A cast of misfits, refugees from checkered pasts, alcoholic binges and unrequited loves, each seek something different from this scorched wasteland and each other.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Carmine de Carlo (as Anthony John Denison)
Frank de Carlo
Max de Carlo
Kamie Harper ...
Jessica James ...


A cast of misfits, refugees from checkered pasts, alcoholic binges and unrequited loves, each seek something different from this scorched wasteland and each other.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

16 November 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Little Vegas: A Desert Story  »

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User Reviews

I waited so long for something to happen, but the movie ended. (spoilers)
30 November 2005 | by (Orlando, Florida) – See all my reviews

One of the biggest problems with this film is that the filmmakers couldn't decide what kind of a movie they wanted: light comedy/drama or light suspense. As a result, we are interrupted with constant genre switching and no real development of anything. You can watch the movie for so long, hoping that if you just endure it a little more, something will soon start to happen. And it does: the final credits roll. Despite a notable cast and the start of an interesting story of double-crossing conveniences, the movie becomes instantly forgettable.

Anthony Denison plays Carmine, a guy who left behind a garbage collection business in Jersey he ran with his relentless, mob-connected brother (Michael Nourri). Since then, he moved to an isolated trailer park in middle-of-nowhere Nevada where he lives with his teen son, Max. A grieving widow due to the recent death of his wife, he tries to figure out his next move and hopes to just start over. That's no easy task for Carmine because it seems, he's found himself in the middle of warring factions who determine the fate of the trailer park and Carmine himself.

His deceased wife's arrogant son, Harvey (Bruce McGill) wants to prevent Carmine from collecting an inheritance because he needs the cash to buy up the property which he wants to transform into a roadside attraction called 'Little Vegas.' In the meantime, park owner, Sam (Jerry Stiller) wants to keep Harvey from collecting anything, hoping that the option to get the whole park will expire and with it, save his own livelihood. And the only way this might be possible is to set up Harvey in a scam using Carmine's dangerous mob connection - his brother Frank.

It may seem like an intriguing tale of deceit, but the whole thing is too unbelievable because of the light-weight execution. Especially where most of the movie is interspersed with the love story between Carmine and his wife's estranged daughter, Lexie (Catherine O'Hara). Whether the movie should've succumbed to straight drama or comedy, writer-director Perry Lang (who has a role as Catherine O'Hara's cop boyfriend) should've picked one and ran with it.

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