PHOTOS

Ralph is hit with a shotgun blast while wearing a bullet-resistant vest

Ralph is hit with a shotgun blast while wearing a bullet-resistant vest  ©Michael Cartel

 

Vampiria (Alexis Alexander) in the living portrait scene.

VAMPIRIA (Alexis Alexander) in the living portrait scene

Fate (Seeska Vandenberg) finally finds her fortune. THE FOLLOWING ARE MANY OF THE MOVIE STILL PHOTOS FATE (Seeska Vandenberg) finally finds her fortune

The painting hanging in Hesperia's bedroom

The painting hanging in Hesperia‘s bedroom

THE FOLLOWING ARE MANY OF THE MOVIE STILL PHOTOS

 Director Mike Cartel interviews Georgia Durante for the part of "Leslie" during the brief pre-production of Runaway Nightmare

Director Mike Cartel interviews Georgia Durante for the part of “Leslie” during the brief (3-day) pre-production of Runaway Nightmare

 Make-up artist Barbara Wolfe works on Cartel for the first day of shooting

Make-up artist Barbara Wolfe works on Cartel for the first day of shooting

 Jody Lee Olhava as "Torchy," looks into the still camera lens during the first week of the cult room sequence

Jody Lee Olhava as “Torchy,” looks into the still camera lens during the first week of the cult room sequence

Cartel's character "Ralph" is cursed with counter-sex appeal within a cult of beautiful women while his friend "Jason" (Al Valletta) enjoys their attention

Cartel‘s character “Ralph” is cursed with counter-sex appeal within a cult of beautiful women while his friend “Jason” (Al Valletta) enjoys their attention

First week interior wide shots had to be re-shot because of a faulty 25mm lens. Later scenes were re-cast with some actors repositioned for inter-cutting

First week interior wide shots had to be re-shot because of a faulty 25mm lens. Later scenes were re-cast with some actors repositioned for inter-cutting

Reverse shot of the 'decision' scene with (l. to r.) Karen Stride, Cindy Donlan, Georgia Durante and Debbie Holder. Ms. Holder was an L.A. Rams cheerleader

Reverse shot of the ‘decision’ scene with (l. to r.) Karen Stride, Cindy Donlan, Georgia Durante and Debbie Holder. Ms. Holder was a L.A. Rams cheerleader

 Playing "Vampiria," Alexis Alexander stands in front of a black background that could be inserted seamlessly into any "Vampiria" master shot

Playing “Vampiria,” Alexis Alexander stands in front of a black background that could be inserted seamlessly into any “Vampiria” master shot

 Last meter reading before shooting, Mike runs lines with Cheryl Gamson playing "Pepper"

Last meter reading before shooting, Mike runs lines with Cheryl Gamson playing “Pepper.”  Arm holding meter belongs to Enzo Giobbe.  

Mari Cartel works first week as the script girl. Later she was the make-up girl, 1st assistant director, grip, sound man, production manager, cook, gofer, gaffer and actor

Mari Cartell works first week as the script girl. Later she was the make-up girl, 1st assistant director, grip, sound man, production manager, cook, gofer, gaffer and actor

Mari looks at what she's been logging

Mari looks at what she’s been logging

Cartel blocks out and marks off the struggle-seduction scene as Jody Lee Olhava ("Torchy") watches off-camera

Cartel blocks out and marks off the struggle-seduction scene as Jody Lee Olhava (“Torchy“) watches off-camera

Mike (back to camera) gives Jody direction for her chess sequence.

Mike (back to camera) gives Jody direction for her chess sequence.

Jody Lee Olhava improvises some business with her chess-playing scene that remained in the final cut

Jody Lee Olhava improvises some business with her chess-playing scene that remained in the final cut

Loop-frame photo from the work print with Al Valletta (l.) and Georgia Durante

Loop-frame photo from the work print with Al Valletta (l.) and Georgia Durante

 Working with actresses new to film, Cartel directs them to underplay expressions and improvise lines. Once he fired a pistol to get a naturally startled reaction

Working with actresses new to film, Cartel directs them to underplay expressions and improvise lines. Once he fired a pistol to get a naturally startled reaction

 Karen Stride ("Masey") demonstrates why she was a successful model

Karen Stride (“Masey“) demonstrates why she was a successful model

Everyone is oblivious to Ralph's dilemmas. A shot rescued from the cutting room floor for the fantasy-musical montage.

Everyone is oblivious to Ralph’s dilemmas. A shot rescued from the cutting room floor for the fantasy-musical montage

Mari Cartel (r.) confronts her husband who is not interested in listening to her

Mari Cartel (r.) confronts her husband who is not interested in listening to her

Alexis' "Vampiria" places a violent death curse on "Ralph" (Cartel) during the third week of filming

Alexis‘ “Vampiria” places a violent death curse on “Ralph” (Cartel) during the third week of filming

 

Alexis Alexander without the Vampiria make-up was/is exceptionally beautiful.

Alexis Alexander without the Vampiria make-up was/is exceptionally beautiful

Mike plays with his director's viewfinder but found it was unnecessary for lining up the camera frame. Cartel also stopped using a video tape playback (after the first shot of the movie) to see what the camera saw when he was also acting. Director of Photography Enzo Giobbe (r.) contemplates the next setup.

Mike plays with his director’s viewfinder but found it was unnecessary for lining up the camera frame. Cartel also stopped using a video tape playback (after the first shot of the movie) to see what the camera saw when he was also acting. Director of Photography, Enzo Giobbe (r.) contemplates the next setup

 Steve Escovido (left) works as the assistant cameraman while Cartel waits on a crab dolly and Gerald B. (Jerry) Wolfe runs the camera. Mr. Escovido recently retired from 20th Century Fox as a Senior VP and consultant

Steve Escovido (left) works as the assistant cameraman while Cartel waits on a crab dolly and Gerald B. (Jerry) Wolfe runs the camera. Mr. Escovido recently retired from 20th Century Fox as a Senior VP and consultant

Mike Cartel is hit in the face with a cream pie at the end of another endless night shoot just to break the tension on the set

Mike Cartel is hit in the face with a cream pie at the end of another endless night shoot just to break the tension on the set

Key grip Daryn Okada opens champagne after Friday shooting was wrapped. Ina, Al and Georgia Durante are in the back

Key grip Daryn Okada opens champagne after Friday shooting was wrapped. Ina, Al and Georgia Durante are in the back

21.)

Director Cartel frames a long shot in the Angeles National Forest with cameraman Jerry Wolfe during the fourth week of shooting

Director Cartel frames a long shot in the Angeles National Forest with cameraman Jerry Wolfe during the fourth week of shooting

Debbie Poropat playing "Sadie" practices quick-drawing just before filming begins

Debbie Poropat playing “Sadie” practices quick-drawing just before filming begins

You wouldn't believe that Debbie was vivacious with a beautiful smile, but I asked her to underplay cold and robotic for her Sadie.

You wouldn’t believe that Debbie was vivacious with a beautiful smile, but I asked her to underplay cold and robotic for her Sadie

Cindy Donlan, playing cult leader "Hesperia," prepares for her dueling scene with Debbie Poropat

Cindy Donlan, playing cult leader “Hesperia,” prepares for her dueling scene with Debbie Poropat

gunfight Hesperia angle

Mike Cartel walks through the choreography of the gunfight scene with Seeska

Mike Cartel walks through the choreography of the gunfight scene with Seeska

Cartel examines a set-up as Daryn Okada helps him with a better view of the coffin. Sound mixer Deverle Jones watches in the background with Al Valletta

Cartel examines a set-up as Daryn Okada helps him with a better view of the coffin. Sound mixer Deverle Jones watches in the background with Al Valletta

Dink Reed takes a meter reading as actresses stand on a roof for a low-angle shot to match the treeless desert sequence

Dink Reed takes a meter reading as actresses stand on a roof for a low-angle shot to match the treeless desert sequence

27.)

Forced to film something indoors because of the sudden rain, Cartel rummages through his script to find a suitable scene with his available actors

Forced to film something indoors because of the sudden rain, Cartel rummages through his script to find a suitable scene with his available actors

 Mike waits for the rain to stop before comitting to the next shot

Mike waits for the rain to stop before committing to the next shot

Pulling up the Death tarot card, looking from the floor through a glass table.

Pulling up the Death tarot card, looking from the floor through a glass table

Al Valletta pretends to be comfortable in the cold wind of the Mojave Desert just before his scene begins

Al Valletta pretends to be comfortable in the cold wind of the Mojave Desert just before his scene begins

Cartel crams in shots before the desert sun sets as Eldon W. Short (background) has that look that all producers eventually get

Cartel crams in shots before the desert sun sets as Eldon W. Short (background) has that look that all producers eventually get

Mike talks over burial discovery sequence with Al as Enzo elevates the camera for a high angle shot

Mike talks over burial discovery sequence with Al as Enzo elevates the camera for a high angle shot

33.)Seeska Vandenberg (“Fate“) bravely acts unconscious amid desert bugs while being buried in a coffin

Wide still shot of Fate's disinterment with the 7-person crew.

Wide still shot of Fate’s disinterment with the 7-person crew

With the Death Valley scenes wrapped for good, Mike, Mari and Al smiie for the camera before loading everything into the grip truck

With the Death Valley scenes wrapped for good, Mike, Mari and Al smiie for the camera before loading everything into the grip truck

Mike discusses the bar fight choreography at the second bar location with Al as Roberto sets the lights.

Mike discusses the bar fight choreography at the second bar location with Al as Roberto sets the lights

Mike Cartel gets knocked into a juke box that lights up in one of two different bars that the fight was staged

Mike Cartel gets knocked into a juke box that lights up in one of two different bars that the fight was staged

The bar fight begins with Cartel taking a punch to the forehead

The bar fight begins with Cartel taking a punch to the forehead

Clio (Ina Rose Fortman) happily watches as Ralph gets the daylights beat out of him, two months after the master shot was filmed.

Clio (Ina Rose Fortman) happily watches as Ralph gets the daylights beat out of him, two months after the master shot was filmed

Jodie Perbix "Electra" (r.) assists Mari Cartel with feeding the crew. Like any army, a fim crew will mutiny if not fed regularly

Jodie PerbixElectra” (r.) assists Mari Cartel with feeding the crew. Like any army, a fim crew will mutiny if not fed regularly

Karen Stride ("Masey") and Debbie Poropat "(Sadie") pose for a still shot from the cellar sequence. A right-angle velvet curtain hides the other film set

Karen Stride (“Masey”) and Debbie Poropat (“Sadie”) pose for a still shot from the cellar sequence. A right-angle velvet curtain hides the other film set

During the hallway sequence, Cartel shows effects of living on coffee during the third week of shooting

During the hallway sequence, Cartel shows effects of living on coffee during the third week of shooting

The motorcycle stunt scene, with Chris Senter busting out the back of a van had two cameras running but was not used in the final version

The motorcycle stunt scene, with Chris Senter busting out the back of a van had two cameras running where only the close shot was used in the fantasy sequence

Ralph watches the motorcycle race from the back of the fast-moving van. This is the shot that was to be cut within an action sequence. It appears in the DVD/Blu-ray version.

Ralph watches the motorcycle race from the back of the fast-moving van. This is the shot that was to be cut within an action sequence. It appears in the DVD/Blu-ray version

Actor/art director J. Christopher Senter sits for a publicity shot after filming a close-up scene as "Mr. X"

Actor/art director J. Christopher Senter sits for a publicity shot after filming a close-up scene as “Mr. X”

Cheryl Gamson (l.) and Roslyn Royce rehearse the tavern sequence shot at a different bar spliced into the same sequence

Cheryl Gamson (l.) and Roslyn Royce rehearse the tavern sequence shot at a different bar spliced into the same sequence

Seeska Vandenberg (l.) and Roslyn Royce (laughing) react to their dunking of Mike ("Ralph") in a pond during the fantasy scene. Royce later started her own successful female wrestling production company

Seeska Vandenberg (l.) and Roslyn Royce (laughing) react to their dunking of Mike (“Ralph“) in a pond during the fantasy scene. Royce later started her own successful female wrestling production company

Rosyln Royce in a sequence that was never used in the final version.

Rosyln Royce in a sequence that was never used in the final version

 

The Fate seducing Ralph into trusting her scene had to be doubled with Donna Paris instead of Seeska.

The Fate-seducing-Ralph-into-trusting-her scene had to be doubled with Donna Paris instead of Seeska on this occasion.

 

 Seeska Vandenberg (l.) and Cindy Donlan at Cartel's home during the premature wrap party in early 1979

Seeska Vandenberg (l.) and Cindy Donlan at Cartel’s home during the premature wrap party in early 1979

Tall Chris Senter gets ready to bust a prop bottle at Cartel's jaw

Tall Chris Senter gets ready to bust a prop bottle at Cartel‘s jaw

Chris slams Mike with a stunt bottle across the face. Cartel said it hurt some but avoided the flying shards that actually stuck in wood furniture off-camera

Chris slams Mike with a stunt bottle across the face. Cartel said it hurt some but avoided the flying shards that actually stuck in wood furniture off-camera

Mike gets shot-gunned and is thrown back and off his feet by a rope pulled by five grips. Cartel said that heat from the blast was so intense on his face that he thought Chris had leveled the gun too high

Mike gets shot-gunned and is thrown back and off his feet by a rope pulled by five grips. Cartel said that heat from the blast was so intense on his face that he thought Chris had leveled the gun too high

Thunderstruck that he's still alive, Cartel stands dazed with Daryn Okada after the shotgun blast scene. Mr. Okada later became a major Hollywood Director of Photography (Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken) and film director

Thunderstruck that he’s still alive, Cartel stands dazed with Daryn Okada after the shotgun blast scene. Mr. Okada later became a major Hollywood Director of Photography (Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken) and film director

While not hesitating in his run, Cartel tucks his chin and uses an elbow to break an opening in the glass

While not hesitating in his run, Cartel tucks his chin and uses an elbow to break an opening in the glass

Singer Pat Coons records one of the two songs that she and her husband jim wrote for Runaway Nightmare

Singer Pat Coons records one of the two songs that she and her husband jim wrote for Runaway Nightmare

 

Alexis in her dressing room (my master bathroom) getting into makeup herself and doesn't wish to be disturbed.

Alexis in her dressing room (my master bathroom) getting into makeup herself and doesn’t wish to be disturbed

Alexis performing in the last shot of the movie.

Alexis performing in the last shot of the movie

 Needing a punch-up for a sequence filmed much earlier, Karen Stride smiles just before getting into her "Masey" character

Needing a punch-up for a sequence filmed much earlier, Karen Stride smiles just before getting into her “Masey” character

Roslyn Royce in a shot with Mike that was never included in the movie.

Roslyn Royce in a shot with Mike that was never included in the movie

Acting wherever she's needed, Mari Cartel fulfills another editing insert

Acting wherever she’s needed, Mari Cartel fulfills another editing insert

Rowdy Harrington helped out as our gaffer in early 1979. Rowdy later became a major filmmaker that included his direction of the 1989 hit, Road House

Rowdy Harrington helped out as our gaffer in early 1979. Rowdy later became a major filmmaker that included his direction of the 1989 hit, Road House

 

Gangster "Rowdy Harrington" (famous major film director, back then our gaffer) the moment before he gets slugged with a crow bar in the break-in assault.

Rowdy Harrington (successful film director/writer, back then our gaffer), assisting as an actor,  the moment before he gets slugged with a crow bar in the break-in assault scene

Now shooting in his own home, Cartel watches the filming of another endless pick-up shot

Now shooting in his own home, Cartel watches the filming of another endless pick-up shot

While editing the film, Cartel needed several insert shots to fill out various scenes. Here he follows a pinball as it travels through the machine

While editing the film, Cartel needed several insert shots to fill out various scenes. Here he follows a pinball as it travels through the machine

Seeska and Mari at the end of the principle photography phase and the start of the week-end shoots

Seeska and Mari at the end of the principle photography phase and the start of the week-end shoots

Cartel directs while working as the boom-man. Runaway Nightmare was scratch-track recorded and later loop-voiced at Scott Sound studio

Cartel directs while working as the boom-man. Runaway Nightmare was scratch-track recorded and later loop-voiced at Scott Sound studio

Cartel logs the camera report before lugging the sealed exposed film cans to the lab

Cartel logs the camera report before lugging the sealed exposed film cans to the lab

Shooting in a small, empty room, Cartel tries to wake up and make the scene interesting

Shooting in a small, empty room, Cartel tries to wake up and make the scene interesting

Just before sun-up, Cartel (r.) gets the last week-end shot in the can so he can race to get the camera back to the rental house

Just before sun-up, Cartel (far right) gets the last week-end shot in the can so he can race to get the camera back to the rental house

Cartel stages a scene flanked by Al Valletta standing and cameraman Dink Reed sitting

Cartel stages a scene flanked by Al Valletta standing and cameraman Dink Reed sitting

Cheryl Gamson and Mike rehearse during a marathon

Cheryl Gamson and Mike rehearse during a marathon

Producer Eldon W. Short (l.), Mari, Al and Mike close one door and open another

Producer Eldon W. Short (l.), Mari, Al and Mike close one door and open another

Mike helps Lori Markos (Samantha) up from the floor as Enzo Giobbe (the first Director of Photography) contemplates the next setup.

Mike helps Lori Markos (Samantha) up from the floor as Enzo Giobbe (the first Director of Photography) contemplates the next setup.

Making up for lost time, Cartel shows signs of lunacy. Lori Markos ("Samantha") stands in the background

Making up for lost time, Cartel shows signs of lunacy. Lori Markos (Samantha) stands in the background

Alexis takes a nap after 12 hours of filming.

Alexis takes a nap after 12 hours of filming

Second Unit DP Dink Reed runs through the commune house as the 1979 New Years Baby at one minute after midnight. Reed finished up the movie as the Director of Photography.

Second Unit DP Dink Reed runs through the commune house as the 1979 New Years Baby at one minute after midnight. Reed finished up the movie as the Director of Photography

Oil painting in Ralph's master bedroom reflects his interest in punching bags, reading, writing, chess, weights and drums rather than Jason's room filled with paintings of women.

Oil painting in Ralph’s master bedroom reflects his interest in punching bags, reading, writing, chess, weights and drums rather than Jason’s room filled with paintings of women

Robert Blake interviewed from a sequenced at the 1979 San Onofre anti-nuke demonstration that was never used.

Actor Robert Blake interviewed from a (16 mm) sequence at the 1979 San Onofre anti-nuke demonstration that was never used in the film.

See the ‘Addendum to Page 1‘ on the SCRIPT page

Eldon (c.) and Mike visit actor Mike Delano (l.) on his own set. Delano and Cartel became friends while working on "Bitter Heritage"

Eldon (c.) and Mike visit actor Mike Delano (l.) on his own set. Delano and Cartel became friends while working on Bitter Heritage, a film that Cartel wrote and took over directing just before Runaway Nightmare

For needed inserts as he edits, Cartel lights, shoots and audio-records himself with changeable background flats in his home

For needed inserts as he edits, Cartel lights, shoots and audio-records himself with changeable background flats in his home

Director Cartel goes over song lyrics and melody with writer/musician Jim Coons (l.) during post production

Director Cartel goes over song lyrics and melody with writer/musician Jim Coons (l.) during post production

MORE MOVIE STILLS on the SCRIPT PAGE

The editing begins with Cartel and his Movieola, where some five miles of film ran through his fingers. Mike has that same editing machine in his office today

The editing begins with Cartel and his Movieola, where some five miles of film ran through his fingers. Mike has that same editing machine in his office today

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