When I watched DUEL it impressed me deeply. But I did not suspect that it would still impress me 35 years later. Time is usually a ruthless judge, but one would say that DUEL has passed its trial unscathed.
You can’t justify its success with money, locations, stars, budget or explicit sex. It’s a man, a car and an open road. Yet it has filled the heart of countless film fans the way only a selected few films can do. It’s many people’s favourite film. What makes it an even more special case is that it started as just a humble movie of the week. It was not supposed to hit the screens. It was not supposed to be remembered for generations. How does it do it?
DUEL’s story is a story of passion. Passion is what shows the way the film was made. Passion is what shows the way fans feel about it. DUEL is a movie that has gone way beyond itself and the road that admirers have taken to prove their admiration for it seems to have no end.
I guess it was somehow Richard Matheson’s death that definitively sparked this project. I had been researching it on and off, for a few years, but then Matheson death in 2013 was a reminder that most people related to his film were disappearing and that’s a rule I could not bend.
The social media technologies have evolved in such a way that now, for the first time in history, the making of a film can be connected live with its followers. It’s time to use these tools. And THE DEVIL ON WHEELS is the perfect project for this, as it needs to be strongly linked with the fans.
Another reason why I feel this project is ready to go now is that I believe I’ve found the right team, the travelling companions I need. They are a very charismatic, international and dynamic bunch indeed, very much linked into today’s social media and who will connect easily with our audience.
DUEL’s original title was kept in most countries, but in a few it didn’t remain: the film was called “Cornered in Brazil”, “Death Challenge” in Mexico, “Kilometre Terror in Finland”, “A Killer in the Back” in Portugal and, in Spain, THE DEVIL ON WHEELS.
This title has been chosen as homage to DUEL’s international recognition.
A truck, a car and an open road.
What’s the magic?”
DOW Writer and Director