This was one of those situations where Iâ€™m glad I didnâ€™t pre-judge a movie based solely on its name. Zyzzyx Road was actually abundantly filled with very workable plot-twists, tongue-in-cheek humor and compelling performances despite having a cast of 9 total actors (and thatâ€™s including voice-over actors). I would definitely recommend this movie to fans of Tales From The Crypt as it has the same exact feeling of a William Gaines comic being brought to life on the screen.
There are some pretty interesting facts about this movie. First off, itâ€™s not a new movie. It was produced in 2005 and released in early 2006. The release was limited to one theater in one town for one week only. The end result is that this movie has the official record of being the lowest grossing movie in history at a whopping $30.00. Yes, thirty dollars, and I am the proud owner of a copy.
Leo Grillo plays Grant, an accountant who has had a rough couple of years and is trying to make ends meet. He sets out on the road in an attempt to hustle up some cash to take care of his family back home. While in Vegas Grant meets Marissa, played by Katherine Heigl.
Now this isnâ€™t the Knocked Up, 27 Dresses or Greyâ€™s Anatomy Katherine Heigl America has come to love, although Greyâ€™s Anatomy had been on the air for about half a year before production began on Zyzzyx Road. This is pre-Emmy, summer of 2005 Katherine Heigl, whose top credits at the time were probably My Father The Hero and The Ringer. Basically, all of the glamour and seriousness that surrounds her now was non-existent during the production of Zyzzyx Road. Personally I really like this Katherine Heigl.
Marissa is a seductive little number and she has Grant wrapped around her little finger throughout the entire movie regardless of being caught in numerous falsehoods. Their love tryst is the catalyst for the premise of the movie as one night while in a motel room Marissaâ€™s ex boyfriend Joey, played by Tom Sizemore, busts in completely enraged and wielding a knife. A fight ensues and Grant is able to subdue Joey by hitting him with a back massager; thatâ€™s right, a vibrator.
Tom Sizemore was an interesting choice for this movie as opposed to Heigl and Grillo since he already had a pretty stellar resume of movies prior to Zyzzyx Road. I guess 15 years of involvement in major blockbusters can put an actor in a place where he or she wants to be involved in a smaller project, especially one with a script like Zyzzyx Road.
Grant, believing Joey is dead, wraps the body in bed sheets, puts it in the trunk of his car and sets off with Marissa into the desert to bury the body. This leads them to a desolate stretch of dirt that lends its name to the movie, Zyzzyx Rd. Once Grant finally manages to get through the rocky sandy turf he returns to the car only to find that Joeyâ€™s body is no longer there. What follows is a well-written story with genuinely strong acting on the behalf of all parties involved. Even the score of this movie makes the viewer feel as though itâ€™s 1990 and the movie theyâ€™re watching was introduced by the Crypt Keeper.
All in all, this was a pretty impressive movie. Would it have done well in a major market, coast-to-coast release? Itâ€™s possible but probably not. I feel like it has too much of an old-school aesthetic to it to appeal to todayâ€™s younger audiences, but given a chance among us aging scare fans and it could definitely become a cult classic.