Mari again  WELCOME to the RUNAWAY NIGHTMARE Official Website where at the moment there exist 95 film still shots on a movie PHOTOS page; miscellaneous information and Q&A on a MORE THAN EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW page; an outline/history in MAKING SENSE OF THIS MOVIE page; recent progress on a NEWS page; the changing opinion of RN in THE CRITICS RAVE AND RAGE page; modified RN soundtrack and backstory on a MUSIC page; director’s tapes on a VIDEO page; the shooting script with notes and 91 More accompanying photos on the SCRIPT page. And, (OVER 30) OP Columns/Reviews on the bottom of the HOME page and at MIKE CARTEL’s POSTS


Enter at own risk giphy

Greetings I am Mike Cartel and I’m personally responsible for this rediscovered masterpiece.
I am also the originator of the CinemaCarny school of deferment and no-budget filmmaking.  It took the world 32 years to catch up with my artistry while Vincent Van Gogh wasn’t recognized until half a century after his death.  

If anyone is still reading I must tell you that I grew up on a traveling carnival reading Mad magazine working in and on a midway illusion show and am only serious when actually shooting a movie with some other mark’s money.Mike ext smile

Since I am a carney I look down on no one. I’m certainly not an artist, although I may be something of a showman.

Having said all that, if you fell into this site by design or mistake, I consider you a friend (the complete opposite of a mark, townie or sucker) and deserving of my sincere hospitality.

I encourage you to wander through this funhouse until you feel comfortable enough to write in the mazes of pages about Runaway Nightmare, Disguise of Sanity, me or the history of the traveling carnival.  

At the moment I am serious in thanking you for your time and consideration while wishing only a pleasant journey within this ten-in-one sideshow that has become an action/adventurecomedy/suspense/thriller (surrealistic, psychotronic) CULT favorite.
Party smiley 52 THE TRUTH IS HERE

It has been accepted as an official article in WIKIPEDIA as a ‘notable’ and ‘worthy’ subject for inclusion while ‘verifiable’ with ‘significant coverage about the subject in reliable sources.’  

RN Screen Shot

           RUNAWAY NIGHTMARE is also included (recognized) in the exclusive               WIKIPEDIA “LIST of CULT FILMS” (between Rumble Fish and Run of the Arrow)                           CLICK ON HERE   RUNAWAY NIGHTMARE in WIKIPEDIA LIST OF CULT FILMS

The angry cat above is the painting hanging in Hesperia's bedroom

The Angry Cat above is the painting hanging in Hesperia’s bedroom

RN news ad Action/Adventure/Comedy/Suspense/Thriller – Runaway Nightmare is the only un-categorized movie in film history.  “The life’s work of a dedicated lunatic.”
– Joseph A. Ziemba Jr.

Vampiria is smitten with Ralph.

SPOILER: Vampiria is smitten with Ralph.

Watch Runaway Nightmare, the Cult film by Mike Cartel – Fandor   

What exactly (sort of) is a cult movie?                                                                                                                                                             “only an extremely small number have elicited a fiery passion in moviegoers that exists long after their initial releases.” Cult movies are defined by Danny Peary as “special films which for one reason or another have been taken to heart by segments of the movie audience, cherished, protected, and most of all, enthusiastically championed.” He explains that “the typical Hollywood product” never attains cult status since all viewers perceive these average films in more or less the same way, with no real disagreement as to the film’s quality. But cult films “are born in controversy, in arguments over quality, theme, talent and other matters. Cultists believe they are among the blessed few who have discovered something in particular that the average moviegoer and critic have missed – the something that makes the pictures extraordinary.” – Danny Peary, Cult Movies, 1981.  Mr. Peary’s intro stolen from Wikipedia entry (Cult Movies [Book]).

RUNAWAY NIGHTMARE is now an official Cult Film!

RUNAWAY NIGHTMARE IS NOW AN OFFICIAL CULT FILM!  (Between Rumble Fish and Run of the Arrow)


WIKIPEDIA’s definition;  A cult film, also commonly referred to as a cult classic, is a film with a cult following, obscure or unpopular with mainstream audiences, and often revolutionary or ironically enjoyed. Sometimes, the definition is expanded to exclude films that have been released by major studios or have big budgets, try specifically to become cult films, or become accepted by mainstream audiences and critics. Cult films are defined as much by audience reaction as they are content. Some studios, such as Troma Entertainment, specialize in making cult films.

Mike box color Fighting smiley 82 

1968 at 19

1968 at 19

1978 at 30

1978 at 30

Cool smiley 13160,203 VisitorsCool smiley 13
           YOU ARE NOT ALONE
RUNAWAY NIGHTMARE (The Official Movie Website) reached OVER 3,619 REGISTRANTS as of   Jan. 18, after just 38 months of unpublicized existence.

Mike box 1

2017 at 69

The DEATH VALLEY WORM RANCH thanks you most sincerely. Forgive me for being corny, but I’ll (try) not (to) betray your confidence while keeping the weeds from overtaking this site.
RN ranch sign straight 2

RN blue old

RN red old


  1. Regarding the above photo, I am considering challenging Mickey Rourke after his recent win in Russia. I’ll be giving away two inches in height and six pounds in weight, but I’m four years older, so it should be a fair fight. I have several demands (free this and that plus a hefty paycheck), including the needs of my rather large entourage. I say this while recalling that the hardest thing in the world is trying to pick up your teeth from the canvas with your boxing gloves on.

    Also, as a shameless plug I am holding a Retro (director’s cut, etc.) VHS Runaway Nightmare collectors box. Go to http://store.videonomicon.com/collections/frontpage/products/runaway-nightmare-vhs

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