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 dates
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. This film was 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 who lives in Los Angeles. Charlie and his daughter Joleen (Drew Barrymore), who will soon turn 14, are on their way home from a cross country vacation at the end of the summer when they run out of gas in Banco, Nevada—a small town located in a remote part of the desert.

When they stop in the Banco Supermarket, they encounter sheriff Bill Childers (Dick Miller) along with the murdered owner of the store. Charlie and Joleen later visit a gas station owned by Duckett (Richard Masur), but the station is out of gas, so they check into the nearby Palomino Guest Ranch and Trailer Park, which is owned by Agnes Reed (Susan Tyrrell). Joleen soon meets Agnes's teenage son Jimmy (Andras Jones). On 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 her. The same night, Charlie and Joleen meet their neighbors, fellow travelers Louise (Karen Austin) and Amy (Jennifer Tilly).

The next day, while swimming in the park's pool, Joleen hears two people loudly having sex in a nearby trailer, and while watching through the window, is startled by Jimmy watching through another window. Jimmy becomes sexually aggressive with Joleen, however she is rescued by Pinky Sears (Anthony Rapp), another teenager who lives at the guest ranch. Later that day, Charlie and Joleen agree to car pool with Louise and Amy, but that night, as they are about to leave the guest ranch, the killer blows up the car—with Amy in it—to prevent Joleen from leaving. The killer is now obsessed with Joleen and steals her diary. The next day, when Jimmy tries to rob Duckett's gas station, Jimmy is accused by Sheriff Childers not only of trying to rob the gas station, but also of the murders of Ferrell, Agnes, and Amy.

Duckett goes to Pinky's trailer to speak to him, where he discovers that Pinky's mother has been dead for some time, and her body is covered with bags of ice. Pinky, who is the killer, shows up and stabs Duckett with a screwdriver, and then leaves. When Joleen (who is not aware Pinky is the killer) and Pinky walk to an abandoned construction site where he hangs out, she unsuccessfully attempts to seduce him. She finds her diary, and comes to the realization that Pinky is the killer.

When Duckett, who is still alive, radios the Sheriff and tells he and Charlie that Pinky has Joleen, the Sheriff and Charlie head to the construction site. Pinky kills Sheriff Childers when they arrive. 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 fires a shot that causes Pinky to fall off of the tower. Pinky dies when he lands in a large satellite dish far below.

Later, Duckett tells Charlie and Joleen about Pinky keeping his mother's body iced, and then explains what he has figured out—that Pinky started slipping over the edge before Pinky ever met Joleen. Pinky has been keeping ice on his mother's body and leaving her TV on because he didn't want to believe that she got sick and died, 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 demanded that Pinky pay rent that he couldn't afford or leave the trailer park, 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.



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. Retrieved 2016-07-06. 
  6. ^ "Far From Home". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2016-07-06. 

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