In my last post I mentioned the 2001 Fast and Furious and Two-Lane Blacktop--great cinematic intersections of cars and byways, which usually lead to a bad place--or at least a hefty speeding ticket. Other such exercises come to mind: the aptly-named Thunder Road with Robert Mitchum, Bullitt, of course, William Friedkin's Sorcerer--his extraordinary and under-appreciated take on The Wages of Fear, and Richard Sarafian's Vanishing Point, which brought the sixties to a crashing halt.
And then there's The Terminator (1984), which is probably no one's idea of a road movie, but gets the nod due to its perfect and evocative last scene, where Sarah Conner pulls into a rickety petrol shack south of the border en route to her ultimate show down with the forces of Skynet. The attendant tells her a storm is coming and she replies, "I know." And then, donning her shades and with her trusty AI-sniffing German Shepherd by her side, she heads south, down a ruler-straight road toward a skyline of shadowed mountains.
Kind of like the above but lots more sinister, 'cause James Cameron had an effects house brew up a scary storm for Conner to ride into.
And, by the way, that's South Wilmot Road as it turns to dirt and heads for its own time-warped rendezvous with the Santa Ritas and a T-1000.