In a transitional phase between her cherubic child roles and her high profile adult features, Drew Barrymore did a few delightfully sleazy movies. Like a wanton teenage Jezebel, she graced some fairly down and dirty indie productions with her appealing babyphat. Poison Ivy and Gun Crazy were both pretty good, as was a 1989 number called Far From Home.

Far From Home is nothing more or less than a formulaic exploitation B-picture. But here at Horror Drive-In, we like formulaic exploitation B-pictures. It helps if they are done with a bit of flair and edginess and Far From Home fits the bill. It is distinguished by an above average (as these things go) script from ex-Carpenter assistant Tommy Lee Wallace and an inspired cast of tried and true character actors. Welcome faces like Dick (A Bucket of Blood) Miller, Matt (Max Headroom) Frewer, Richard (John Carpenter's The Thing) Masur, Susan (Forbidden Zone) Tyrell and squeaky-voiced Jennifer (Bound) Tilly.

Drew and her Father are on a long auto vacation, much to her dismay. Long days on the road with her not-so-cool Dad is not her idea of an ideal 14th birthday. Luckily, due to the divorce, she only gets him on infrequent occasions. Out in the desolate desert they run dry of gas in a tiny little community. The community consists of a bunch of trailers and a gas station/convenience store. They wait for a delivery of fuel and are forced to rent a dump of a trailer from a batty landlady, who is played by the batty Susan Tyrell. Drew drowns her sorrows in the little pool that is there, and she even meets a couple of available guys. One is a cool JD type character named Jimmy Reed and the other is a geeky dude with the geeky name Pinky. As she alternates affection between the two of them, it becomes painfully evident that one is a little psychopath. Murders start happening and the blame immediately falls on Jimmy's shoulders, but which is really the psychotic? What's a poor stranded girl to do?

There are no new ideas in Far From Home, but as I said, it's a reasonably well made picture and the little trailer park hosts some lively characters. We have Masur as a gun-toting, peace loving hippie, Jennifer Tilly and Karen Austin as two partying gals that may or may not be lovers, Dick Miller as the local Sheriff (and of course he's ALWAYS a welcome sight in any movie) and Susan Tyrell as the 'lady' that rents shitbox trailers to hapless residents.

Far From Home was produced by exploitation master Donald Borchers, who gave us such classics as Angel, Vamp, Crimes of Passion, Tuff Turf, Two Moon Junction, Motorama, Fear No Evil and Children of the Corn. He doesn't appear to have done anything since 1998. I wonder what ever became of the guy? The film was directed by music video veteran Meiert Avis, who was best known for helming vids of U2 and Bruce Springsteen.

The Artisan DVD of Far From Home leaves quite a lot to be desired. It's a barebones edition, with not so much as a trailer and a limpid fullscreen print. This isn't an exploitation classic, but it's a decent movie that deserves a better home on DVD. I wouldn't spend a fortune to see it, but if you get a chance to rent it, or pick it up for under ten bucks, I'd say go for it.

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