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Movie Review: 'Rucker' is a Shockingly Dull Serial Killer Flick

A serial murdering trucker is profiled by a documentarian with a deep dark secret in Rucker.

By Sean PatrickPublished about a year ago 4 min read

Rucker is an ugly and stupid little movie about truck driving serial killer and a budding sociopath documentary filmmaker. The movie is a pointless and meandering splatter movie that wanders the highways and byways of the United States in search of an ever elusive point. The point is never found and what is in its place is a dimwitted, often deeply confusing movie that pretends to be a boundary pushing horror-comedy.

Rucker (The Trucker) stars Bobby C King in the title role of truck driver Leif Rucker. Rucker is being filmed for a documentary and for a time the documentarian is off screen and unseen. Eventually however, Rucker draws the young female filmmaker, Maggie (Cheyenna Lee), in front of the camera and learns her in the ways of the trucker, the language, the lore and the lonely, lonely road. Soon enough however, the veneer of respectability falls away to reveal a deeply disturbed man and an equally disturbed young woman.

For decades now, Rucker has traveled the United States picking up women that remind him of his ex-wife, Darlene. Rucker takes these women to the back of his truck and after teasing them for a few minutes, he cuts their throats and buries them in the recently dug graves of nearby cemeteries. At first, you assume that Maggie is some stranger and is at Rucker’s mercy as he invites her into the back of his truck but she makes clear right away that she is down for filming his murders and using them in her documentary.

Eventually Maggie begins to get a good taste for blood herself, even choosing victims based off of Rucker’s predilection for women who look like his ex-wife. This proves easy for Maggie who has a secret connection with Rucker that is revealed as the movie goes along. This secret, which I guess would be a spoiler if I reveal it, is very oddly played as Rucker and Maggie act like strangers and then reveal their connection as if they are talking to us but by this point the documentary aspect has been all but dropped so why they choose to reveal this as if it were part of the documentary, I have no idea.

That’s one of many confounding elements of this deeply unsatisfying horror narrative. Director Amy Hesketh posits the relationship between Rucker and Maggie as a darkly comic idea but the comic side feels deeply under-served. You can sense an attempt to capture the absurdity at play in this narrative, mostly via these bizarre animated segments that pop up throughout the film, but the laughs never come and the horror is far too anemic to shock or terrify.

What’s left are two rather dull lead performances from Bobby C King and Cheyenna Lee. Neither actor is bad but neither has the presence or charisma to make the movie work and with the horror and dark comedy elements failing, Rucker becomes a rudderless ship, a meandering, often confusing, and relatively dull movie with actors going through the motions while desperately searching for something to liven up the narrative.

Among the confusing elements of Rucker is a scene that seems to indicate that Rucker and Maggie are sleeping together. That’s a strange development given where the movie goes from there. I understand that both characters are deeply disturbed and broken individuals but the movie intends this revelation to be shocking and or funny in an outlandish way and I just thought, ewww, that’s kind of gross and unnecessary.

But not gross enough to make any kind of interesting impression. Oddly, director Amy Hesketh appears to be pulling her punches, unable or unwilling to commit to how bizarre, gross or outlandish she intends the movie to be. The murders in the movie are bizarrely mundane and I think that's intentional, as in a sort of meta-gag about how meaningless the kills are to Rucker and thus are portrayed in a way that underlines just how meaningless they are. I get it, but it plays like having a joke that you have to explain in order for anyone to understand that it is a joke.

Then there are just more and more confusing and pointless scenes as Rucker wander to a conclusion. A scene late in the movie featuring the Darlene who inspired Rucker to become a serial killer, plays out as if it were being played back on a VHS tape but it’s actually just a flashback, I think? The scene so poorly sutured into the movie with moments that come from the perspective of a recording and moments set in a more realistic setting, minus the VHS tracking look.

Was it a flashback? Was it a dream? Was it a recording? Do I really care? No, I actually don’t, I’m just working out my confusion and getting even more frustrated with and disappointed with this movie. By the way, the supporting cast features Slipknot singer and songwriter Corey Taylor. Why? I guess so that he can be on the soundtrack. His character, nicknamed Taco Tuesday, is wildly pointless and unnecessary to the plot.

Rucker arrives for on-demand rental services on January 4th, 2022.

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About the Creator

Sean Patrick

Hello, my name is Sean Patrick He/Him, and I am a film critic and podcast host for Everyone's a Critic Movie Review Podcast. I am a voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the group behind the annual Critics Choice Awards.

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