wit surrounds the guns and girls-in-prison bits that follow. As if writer-director Matthew Bright is saying "Yes, it's trashy. What are you going to do about it?"
But he's not entirely kidding -- "Freeway" has something to say, beginning with a heavy knock at what the justice system has become.
If all B movies were this good, Oscars would be made of aluminum siding.
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