Desert Heat


1h 35m 1999

Brief Synopsis

Desperate to flee the inner demons raging inside him, mysterious loner Eddie Lomax rides to the last outpost of an abandoned desert highway prepared to end it all. But when a savage gang steals his prized cycle and leaves him for dead, Eddie's life is saved by a soulmate from his past. Burning with

Film Details

Also Known As
Inferno
MPAA Rating
Release Date
1999
Location
Mojave Desert, California, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m

Synopsis

Desperate to flee the inner demons raging inside him, mysterious loner Eddie Lomax rides to the last outpost of an abandoned desert highway prepared to end it all. But when a savage gang steals his prized cycle and leaves him for dead, Eddie's life is saved by a soulmate from his past. Burning with a new reason to live, Eddie sets off on a one-man search and destroy mission against his attackers.

Film Details

Also Known As
Inferno
MPAA Rating
Release Date
1999
Location
Mojave Desert, California, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m

Articles

Vincent Schiavelli (1948-2005)


American Actor Vincent Schiavelli, a classic "I know the face but not the name" character player who had prominent roles in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Nightshift and Ghost, died at his Sicily home after a long battle with lung cancer on December 26. He was 57.

He was born on November 10, 1948 in Brooklyn, New York. After he studied acting at New York University's School of the Arts, he quickly landed a role in Milos Foreman's Taking Off (1971), and his career in the movies seldom dropped a beat. Seriously, to not recognize Schiavelli's presence in a movie or television episode for the last 30 years means you don't watch much of either medium, for his tall, gawky physique (a towering 6'6"), droopy eyes, sagging neck skin, and elongated chin made him a casting director's dream for offbeat and eccentric parts.

But it wasn't just a striking presence that fueled his career, Schiavelli could deliver the fine performances. Foreman would use him again as one of the mental ward inmates in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975); and he was hilarious as the put-upon science teacher, Mr. Vargas in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982); worked for Foreman again as Salieri's (F. Murray Abraham's) valet in Amadeus (1984); unforgettable as an embittered subway ghost who taunts Patrick Swayze in Ghost (1990); downright creepy as the brooding organ grinder in Batman Returns (1992); worked with Foreman one last time in The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996); and was a dependable eccentric in Death to Smoochy (2002). Television was no stranger to him either. Although he displayed a gift for comedy playing Latka's (Andy Kaufman) confidant priest, "Reverend Gorky" in a recurring role of Taxi, the actor spent much of his time enlivening shows of the other worldly variety such as Star Trek: The Next Generation, Tales from the Crypt, The X Files, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

In recent years, Schiavelli curtailed the acting, and concentrated on writing. He recently relocated to the Sicilian village of Polizzi Generosa, where his grandparents were raised. He concentrated on his love of cooking and in 2002, wrote a highly praised memoir of his family's history as well as some cooking recipes of his grandfather's titled Many Beautiful Things. He is survived by two children.

by Michael T. Toole
Vincent Schiavelli (1948-2005)

Vincent Schiavelli (1948-2005)

American Actor Vincent Schiavelli, a classic "I know the face but not the name" character player who had prominent roles in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Nightshift and Ghost, died at his Sicily home after a long battle with lung cancer on December 26. He was 57. He was born on November 10, 1948 in Brooklyn, New York. After he studied acting at New York University's School of the Arts, he quickly landed a role in Milos Foreman's Taking Off (1971), and his career in the movies seldom dropped a beat. Seriously, to not recognize Schiavelli's presence in a movie or television episode for the last 30 years means you don't watch much of either medium, for his tall, gawky physique (a towering 6'6"), droopy eyes, sagging neck skin, and elongated chin made him a casting director's dream for offbeat and eccentric parts. But it wasn't just a striking presence that fueled his career, Schiavelli could deliver the fine performances. Foreman would use him again as one of the mental ward inmates in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975); and he was hilarious as the put-upon science teacher, Mr. Vargas in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982); worked for Foreman again as Salieri's (F. Murray Abraham's) valet in Amadeus (1984); unforgettable as an embittered subway ghost who taunts Patrick Swayze in Ghost (1990); downright creepy as the brooding organ grinder in Batman Returns (1992); worked with Foreman one last time in The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996); and was a dependable eccentric in Death to Smoochy (2002). Television was no stranger to him either. Although he displayed a gift for comedy playing Latka's (Andy Kaufman) confidant priest, "Reverend Gorky" in a recurring role of Taxi, the actor spent much of his time enlivening shows of the other worldly variety such as Star Trek: The Next Generation, Tales from the Crypt, The X Files, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In recent years, Schiavelli curtailed the acting, and concentrated on writing. He recently relocated to the Sicilian village of Polizzi Generosa, where his grandparents were raised. He concentrated on his love of cooking and in 2002, wrote a highly praised memoir of his family's history as well as some cooking recipes of his grandfather's titled Many Beautiful Things. He is survived by two children. by Michael T. Toole

Pat Morita (1932-2005)


Pat Morita, the diminutive Asian-American actor who found lasting fame, and an Oscar® nomination, as Kesuke Miyagi, the janitor that teaches Ralph Macchio the fine art of karate in the hit film, The Karate Kid (1984), died on November 24 of natural causes in his Las Vegas home. He was 73.

He was born Noriyuki Morita on June 28, 1932 in Isleton, California. The son of migrant fruit pickers, he contracted spinal tuberculosis when he was two and spent the next nine years in a sanitarium run by Catholic priests near Sacramento. He was renamed Pat, and after several spinal surgical procedures and learning how to walk, the 11-year-old Morita was sent to an internment camp at Gila River, Arizona, joining his family and thousands of other Japanese-Americans who were shamefully imprisoned by the U.S. government after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.

His family was released after the war, and Morita graduated from high school in Fairfield, California in 1950. He worked in his family's Chinese restaurant in Sacramento until his father was killed in a hit-and-run accident. He eventually found work as a data processor for the Department of Motor Vehicles and then Aerojet General Corporation before he decided to try his hand at stand-up comedy.

He relocated to San Francisco in 1962, where at first, there was some hesitation from clubs to book a Japanese-American comic, but Morita's enthusiasm soon warmed them over, and he was becoming something of a regional hit in all the Bay Area. His breakthrough came in 1964 when he was booked on ABC's The Hollywood Palace. The image of a small, unassuming Asian with the broad mannerisms and delivery of a modern American was something new in its day. He was a hit, and soon found more bookings on the show. And after he earned the nickname "the hip nip," he quickly began headlining clubs in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

Morita's stage and television success eventually led him to films. He made his movie debut as "Oriental #2," the henchman to Beatrice Lilly in the Julie Andrew's musical Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967). Although his role, complete with thick coke-bottle glasses and gaping overbite, was a little hard to watch, it was the best he could do at the time. Subsequent parts, as in Don Knott's dreadful The Shakiest Gun in the West (1968); and Bob Hope's lamentable final film Cancel My Reservations (1972); were simply variations of the same stereotype.

However, television was far kinder to Morita. After some popular guest appearances in the early '70s on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Morita landed some semi-regular work. First, as the wisecracking, cigar chomping Captain Sam Pack on M.A.S.H. and as Ah Chew, the deadpan neighbor of Fred and Lamont Sanford in Sanford & Son. His success in these roles led to his first regular gig, as Arnold Takahashi in Happy Days. His stint as the owner of the soda shop where Ritchie Cunningham and the Fonz hung out for endless hours may have been short lived (just two seasons 1974-76), but it was Morita's first successful stab at pop immortality.

He left Happy Days to star in his own show, the critically savaged culture clash sitcom Mr. T and Tina that was canceled after just five episodes. Despite that setback, Morita rebounded that same year with his first dramatic performance, and a fine one at that, when he portrayed a Japanese-American internment camp survivor in the moving made for television drama Farewell to Manzanar (1976). After a few more guest appearances on hit shows (Magnum P.I., The Love Boat etc.), Morita found the goldmine and added new life to his career when he took the role of Miyagi in The Karate Kid (1984). Playing opposite Ralph Macchio, the young man who becomes his martial arts pupil, Morita was both touching and wise, and the warm bond he created with Macchio during the course of the film really proved that he had some serious acting chops. The flick was the surprise box-office hit of 1984, and Morita's career, if briefly, opened up to new possibilities.

He scored two parts in television specials that were notable in that his race was never referenced: first as the horse in Alice in Wonderland (1985); and as the toymaster in Babes in Toyland (1986). He also landed a detective show (with of course, comic undertones) that ran for two seasons Ohara (1987-89); nailed some funny lines in Honeymoon in Vegas (1992); was the sole saving grace of Gus Van Zandt's Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993); and starred in all of the sequels to The Karate Kid: The Karate Kid, Part II (1986), The Karate Kid, Part III (1989), and The Next Karate Kid (1994). Granted, it is arguable that Morita's career never truly blossomed out of the "wise old Asian man" caricature. But give the man his due, when it came to infusing such parts with sly wit and sheer charm, nobody did it better. Morita is survived by his wife, Evelyn; daughters, Erin, Aly and Tia; his brother, Harry, and two grandchildren.

by Michael T. Toole

Pat Morita (1932-2005)

Pat Morita, the diminutive Asian-American actor who found lasting fame, and an Oscar® nomination, as Kesuke Miyagi, the janitor that teaches Ralph Macchio the fine art of karate in the hit film, The Karate Kid (1984), died on November 24 of natural causes in his Las Vegas home. He was 73. He was born Noriyuki Morita on June 28, 1932 in Isleton, California. The son of migrant fruit pickers, he contracted spinal tuberculosis when he was two and spent the next nine years in a sanitarium run by Catholic priests near Sacramento. He was renamed Pat, and after several spinal surgical procedures and learning how to walk, the 11-year-old Morita was sent to an internment camp at Gila River, Arizona, joining his family and thousands of other Japanese-Americans who were shamefully imprisoned by the U.S. government after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. His family was released after the war, and Morita graduated from high school in Fairfield, California in 1950. He worked in his family's Chinese restaurant in Sacramento until his father was killed in a hit-and-run accident. He eventually found work as a data processor for the Department of Motor Vehicles and then Aerojet General Corporation before he decided to try his hand at stand-up comedy. He relocated to San Francisco in 1962, where at first, there was some hesitation from clubs to book a Japanese-American comic, but Morita's enthusiasm soon warmed them over, and he was becoming something of a regional hit in all the Bay Area. His breakthrough came in 1964 when he was booked on ABC's The Hollywood Palace. The image of a small, unassuming Asian with the broad mannerisms and delivery of a modern American was something new in its day. He was a hit, and soon found more bookings on the show. And after he earned the nickname "the hip nip," he quickly began headlining clubs in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Morita's stage and television success eventually led him to films. He made his movie debut as "Oriental #2," the henchman to Beatrice Lilly in the Julie Andrew's musical Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967). Although his role, complete with thick coke-bottle glasses and gaping overbite, was a little hard to watch, it was the best he could do at the time. Subsequent parts, as in Don Knott's dreadful The Shakiest Gun in the West (1968); and Bob Hope's lamentable final film Cancel My Reservations (1972); were simply variations of the same stereotype. However, television was far kinder to Morita. After some popular guest appearances in the early '70s on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Morita landed some semi-regular work. First, as the wisecracking, cigar chomping Captain Sam Pack on M.A.S.H. and as Ah Chew, the deadpan neighbor of Fred and Lamont Sanford in Sanford & Son. His success in these roles led to his first regular gig, as Arnold Takahashi in Happy Days. His stint as the owner of the soda shop where Ritchie Cunningham and the Fonz hung out for endless hours may have been short lived (just two seasons 1974-76), but it was Morita's first successful stab at pop immortality. He left Happy Days to star in his own show, the critically savaged culture clash sitcom Mr. T and Tina that was canceled after just five episodes. Despite that setback, Morita rebounded that same year with his first dramatic performance, and a fine one at that, when he portrayed a Japanese-American internment camp survivor in the moving made for television drama Farewell to Manzanar (1976). After a few more guest appearances on hit shows (Magnum P.I., The Love Boat etc.), Morita found the goldmine and added new life to his career when he took the role of Miyagi in The Karate Kid (1984). Playing opposite Ralph Macchio, the young man who becomes his martial arts pupil, Morita was both touching and wise, and the warm bond he created with Macchio during the course of the film really proved that he had some serious acting chops. The flick was the surprise box-office hit of 1984, and Morita's career, if briefly, opened up to new possibilities. He scored two parts in television specials that were notable in that his race was never referenced: first as the horse in Alice in Wonderland (1985); and as the toymaster in Babes in Toyland (1986). He also landed a detective show (with of course, comic undertones) that ran for two seasons Ohara (1987-89); nailed some funny lines in Honeymoon in Vegas (1992); was the sole saving grace of Gus Van Zandt's Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993); and starred in all of the sequels to The Karate Kid: The Karate Kid, Part II (1986), The Karate Kid, Part III (1989), and The Next Karate Kid (1994). Granted, it is arguable that Morita's career never truly blossomed out of the "wise old Asian man" caricature. But give the man his due, when it came to infusing such parts with sly wit and sheer charm, nobody did it better. Morita is survived by his wife, Evelyn; daughters, Erin, Aly and Tia; his brother, Harry, and two grandchildren. by Michael T. Toole

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1999

Released in United States on Video September 24, 1999

Released in United States on Video September 28, 1999

Irvin Kershner was previously attached to direct.

John D Avildsen was previously attatched to direct.

Straight-to-video release.

Began shooting June 15, 1998.

Completed shooting August 15, 1998.

Released in United States 1999

Released in United States on Video September 24, 1999

Released in United States on Video September 28, 1999