The Highwayman starts off as a quirky road film about a young woman, Ziggy (Laura Harris), who has been searching for her father for eight years. She hooks up with a couple young armed robbers, Breakfast & Panda (Jason Priestly & Bernie Coulson), who are crazy & dangerous.
When Ziggy runs off with these fellows for the life of crime, her goody-two-shoes boyfriend Walter (Gordon Michael Woolvett) follows after. So they've become a little gang of lunatics.
When she finds her father Frank (the excellent Stephen McHattie), or believes she has done so, he refuses to acknowledge her in any way.
A long new act unfolds, focusing on Frank's pathetic life as a hardworking schlub who loses what he thought was an okay job, but which turned out to be fraud outfit which pulled up roots & left him holding the bag.
His sadistic boss Phil (Louis gossett Jr.) framed him as the kingpin of the phone-sales scam, while another plot thread in his life seems likely to get him sent up for arson.
He's always been an honest guy, but honesty has brought him to the brink of a fantastic doom. So he arms himself, kills a couple of his long-term tormentors, & sets off on the road to find that sadistic crooked boss Phil & exact a horrible revenge.
This latter plan scores him an unexpected bond with his daughter. He seems to have pretty much joined forces with Ziggy & her gang of two bad boys plus one lovesick dufus.
As a black comedy it turns into a "carnage on the road" twisted thriller full of loony violence but also a demented sort of family experience.
Death comes to people good, bad, & indifferent, fast & often needless death, with the insane killers almost convincingly certain nobody is worthy of survival.
Genuinely offbeat, bizarre in its tragedy, sick in its violence, The Highwayman makes art of exploitation. it even has a little twist in the tail that no one will see coming.
copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl