Slasher on wheels!
The original Joy Ride was a self-contained road movie that didn't need a sequel but chose to make its antagonist a horror gimmick "just in case". “Rusty Nail” was his name, but, for most of the film, he was nothing but a voice on a radio. The truck he drove, from the audience’s perspective, was his mask. Despite it being rigorously structured to generate a sequel, Part 2 doesn't hold up.
It’s low key but it’s not exactly a B-movie. The old script is rehashed and remixed, but with pale screenwriting and directing. Joy Ride 2 is not horrendous but it isn't memorable either. The dialog is flat, spoken with generic acting standards of the era, and the characters are uninteresting. This is a decent slasher in the shadow of an excellent thriller.
Rusty Nail is darker but not as cynical. His persona was slightly altered. As a result, he becomes a horror villain more generic than he needed to be. The photographer made sure he still inspires fear. He has taken a liking in piling up bodies, among other things. He’s lost his M.O., but at least he brings back the 80’s. Indeed, the ultimate reason to watch Joy Ride 2 is slasher reminiscence.