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Route 666 (2001)

A federal witness runs away and a team of government agents track him down, but when they take a shortcut on the return trip, they're attacked by zombies.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Steph
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Sheriff Bob Conaway
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Nick
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Mary
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Joe
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Deputy Tim Conaway
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John La Roca
Gary Roberts ...
Pickaxe aka Miles Hackman
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Jackhammer aka Steve Pikowski
Michael Chance ...
Sledgehammer aka Frank Slater
...
Bartender
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Storyline

Smith, a mob informer hiding out with the Witness Protection Program, decides to make a break for it and hide out in the Arizona desert. The Feds catch up with him and rescue him just before a group of hitmen can manage to silence him for good. In the course of getting Smith away from the mafia thugs, the pair of agents assigned to protect him turn onto an abandoned stretch of highway nicknamed 'Route 666' after the mysterious death of a prison chain gang. As the three continue on their way, they soon discover just what happened to the chain gang, and how the highway earned its name. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

On the road to nowhere lies a forgotten highway where secrets are buried, souls are lost and the dead come to life. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 October 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A 666-os út  »

Filming Locations:


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Box Office

Budget:

$2,300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In New Jersey, there used to be a Morris County Route 666 that ran from Dover to Mount Hope, but the signs were constantly being stolen and the number was changed to 661. See more »

Goofs

The agent hot-wires the Suburban because the keys are lost. Later on, at the rest stop, the keys are in the ignition. See more »

Quotes

Jack: Federal Agents.
PT: Gun, badge, you know?
Deputy Gil Conaway: I don't care if you're fucking Santa Claus!
PT: Well, hopefully Mrs. Claus is the only one doing that.
See more »

Connections

References Zombie Lake (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Walkin'
Performed by Lightnin' Willie and The Poorboys (as Lightnin' Willie & The Poor Boys)
Written by William Hermes
Courtesy of 4music
Published by Laureate Lane Music (ASCAP)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surprisingly Good!
31 January 2005 | by See all my reviews

Lou Diamond Phillips plays Jack La Roca, a U.S. Marshall and former Navy SEAL assigned to pick up "Rabbit" (Steven Williams), who is in the federal witness protection program but has been on the run. La Roca is to take Rabbit from Arizona to California to testify in court, but along the way they run into a variety of obstacles, mostly horrific, the most serious of which are the result of La Roca's decision to take a shortcut on Route 666.

Lou Diamond Phillips is a B and C-movie king. Route 666 nicely fits in with his oeuvre. The film is much better than it should be, perhaps, given the relatively small budget and a number of questionable decisions on technical aspects (life reflecting art, as the film hinges on a questionable decision). But although goofy at times, Route 666 is a fun-to-watch action/horror film. It actually ended up as a 7 out of 10 for me.

A number of things quickly drew me in, even though they do not directly have an impact on the quality of Route 666. The first two were the presence of Williams and character actor Dick Miller. I'm a big fan of Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday (1993). Williams plays Creighton Duke, one of the main characters, in that film. Miller is a genre veteran with over 100 titles to his name, and well loved by many genre fans, including me. The third immediate attraction for me is that Route 666 is set in a Joshua Tree-filled desert. I love deserts, and I especially love Joshua Trees. Director William Wesley actually acquired permission to shoot in Joshua Tree National Park, one of my favorites. This was the first film in about 10 years allowed to do so.

Wesley quickly builds an effective, sarcastic and usually witty rapport between La Roca, his partner Steph (Lori Petty) and Rabbit, although Petty can be a bit over-the-top at times. But Williams is particularly funny. There are other standout performances here, as well, especially L.Q. Jones as the Sheriff.

At the beginning, Route 666 seems like it will be an actioner. Although these aren't the most exciting shoot-out scenes ever filmed, they have a nice feel to them, partially due to the setting and lighting, and there is a pleasantly unusual tangent when Phillips has a bizarre "flashback" as he looks at a victim's blood spreading on the dirt.

There is an eerie atmosphere to the whole film, and especially when the horror material starts, it is very refreshing that Wesley chose to keep the proceedings in broad daylight. It also helps that there are two sets of villains, with the second, and possibly the most effective, not being very obvious until late in the film. The more traditional horror villains are very satisfying, with an interesting, unusual yet immediately recognizable look, and they are worked into the backstory of the characters extremely well. Their methods of dispatching victims are creative, although I wish Wesley would have gone into a gorier mode with the deaths. But one death, at least, near the end of the film, is particularly brutal in its abruptness. Even though this isn't Wesley's masterpiece, he shows that he has one in him.

Sure the film has flaws--Phillips plays much of the film with what looks like a large wad of raspberry gum stuck to his forehead, the shaky cam and other effects didn't work very well for me during the horror attack scenes, the score sounded fairly generic and repetitive (it reminded me of playing a video game), and there are some plot points that don't make a lot of sense if you think about them too much. But most horror fans probably will not expect a masterpiece when watching Route 666. With appropriately lowered expectations, you'll likely be pleasantly surprised at just how good this film is.


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