Far from Home (1989 film)

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Far from Home
Far from Home VHS cover.jpg
VHS cover
Directed by Meiert Avis
Produced by Donald P. Borchers
Written by Theodore Gershuny
Tommy Lee Wallace
Music by Jonathan Elias
Cinematography Paul Elliott
Edited by Marc Grossman
Lightning Pictures
Planet Productions
Distributed by Vestron Pictures
Artisan Entertainment
Release date
June 30, 1989
Running time
86 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $11,859[1]

Far from Home is a 1989 independent thriller film. It stars Matt Frewer, Drew Barrymore, Richard Masur, Susan Tyrrell, Jennifer Tilly, Dick Miller, and Anthony Rapp. John Spencer also appears in a cameo appearance. It centers on a divorced father who breaks down in a desert town along with his teenage daughter, forced to stay in a trailer park they attract the intentions of a troubled local who becomes dangerously fixated on one of them. The film features Barrymore's first onscreen kiss.

The film was directed by Meiert Avis, in his feature film directorial debut. Barrymore's book, Little Girl Lost, which describes her battles with addiction, was written around the same time as this film was made.[2] The film was shot in the Black Rock Desert and in Gerlach, Nevada.


Charlie Cox (Matt Frewer) is a divorced writer for Highways Magazine, which is based in Los Angeles. Charlie and his daughter Joleen (Drew Barrymore) are on their way home from a cross country vacation when they run out of gas in Banco, Nevada, a small town located in a remote part of the desert.

It is the day before Joleen's 14th birthday. When they stop in the Banco Supermarket, they notice that there's no one behind the counter, but Sheriff Bill Childers (Dick Miller) is in the store. When Joleen looks behind the counter, she screams. That's because she sees the body of the store's owner, Ferrell Hovis, in a pool of blood.

Charlie and Joleen later check a nearby gas station owned by a friendly Vietnam war veteran named Duckett (Richard Masur), but Duckett is not expecting to have any gas delivered to the station for at least another day, so Charlie and Joleen check into the nearby Palomino Guest Ranch and Trailer Park, which is owned by an abusive woman named Agnes Reed (Susan Tyrrell).

Joleen soon meets Agnes's teenage son Jimmy Reed (Andras Jones). That night, while Agnes is taking a bath, Agnes is killed when a hand reaches in through her bathroom window and pushes a small fan into the bathtub water, electrocuting Agnes.

Also that night, Charlie and Joleen meet their neighbors, fellow travelers Louise (Karen Austin) and Amy (Jennifer Tilly). The next day, while babysitting Agnes's young daughter (Stephanie Walski), Amy notices that water is coming from under the bathroom door, and she's horrified to find Agnes's body in the overflowing bath tub. Amy calls for help, and Sheriff Childers responds.

While swimming in the park's pool, Joleen hears two people loudly having sex in a nearby trailer, and while watching through the window, she's startled by Jimmy watching through another window. Later that day, when Jimmy gets aggressive and tries to rape Joleen at a local swimming hole that he invited her to, Joleen is rescued by Pinky Sears (Anthony Rapp), another teenager who lives at the guest ranch.

Charlie and Joleen agree to car pool with Louise and Amy. The killer is now obsessed with Joleen, and he steals her journal that night. Minutes later, as Charlie, Jolene, Louise, and Amy are about to leave the guest ranch, the killer blows up the car - with Amy in it - to prevent Joleen from leaving.

The next day, when Jimmy tries to take the money from Agnes's office, Jimmy is accused not only of trying to rob the office, but also of the murders of Ferrell, Agnes, and Amy.

Duckett goes to Pinky's trailer, where he discovers that Pinky's mother has been dead for some time, and her body is covered with bags of ice. She had become sick and died.

Pinky, who is the killer, shows up and stabs Duckett with a screwdriver, and then leaves. Joleen, wanting to hang out with Pinky, goes to Pinky's hideaway at an abandoned building that was never completed. There she finds her diary, and comes to the realization that Pinky is the killer, and she tells him that he needs help.

When Duckett radios Sheriff Childers, and tells Childers and Charlie that Pinky has Joleen, Childers and Charlie head to the hideaway to find Pinky and Joleen, and at the hideaway, Pinky kills Childers by cutting his throat. Pinky chases Joleen up to the top platform on a nearby radio tower. Charlie tries to get up on the platform, but Pinky stops Charlie by cutting Charlie's hand.

Pinky says that he thought Joleen loved him. Duckett, who is sitting in a nearby vehicle with a rifle in his hands, fires a shot that causes Pinky to fall off of the tower. Pinky is killed when he lands in a large satellite dish far below.

Later, Duckett explains about Pinky keeping his mother's body iced, and then explains what he has figured out - that Pinky started slipping over the edge before he ever met Joleen. Pinky has been keeping ice on his mother's body and leaving her TV on because he really didn't want to believe she was gone.

Pinky had to somehow get food for himself, so when Pinky went to the supermarket to get food, and Ferrell denied him, he killed Ferrell. Pinky had to live somewhere, so when Agnes went after Pinky, angrily demanding that Pinky pay rent that he couldn't afford, or leave, Pinky killed Agnes. Pinky became obsessed with Joleen, so when Joleen, Charlie, Amy, and Louise went to leave, Pinky blew up the car, with Amy in it, to stop Joleen from leaving.

Charlie, Joleen, and Louise leave Banco, and they head home to California. An angry Jimmy, who had escaped from Sheriff Childers's car, is seen walking along some railroad tracks, to parts unknown.



Critical reception for Far from Home has been negative.[3][4] DVD Verdict panned the movie, as they felt that the film exploited Barrymore - who was fourteen at the time - as a sexual object and was also too predictably plotted.[5] TV Guide also wrote a negative review, also criticizing it as too predictable and obvious.[6]


  1. ^ "Far From Home (1989)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 11 August 2011. 
  2. ^ Barrymore, Drew (February 1990). Little Girl Lost. Atria. ISBN 0-671-68922-3. 
  3. ^ "Review: ‘Far from Home’". Variety. 1989-01-01. Retrieved 2016-07-06. 
  4. ^ "Far from Home (review)". RadioTimes. Retrieved 2016-07-06. 
  5. ^ "DVD Verdict Review - Far From Home". DVD Verdict. Archived from the original on 2016-08-15. Retrieved 2016-07-06. 
  6. ^ "Far From Home". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2016-07-06. 

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