B Movie Glory: Zyzzyx Road

They say that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas but occasionally it spills violently out onto the surrounding interstates, in this case obscure dust-bowl backroad Zyzzyx Road in this patchy, bizarre, uneven yet mildly entertaining low budget chiller that has nothing to boast except stars Katherine Heigl and Tom Sizemore and a tad of notoriety in being the only theatrically released film on record to land a staggering 30$ at the box office. It stars a dude called Leo Grillo as a philandering accountant who romances a young stripper (Heigl) and heads out into the desert to dump the body of her volatile boyfriend (Sizemore), who is in the trunk and they are both assuming is dead. Cue a bunch of stumbling around in terribly lit Mojave locales, messy, jittery editing and storytelling that almost, *almost* comes close to something of note but is just too cheap and shabby to hold interest. Heigl has quite a few buried curios in her early career before she sunk into the glossy, sanitized romcom groove and she does okay here. Grillo I’ve never heard of and isn’t much of an actor but a bit of light research tells me he’s an advocate for animal rights and has founded the largest rescue centre for stray dogs in North America so he gets a free pass in my book, keep up the good work sir. Sizemore is unusually calm and serene here in a role that could have easily allowed him to deliver one of his patented bananas, super wild takes. He’s good in anything no matter how lowbrow the material is, and as far as this one is concerned, well.. I’ve certainly seen him in many better films, but I’ve also seen him in some worse ones too. The film would have been better with more money because there is something to this script, a twisty psychological shocker with demon elements, mind bending qualities and some nice dark turns but they just didn’t have the budget or focus to make this thing feel like anything other than a dreary, dusty B flick, which it is to its bones.

-Nate Hill