Nowhere (1997)

Twenty-four years ago today, the film Nowhere premiered. It is a black comedy drama, the third in Greg Araki’s Teen Apocalypse trilogy and described as ‘Beverly Hills 90210 on acid’. The film follows a day in the lives of a group of Los Angeles college students and the strange lives that they lead. If reading who is in the cast isn’t enough incentive to watch this movie, I don’t know what is. The soundtrack is a perfect group of songs that encapsulates that late 90s angst. You need to see this movie.

Title: Nowhere
Directed by: Gregg Araki
Produced by: Gregg Araki and Andrea Sperling
Written by: Gregg Araki
Starring: James Duval as Dark, Rachel True as Mel, Nathan Bexton as Montgomery, Chiara Mastroianni as Kriss, Debi Mazar as Kozy, Kathleen Robertson as Lucifer, Joshua Gibran Mayweather as Zero, Jordan Ladd as Alyssa, Christina Applegate as Dingbat, Sarah Lassez as Egg, Guillermo Diaz as Cowboy, Jeremy Jordan as Bart, Alan Boyce as Handjob, Jaason Simmons as The Teen Idol, Ryan Phillippe as Shad, Heather Graham as Lilith, Scott Caan as Ducky, Thyme Lewis as Elvis, Mena Suvari as Zoe, Beverly D’Angelo as Dark’s Mom, Denise Richards as Jana, Teresa Hill as Shannon, Traci Lords as Val-Chick 1, Shannen Doherty as Val-Chick 2, Rose McGowan as Val-Chick 3, John Ritter as Moses Helper, Charlotte Rae as Fortune Teller, Christopher Knight as Mr. Sighvatssohn, Eve Plumb as Mrs. Sighvatssohn, Lauren Tewes as Julie The Newscaster, David Leisure as Egg and Ducky’s Dad, Devon Odessa as What, Staci Keanan as Ever, Gibby Haynes as Jujyfruit, Gregg Araki as Cockroach Alien (voice, uncredited)
Cinematography: Arturo Smith
Edited by: Gregg Araki
Distributed by: Fine Line Features
Release date: May 9, 1997
Running time: 78 minutes
Countries: United States
Language: English
Box office: $194,201

Dark and Mel are a bisexual couple in an open relationship. Mel is dating a girl named Lucifer, who Dark hates, while Dark is interested in a mysterious boy he keeps running into named Montgomery. The three of them meet up at a café they frequent, where we’re introduced to other teens they know, such as girls Alyssa, Dingbat and Egg and Dark’s friend Cowboy, and they discuss a party being held that night by a man they know named Jujyfruit.

Alyssa tells Montgomery that it’s said to be the day of the rapture, which scares him. Egg then runs into an unnamed TV star from Baywatch (played by Baywatch actor Jaason Simmons), and the two leave together. Cowboy and Dark discuss the former’s relationship with his boyfriend and bandmate Bart, whose dependency on heroin is driving them and the band apart, and Cowboy goes to look for him. Alyssa tells Dingbat that her palm of her hand feels weird, which is revealed to be because her twin brother, Shad, is having a palm reading with his girlfriend Lilith.

After leaving the café, Egg and the Baywatch star go on a date together where he tells her that he wants to run away with her, and the two go back to his place. Cowboy tracks down Bart, first heading to his heroin supplier Handjob. He eventually finds him and offers the chance to fix their relationship if he stops using drugs, but Bart declines. Alyssa and Dingbat meet with Ducky, Egg’s brother and Dingbat’s crush, before Alyssa meets up with her boyfriend Elvis. While waiting at a bus stop, Dark sees three valley girls killed by an alien, which he tries to catch on video before it disappears. Back in his bedroom he goes over the footage, but can’t spot the alien. Mel enters his room via his window and the two sleep together.

At the Baywatch star’s place, he and Egg watch TV together before he tries to make a move on her. She rejects his advances, angering him and leading to him raping her. Meanwhile, Bart has an S&M session with two girls, Kriss and Kozy. Dark and Mel cuddle back at Dark’s place before Mel realises she’s late to picking up Lucifer for a game of kick the can. He begs her to stay but she leaves anyway.

Mel’s younger brother Zero goes to pick up his girlfriend Zoe to take her to the party just as Dark and his friends play a drugged out game of hide and seek, during which Montgomery gets abducted by the same alien from earlier, who Dark runs into in a locker room. Getting impatient, the group leave without Montgomery, with Dark too stunned to tell them about the alien. Egg and Bart both return home and watch the same televangelist, Moses Helper, on TV, who encourages the two to commit suicide in order to reach heaven.

On the way to the party Zero’s car is stolen by a gang known as the Atari Gang. Him and Zoe walk beside the road before Handjob, Kriss and Kozy offer them a ride. At the party, Dark begs Mel to make their relationship monogamous but she instead goes of with Surf and Ski, two brothers that she knows which angers Lucifer. Dark goes outside and is joined by Dingbat when suddenly Ducky, after hearing about his sister’s suicide, leaps into a swimming pool, with Dingbat using CPR to resuscitate him. Going back into the party, Dark enters a kitchen where he sees the same alien from earlier. He meets with Handjob and begins to tell him about his day before Alyssa and Elvis arrive. Elvis claims Handjob sold him cut drugs and beats him to death with a can of tomato soup.

Dark returns home and records a diary entry on his video camera, saying how he’s “totally doomed”. As he attempts to sleep, Montgomery knocks on his window. Dark lets him in as he explains that he was abducted and experimented on by aliens who intend to invade Earth. The two lie down in bed together and Montgomery asks if he can spend the night, with Dark agreeing only if he promises to never leave. The two close their eyes but are disturbed, as Montgomery goes into a coughing fit, then explodes into a shower of blood, leaving only a cockroach-like alien who exclaims, “I’m outta here,” before crawling out of the window. A blood-covered Dark turns to the audience, staring with his mouth wide open.

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