Destiny Turns on the Radio (1995)


Destiny Turns on the Radio (1995)

Johnny Destiny burns into Las Vegas in his hot Plymouth RoadRunner, stopping only to pick up a stranger stranded in the desert. But then, things aren't always as they seem. Anything can happen in that town of many possibilities...especially since there's been some weird electrical disturbances. As the stranger, fresh out of prison, tries to put his life back together--to recover his money from an old bank heist and the girl he lost in doing the job--something keeps interfering with his plans. Is it fate...or just Destiny?
IMDb   4.5 /10
TheMovieDb    5.1 /10
FilmAffinity   4.5 /10
Director Jack Baran
Writer Robert Ramsey
Writer Matthew Stone
Release Date1995-04-27
Runtime1h 42min
GenreCrime, Comedy, Fantasy
Content RatingR (R)
CompanyRysher Entertainment, Savoy Pictures
Julian Goddardas Julian Goddard
Lucilleas Lucille
Johnny Destinyas Johnny Destiny
Thoreauas Thoreau
Tuertoas Tuerto
Escabelas Escabel
Ralph Dellaposaas Ralph Dellaposa
Mr. Smithas Mr. Smith
Katrinaas Katrina
Francineas Francine
Pappyas Pappy
Vinnie Vidivicias Vinnie Vidivici
Henchmanas Henchman
Henchmanas Henchman
Motoristas Motorist
Che Lujan
Che Lujan
Joseas Jose

Destiny Turns on the Radio

Destiny Turns on the Radio is a 1995 American comedy film directed by Jack Baran. It marked the film debut role of David Cross, and was the first film produced by Rysher Entertainment.


An incarcerated bank robber, Julian Goddard, escapes from prison. He is rescued in the desert by Johnny Destiny, a bizarre, possibly supernatural character. Destiny takes Julian to Las Vegas and the Marilyn Motel, owned by Harry Thoreau, who was Julian's partner in crime. Julian searches for his girlfriend, Lucille, and the proceeds of the heist.

However, Destiny has taken the money and Lucille is pregnant and shacking up with Tuerto, a mob kingpin. Her agent has convinced a record label to send a talent scout to hear her lounge singing act, but Julian's arrival upsets her plans. As they are hunted by both the police and Tuerto's henchmen, Destiny toys with their fate.


  • Dylan McDermott as Julian Goddard
  • Nancy Travis as Lucille
  • James LeGros as Harry Thoreau
  • Quentin Tarantino as Johnny Destiny
  • James Belushi as Tuerto
  • Janet Carroll as Escabel
  • David Cross as Ralph Dellaposa
  • Richard Edson as Gage
  • Bobcat Goldthwait as Mr. Smith
  • Barry Shabaka Henley as Dravec
  • Lisa Jane Persky as Katrina
  • Sarah Trigger as Francine
  • Tracey Walter as Pappy
  • Allen Garfield as Vinnie Vidivici


Roger Ebert gave the film 1 star out of 4 and wrote that it "moves at a lugubrious pace, is neither funny nor satirical, does not create any interest in its characters and takes seriously just those parts it should be laughing at - the Tarantino character, for example, or the business of how Lucille got pregnant in a dream. It's one of those movies where everybody must have spent a lot of time convincing themselves that the material would work if you looked at it in the right way, but nobody ever knew exactly what the right way was." Janet Maslin of The New York Times stated, "Thoroughly upstaged by the Las Vegas setting and by a studiously garish production design, the actors play out a satirically dark story laced with broad, dopey humor. If you don't think the idea of Bobcat Goldthwait in black socks is funny, you won't laugh at much else." Todd McCarthy of Variety called the film "a hopeless and hapless attempt at cool. Apparently aiming at some sort of fable about winning and losing in American culture, filmmakers flail about trying to establish a tone that never materializes, and an array of good actors is left with nothing coherent to play." Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune awarded 1 star out of 4 and called the film "A major disappointment considering the presence of 'Pulp Fiction' director Quentin Tarantino as one of the co-stars of a road picture that leads to Las Vegas. Maybe it proves just what a tremendous achievement 'Pulp' was, because these riff-raff types are deadly dull." Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly assigned a grade of D+ and wrote, "The visual cues that signify retro hipness — wraparound sunglasses, red convertibles, gaudy Las Vegas — take the place of true style in this self-satisfied riff on pulp-fiction themes." Peter Rainer of the Los Angeles Times called the film "a metaphysical snore fest that manages to strand an entire platoon of attractive performers in an oasis of pseudo-hip pseudo-cool."

As of August 2019 the film holds a 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 18 reviews.

Home video

The film was released on VHS and LaserDisc by Rysher Entertainment, but is out of print. It has not been released on DVD or Blu-ray.