Raymond Lembecke (Vincent Gallo) is an ex-con just out of prison after serving time for selling drugs for his mob boss Tony Vago (Rod Steiger). (Lembecke was innocent and took the rap for Vago.) Lembecke thinks Vago owes him big time so, when his former boss gets him a measly job in a warehouse, he decides on revenge and plans to steal a million dollars' worth of drugs from him.
Lembecke plans the heist with Marcus Weans (Mykelti Williamson) and the disturbed trigger-happy Curtis Freley (Kiefer Sutherland). They kill an undercover DEA agent (who's wearing a wire) during the heist. They decide to skip town and head to Las Vegas to sell the stolen goods; later they hope to make it to Mexico.
As they head out of the city they kidnap a couple who own a recreational vehicle. But soon, hostage Gordon Jacobson (Kevin Pollak) falls under the spell of the Stockholm Syndrome and begins to emulate his kidnappers and wants to stay involved in their hunt. In addition to fleeing the police, the group must avoid an assassin named Sir (Martin Sheen) who has been dispatched by the mafia.Vincent Gallo as Raymond Lembecke
Mykelti Williamson as Marcus Weans
Kiefer Sutherland as Curtis Freley
Kevin Pollak as Gordon Jacobson
Kim Dickens as Addy Monroe
Grace Phillips as Donna Moreland
James McDaniel as Frank Thompson
Rick Rossovich as Robert Boylan
John C. McGinley as Eddie Grillo
Max Perlich as Wayne
Rod Steiger as Tony Vago
Martin Sheen as Sir
According to Paul Fischer, the film had ratings problems due to certain gruesomely violent portions involving Martin Sheen.
The filming Locations include: Heber, Hurricane, Park City, Rockville, Salt Lake City, and Washington, all in Utah; and Las Vegas and Mesquite, both in Nevada. No filming took place in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.
Due to its limited release the film was not widely reviewed. Critic Jeffrey Lyon of WNBC called the film, "[a] gritty, effective crime drama", according to the film's theatrical poster.
Critic Dale Winogura liked the film, especially the first half, and was appreciative of the acting. He wrote, "Kiefer Sutherland overcomes some of the faults with a sleek stylistic sheen and rapid pacing in the early stages...[and] Gallo turns a typical loser part into a sympathetic antihero, and Dickens supports him with an equally strong and rounded portrayal"
Critic Leslie Rigoulot called the motion picture "a good ride, not a great one," and Ben Hoffman did not like the film because "the actors have to do and say some pretty ridiculous things."
The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 38% of critics gave the film a positive review, based on thirteen reviews.
The producers used the following tagline when marketing the film:When you're running on fear, don't stop for gas.
The film opened in a very limited release on May 2, 1997.
After a few weeks the film went straight to video. Box office sales the first week in circulation were $19,528. Total sales for the run were $109,261 and in its widest release the film appeared in seven theatres.