5 Questions: Nowhere to Run
1993’s Nowhere to Run was an attempt at making Jean-Claude Van Damme more actor than action star. Nowhere to Run did turn a profit and Van Damme fans did support it but it was not the mainstream success some had hoped it would be. Why wasn’t it a huge success? There are probably many answers to that question and I’m not sure this is the forum to discuss it.
But there are other questions surrounding Nowhere to Run and I’ll present those to you now…
1. Where was that bus headed?
I know plot wise the Federal Bureau of Prisons bus would have been headed to a correctional facility. But when I look at the passengers in the bus I can’t help but think that it was headed to some sort of Hollywood Stuntman Convention. You had Sven-Ole Thorson (The Running Man), Manny Perry (Fire Down Below), Thomas Rosales Jr. (Demolition Man), Voyo Goric (Lionheart) and more acting as prisoners. The prison guard driving the bus was none other than stuntman extraordinaire Allan Graf (Robocop). It felt like the only people missing from this stuntman party were James Lew, Al Leong and Gene LeBell. LeBell would later be seen as a rogue construction worker for hire later in the film, so chalk him up as being fashionably late.
2. Does Top Heavy magazine actually exist?
After his brother helps him escape from the prison bus, Sam Gillen (Jean-Claude Van Damme) hops in his brother’s Trans Am and is officially on the run. Knowing he’ll have to lay low for a while, Sam stops at a convenience store and picks up some necessities like food and reading material to pass the time. Among the periodicals he picks up is a Top Heavy porno mag. It got me to wondering, was Top Heavy just a movie prop or an actual magazine. A quick Google search got me my answer… the magazine is real and it is spectacular.
3. How deep was that pond?
Sam makes camp in the woods near a pond. Knowing the authorities will be on the look out for the Trans Am he fled in, Sam pushes the car into the pond and the car does a nose dive into this pond as soon as he pushes it in. Later, when Sam is bathing in the very same pond, the water is only waist high? So how deep is this pond? Was Sam standing on the submerged car? What is the deal with that pond?
4. What was Mookie’s obsession with the movie E.T.?
Sam realizing that he forgot to pick up some salt at the store, finds a home nearby occupied by the Anderson Family. After peeping on Clydie Anderson (Rosanna Arquette) stepping into the shower. Sam sneaks in and borrows the Anderson’s salt shaker. Clydie’s son Mookie (Kieran Culkin), hears something and when he looks out his window sees a figure with a flashlight running from the house. Mookie’s immediate assumption is that it was E.T. the Extra Terrestrial.
I find it hard to believe a young boy in 1993 would be that into E.T. I get that there were video stores and cable where Mookie would have had access to watch E.T. multiple times but I just don’t buy it. If Mookie thought a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle was in his house that would have been more believable given the time frame.
Bonus question, what the hell kind of name is Mookie? That may be a question better answered by Daron Oshay Blaylock or William Hayward Wilson.
5. Was anyone else waiting for Joss Ackland’s character to start shouting “DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY!” to avoid being arrested?
Joss Ackland plays wealthy land developer Franklin Hale. Hale’s big plans are being halted since Clydie Anderson does not want to sell her land to him, no matter the price. Hale will lose millions if he doesn’t make this happen, so he uses some less than legal means to try to force Clydie and her family out of their home. His evil ways catch up with him by the end of the movie. Hale is put under arrest and I couldn’t help but think back to one of Joss Ackland’s more famous roles as Arjen Rudd in Lethal Weapon 2. But alas Franklin Hale does not start shouting “DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY”.