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|“||Hey What was your name again boy?.||„|
|~ D.J to Johnny during the final showdown.|
Dennis James Wheeler (or better known as D.J Wheeler) is the main antagonist of the 1998 made-for-television film Black Cat Run.
Before the events of the movie, D.J Wheeler was a drug dealer working for a crime lord and two other thugs. While on a big job in Oklahoma, his former boss dropped the dime, and called the police to arrest D.J and his two other partners in crime, so that his boss could have all the drugs and the money for himself. D.J and his buddies were sent to Prison enraged, and spent time wondering how to seek revenge on the traitor.
3 years later, while they were still serving their prison sentence, D.J, his friends, and several other inmates were doing road work on a lonely Oklahoma highway. With a little help from a prison warden named Hobbs, D.J made a plan to escape. He first tells Hobbs to create something to blow the prison bus up. Then, one of his partners yells in pain (faking that he just hurt his foot). A prison guard walks up to see what happened, but ends up getting hit in the face by a shovel. As some of the inmates make a run for it, D.J and his men steal the guard's rifles and shotguns and begin killing the guards. As the guard in the bus attempts to call for backup, the bus explodes. D.J's thugs then carjack a station wagon, and take off, cheering in victory for escaping. Only one gaurd survived the shooting, and before the station wagon can leave the site, the guards shoots, hitting one of D.J's men in the shoulder point blank.
Sometime later, the thugs (now driving a stolen Cadillac) are pulled over in Texas by sheriff Ben Bronte, because the Cadilac's tags are expired. The Sheriff walks up and ask to see the driver's licence and registration. But before he could see it, D.J shoots the sheriff point blank, killing him. D.J's thugs run out and grab the sheriff's daughter, Sara Jane Bronnel. As D.J shoots the tires of the Sheriff's GMC Jimmy, a tow truck pulls up driven by the movie's main hero Johnny Dale Grissom. A shocked Johnny unsuccessfully coaches the thugs to give up Sara Jane. Armed with a crowbar, Johnny wisely puts down his weapon. D.J then points the shotgun to Johnny's head, but before he can pull the trigger, Johnny stabs him in the leg, and then jumps off the highway from a cliff, leaving the criminals to flee the scene. This caused Sheriff Deputy Norm Babbet and other local cops to falsely believe that Johnny is the killer of the Sherriff.
After several attempts to stop the kidnappers, Sara Jane's attackers (in a stolen Chevy Nova) reach a small town in New Mexico. Originally, the thugs were to escape into Mexico, but D.J first has to take care of some unfinished business with his former boss. D.J confronts the traitor at a bar. D.J explained his plan and his escape from prison. He then holds his former boss hostage, and demands to know where the money from the big job three years ago was. The drugs and the money where stuffed inside a TV. Satisfied with his price, he kills his boss and his two other friends. D.J even shoots Hobbs (possibly because Hobbs is the comic relief in this movie and is very annoying).
Back on the road, D.J is confronted by Johnny yet again. He plays chicken with Johnny, and after a brief chase and fight, a semi truck (driven by a severely wounded Norm) lands on D.J. But D.J is not dead yet. Surrounded by gasoline tanks ready to blow, Johnny lights the gasoline and runs off with Sara Jane. D.J.is killed in the explosion.
- Ironically, One of Wheelers victims (Sheriff Ben Bronte) was played by Rex Linn, who also played another backwoods Sheriff in Breakdown, released the year before Black Cat Run. Interesting enough, the Sheriff in Breakdown was gunned down and fatally wounded by Earl (played by M.C Gainey) on another desert highway. This is Ironic, considering that Linn's backwoods Sheriff in Black Cat Run was injured in the same way that happened in Breakdown.