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Movie Identification?

I cannot remember the name of this movie I saw as a kid. Most likely a movie that came out in the 80s, but possibly the early 90s too. It was on TV when i saw it... but anyways, the details that I do remember:

It was a horror flick about a man being chased across the desert by a big black 18-wheeler. More of a Frankenstein kind of scary... The 18-wheeler wasn't all that fast, but everywhere you turned, it was there and waiting for you.

Ultimately the guy defeated it by getting it to drive off a cliff in what looks like a barren part of the southwest.

Any help you can give me is greatly appreciated guys! Thanks in advance!!

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Duel (1971 TV movie)

    IMDB synopsis:

    David Mann (Dennis Weaver) is just a regular family man on a business trip. Unfortunately, things go from bad to worse when a huge gasoline truck in front of him forces him to drive slower than he wants. As the drive continues, Mann realizes that he's not dealing with just another road hog. Though he can never see the trucker's face, the driver proves to be psychopathic, starting to run Mann off the road and trick or force him into a number of deadly situations. As the horrific trip continues, Mann tries to lose the truck, but each time he thinks he's finally in the clear, the truck returns to terrify him more. Finally, the horrific conflict builds to a point where he realizes that running won't save him, and that he must take a stand and fight back against the insane trucker.

    TRIVIA:

    While filming the shot where the truck drives off the cliff, a piece of machinery designed to keep the truck traveling in a straight line without a driver failed. Instead of calling a halt, the driver, who had an important engagement the next day and didn't want to miss it, stayed in the driving seat and only jumped out at the very last second before the truck went over.

    Lucille Benson (Lady at Snakerama Gas Station) also appears as a gas station attendant in Steven Spielberg's "1941" (1979). Two other characters Spielberg reused in his other movies are the elderly couple in the car, who were featured as a couple in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (1977).

    When Carey Loftin, playing the truck driver, asked Steven Spielberg what his motivation was for tormenting the car's driver, Spielberg told him, "You're a dirty, rotten, no-good son of a *****." Loftin replied, "Kid, you hired the right man." The license plates on the front of the truck are from other cars he has destroyed. Spielberg says, "The driver wanted to destroy a car in every state."

    According to Richard Matheson (short story/screenplay), he was inspired to write the story after an encounter with a tailgating truck driver November 22, 1963, the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

    Here's the film trailer:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhcVTWc8FR0

    Youtube thumbnail

    Here are a couple of other killer-truck movies:

    Blacktop (2000 TV movie)

    This one stars Meat Loaf Aday (rock singer-turned-actor) as the crazy truck driver. But, I don't think it has the right setting for what you describe, as "Duel" does. Also, I don't think there's a cliff, as there is in "Duel".

    Joy Ride (2001)

    IMDB synopsis:

    The plot concerns Lewis Thomas (Paul Walker), a young man who decides to go cross-country to pick up his high school sweetheart, Venna Wilcox (Leelee Sobieski), from college. On his way there, he bails his brother, Fuller Thomas (Steve Zahn), out of jail. Fuller, looking for a good time, decides to ride with Lewis. During their trip to pick up Venna, Fuller coaxes Lewis into playing a cruel joke, through their CB radio, on a truck driver, known only as 'Rusty Nail' (voiced by Ted Levine). When the joke takes a deadly turn, Lewis, Venna, and Fuller find themselves being relentlessly stalked by the psychotic truck driver who is looking for more than an apology.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The movie DUEL written by Richard Matheson (I Am Legend, Somewhere in Time, etc) directed by Sopielberg when he was starting.Made for tv but a big theatrical hit in Europe, etc. Starred Dennis Weaver who was great.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, it's Duel.

    The first good Spielberg movie (he was 25 at the time).

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