Road Games / 30×40 / USA


Road Games
Roadgames (Alt. spelling)
Year of Film
Richard Franklin
Stacy Keach, Jamie Lee Curtis, Marion Edward, Grant Page, Thaddeus Smith, Steve Millichamp, Alan Hopgood, John Murphy, Bill Stacey
Origin of Film
Genre(s) of Film
Drama | Thriller | Horror
Type of Poster
Style of Poster
Origin of Poster
Year of Poster
James Costello
Joann Daley
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
The truck driver plays games... The hitchhiker plays games. And the killer is playing the deadliest game of all!

A superb design on this 30×40 poster for the US release of the excellent Australian thriller Road Games. The film’s director Richard Franklin was born in Melbourne but went on to study at the acclaimed film school at the University of Southern California, alongside future filmmakers such as George Lucas, Robert Zemeckis and John Carpenter. Franklin returned to Australia at the beginning of the 1970s when the country’s film industry was in resurgence and began directing, first on the TV police drama ‘Homicide’ and then helming a pair of soft-core porn features. In 1978 he directed Patrick, a horror film featuring a man in a coma wreaking havoc using telekinetic powers, which was a pivotal moment in Franklin’s career as it ultimately led to him being entrusted with the budget for Road Games, at the time Australia’s most expensive feature film.

Scripted by Everett De Roche, an Australian screenwriter who was a frequent collaborator with Franklin, the film was funded in part by Avco Embassy, the American independent studio and distributor, who paid $500k for all rights outside of Australia. Franklin apparently originally wanted to hire Sean Connery in the lead role but when salary demands ruled this out the production went with the prolific American character actor Stacy Keach, who is excellent in the role of Quid, a cross-country truck driver who features in practically every scene in the film. Whilst driving his cargo of meat across the country Quid becomes convinced that a man driving a green panelvan is a serial killer who has been butchering young women in various towns across Australia. Jamie Lee Curtis features, in what is essentially an extended cameo, as a hitchhiker who Quid picks up and quickly becomes embroiled in his plans to apprehend the suspect. The film is well paced and features several tense sequences and a moments of Mad Max-esque automobile carnage (the boat!).

In this 2002 interview with Franklin the director complains that the US distributors sold the film as a Psycho-esque slasher, which he feels hurt its box-office performance. This artwork certainly backs up that claim, despite the early guitar string murder happening almost exactly as its depicted on this poster. The film is certainly more of a paranoid thriller than a true horror but it’s easy to see why the distributors wished to sell it as as such.

With thanks to a visitor to the site named Rudiger (see comment below), the artist was confirmed in 2023 as the late Joann Daley, an American who lived and worked in Los Angeles. Joann (as she signed her artwork) passed away in 2005 but before then she worked on several classic film posters, including one for David Cronenberg’s Scanners and the superb one for George A. Romero’s Creepshow. This poster was painted to a design by her husband James Costello.

The same image has been used several times since the original cinema release on VHS and DVD covers. The Australian poster is markedly different.

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  1. Author
    Posted by Rudiger
    Date Posted
    on 9 April 2021

    Art by Joann Daley. She did two different artworks in b/w. The first one showed two hands holding a guitar string – with the murdered girl and guitar behind. Rge second was approved and then a copy of the b/w art was provided with colors and airbrushed.

  2. Author
    Posted by eddie
    Date Posted
    on 13 April 2021

    Thanks a lot for this information. Do you have a link to any more details, including the pictures of the two artworks? It’s appreciated.

  3. Author
    Posted by Rudiger
    Date Posted
    on 12 September 2023

    I spoke to Joann’s manager and husband James Costello today: He confirmed that this poster design was done by Joann Daley. Based on his design. Joann died in 2005.

  4. Author
    Posted by eddie
    Date Posted
    on 21 October 2023

    Thanks @Rudiger! I have updated the details above.