HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
You Were Never Really Here
Lovely But Deadly
Unsane
Smithereens
Last Warrior, The
Artemis 81
Rampage
Quiet Place, A
Braven
Changeover, The
Isle of Dogs
Funny Cow
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Mad to Be Normal
Beast of Burden
Dead Men Walk
Game Night
Under the Tree
L'Amant Double
Gonin
Coco
Producers, The
Molly's Game
Forest of the Lost Souls, The
Hatchet III
Birdman of Alcatraz
Pacific Rim: Uprising
Wonderstruck
If It Ain't Stiff, It Ain't Worth a Fuck
Nun, The
   
 
Newest Articles
The Edie Levy: Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol and Ciao! Manhattan
The Ultimate Trip: The Original Psychedelic Movies
Players of Games: Willy Wonka, Tron and Ready Player One
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? The Ends of The Monkees
Flings and Arrows: Conquest vs Flesh + Blood
Orson Around: F for Fake and The Late Great Planet Earth
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
   
 
  Running Man, The It's ShowtimeBuy this film here.
Year: 1987
Director: Paul Michael Glaser
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Conchita Alonso, Yaphet Kotto, Jim Brown, Jesse Ventura, Erland van Lidth, Marvin J. McIntyre, Gus Rethwisch, Professor Toru Tanaka, Mick Fleetwood, Dweezil Zappa, Richard Dawson, Karen Leigh Hopkins, Sven Ole-Thorsen
Genre: Action, Science Fiction
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: The year is 2017 and American society is ruled by the iron fist of the totalitarian government. One lawman, a helicopter pilot called Ben Richards (Arnold Schwarzenegger), was nearing a civil unrest of unarmed civilians when he was ordered by his bosses to open fire on them - he refused and in the ensuing scuffle was subdued and later framed for the people's deaths. Eighteen months later and Richards is in a prison camp, but he's not planning to stay much longer, in fact he and a few fellow jailbirds are all set to make a break for freedom. But Richards doesn't realise that by doing so he is about to get involved with the authorities in the flashiest manner possble...

In the same year as Predator making it big as a hit for Schwarzengger, he made The Running Man, a lesser project that acted as a broad satire of the media-saturated eighties by developing the then-current television trends (and even political ones) to their logical conclusions. Although there are no signs of gameshows where the contestants risk their lives yet, it's this kidding aspect that was the most successful part of the film; it certainly wasn't Schwarzenegger's poor one liners which showed as a comedian that his character couldn't resist the obvious.

Ostensibly this was based on Stephen King's pseudonymous Richard Bachman novel of the same name, although those that read it had their doubts, and yet more who had seen the French adaptation of Robert Sheckley's The Prize of Peril were even less convinced, but that film was so obscure at the time that any complaints of rip-offs were not as vocal as they might have been. While director Paul Michael Glaser, working from Steven E. de Souza's script, manages an appropriately tacky look for the game show sequences, this insinuates itself into the rest of the film, leaving it looking decidedly cheesy and low rent throughout, in spite of the cash spent on it.

What is this game show? It's the society's version of the old gladiatorial arena of Ancient Roman days, with criminals, or simply enemies of the police state, sent through a tunnel (they really like that zooming along the tunnel effect, it gets repeated about fifty times) to a danger zone where they are likely to be killed off by a large man in a costume more often as not. Once Richards is recaptured, as a notorious murderer (supposedly) he is sent onto the Running Man show, which is hosted by Damon Killian, played in one of many odd casting choices by real life Family Feud host Richard Dawson. In this case, the casting is apt and Dawson's smooth cruelty steals the film.

Of course, they're making a big mistake in plonking Mr Arnold Schwarzenegger right down in the middle of a gameshow where the object is to kill, because he was responsible for more movie deaths that decade than practically any other actor. He's like a kid in a candy store when he gets the chance to off various bad guys, including Jim Brown with a flamethrower and Erland van Lidth zapping bolts of electricity around the place. As a result, the excitement levels are low, which is due to no one in their right mind believing that Richards won't escape alive and save the day, but incidentals like the odd celeb appearance, including as they do Mick Fleetwood and Dweezil Zappa, and the cheap looking TV shows regularly spotted throughout, can keep the idle mind watching. It's a middling effort really, very much in the shadow of Robocop as far as nailing its targets goes and far more hypocritical in its entertainment objectives. Music by Harold Faltermeyer.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3127 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Arif Kabban
  Robert Segedy
Darren Jones
  Asma Amal
  Chris Lawrence
Enoch Sneed
George White
   

 

Last Updated: