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Running Man, The

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Running Man, The - 31/7/2006 3:42:30 PM   
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RE: Running Man, The - 31/7/2006 5:05:02 PM   

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From: Hobb's End
"Heeeey, Krismass tree!"

Certainly in my Arnie top 5, as well as being one of the best 80s action films. 


Ross Kemp invented Spain.

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Post #: 2
RE: Running Man, The - 31/7/2006 5:15:18 PM   
Mr Terrific

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Yes, a top movie...lots of fun. Adapted from a Stephen King novel, where he wrote as Richard Bachmann. If anything its much more fun than the  story....I loved the fact that the tv "gladiators" were treated like WWE wrestlers. Buzzsaw, Fireball, Sub-zero, Dynamo.


..."lost like tears in the rain....."

"He claims he is a man. And one of the things about being a man is getting knocked on your ass and learning from it."

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RE: Running Man, The - 1/8/2006 10:54:01 AM   

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From: Spanking The Re-animator...

ORIGINAL: NadaPlissken

"Heeeey, Krismass tree!"


This film rules. I now feel inspired to watch it again. Arnie is a legend.


"Sheriff Perry! You are violating my territorial bubble!"

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Post #: 4
RE: Running Man, The - 1/8/2006 5:16:50 PM   

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Home to some of the finest Arnie one liners

(on Buzzsaw) - "He had to split"
(Fireball) - "What a hot-head!" and of course "Hey lightbulb, Hey Krissmasss tree"
And any film featuring Mick Fleetwood as the head of a renegade army deserves kudos!

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Post #: 5
RE: Running Man, The - 1/8/2006 5:49:39 PM   
Dragonfall 5

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From: deep within your violent eyes

ORIGINAL: Mr Terrific

Yes, a top movie...lots of fun. Adapted from a Stephen King novel, where he wrote as Richard Bachmann. If anything its much more fun than the  story....I loved the fact that the tv "gladiators" were treated like WWE wrestlers. Buzzsaw, Fireball, Sub-zero, Dynamo.

A very loose adaptation, but it's still a fantastic film.


++++++ OUT OF CHEESE ERROR ++++++

Please reinstall the universe and reboot

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Post #: 6
RE: Running Man, The - 1/8/2006 6:25:53 PM   
Fluke Skywalker

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ORIGINAL: Dragonfall 5


ORIGINAL: Mr Terrific

Yes, a top movie...lots of fun. Adapted from a Stephen King novel, where he wrote as Richard Bachmann. If anything its much more fun than the  story....I loved the fact that the tv "gladiators" were treated like WWE wrestlers. Buzzsaw, Fireball, Sub-zero, Dynamo.

A very loose adaptation, but it's still a fantastic film.

It's a fun film - the book sees him released into the outside world and then hunted down. I would say it's down the list of Arnies films but it's still entertaining.

I love it when he tells the evil game show host "I'll be back" and gets the great reply "only in a re-run"!

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Post #: 7
RE: Running Man, The - 1/8/2006 8:53:52 PM   

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Joined: 1/6/2006
This is one of those films that I can't help but watch every time it is on. I think the review is spot on: bad acting, dodgy script etc, but somehow great fun and worthy of 4 stars. I think Richard Dawson is rather good as Killian and it's most satisfying when he gets his come-uppance at the end. I prefer the Terminator films, Predator and Total Recall, but Running Man is cetainly one of the better Arnie films for me.

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Post #: 8
RE: Running Man, The - 2/8/2006 4:37:01 PM   

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It's great just to see the awesome Yaphet Koto in body condom..and is the rebellion leader really Mick Fleetwood? Well f*@" me!


Non servium.

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Post #: 9
RE: Running Man, The - 22/5/2009 12:23:08 PM   

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From: The ickle town of Fuck, Austria
Stephen King, you could presume, has a certain degree of foresight. Whilst not exactly identical to his novel The Running Man (written under his pseudonym Richard Bachman and published in 1982), the likes of Big Brother, Shipwrecked and any other hopeless reality television programme you care to mention certainly conforms to his future society where the masses lap up reality game shows. Yet the game shows in King's world are often deadly to the contestants despite the big money prizes on offer, making it all the more intriguing for the bloodthirsty audiences of the future to enjoy. Imagine being treated to the likes of watching some nobody looking for their 15 minutes of fame "Climbing for Dollars", before they slip and fall into a pit of wild dogs and are torn to shreds by Mutley and Co. for being an utterly miserable failure. Joy! Alas, the pillars of society haven't crumbled enough to allow for such a tele-visual treat to pass, so in the meantime we'll just have to stick with watching the 1987 film adaptation starring Arnold Schwarznegger running around in a yellow leotard instead!

Wrongly convicted for a massacre of food rioters in Bakersfield and following his recapture after an audacious prison escape, Ben Richards (Arnie) is spotted by egomaniac game show host Damon Killian (Richard Dawson) as a talent for the countries leading ratings winner - The Running Man. Placed in a self-contained environment divided into sectors, the contestants - usually criminals offered the chance of a reprieve if they manage to survive - are hunted through the playing arena by 'stalkers' charged to dispose of the contestants in uber-violent ways conducive to promoting the watching audiences satisfaction. Forced to participate in the public execution show against his will and finding that not everything is as it seems to the public's perception, Ben has to survive the 'stalkers' hunting him down and the programme's other deceptions in order to escape with his life intact.

The Running Man is your typical sci-fi popcorn claptrap that the eighties and early nineties were highly effective at churning out (see anything starring Rutger Hauer). Whilst it features the essence of King's original parody of the media and public perception, it's a theme that's handled about as deftly as a quick kick to the bollocks. Instead, it seems like someone threw a bomb at the script and gave the detonator to a monkey, resulting in little more than simplistic action thriller bobbins being pieced together from the resulting destruction. If you were expecting some cerebral sci-fi concepts to take precedence based on the source novel, you'll be bitterly disappointed when you find the film is actually quite slim, filled with Arnie's cheesy one-liners, some terrible eighties production values and various degrees of hyper-violence ranging from exploding heads to the splicing of some ones innards with a chainsaw.

But that's really where the joy of The Running Man lies. Everyone knows what to expect in an action-flick from the world's most famous Austrian, and this is pretty much a vehicle for Arnie with all semblance of King's intelligent framing removed. Catchphrases such as "I'll be back" ("only in a re-run", retorts Killian) delivered in monochrome fashion, Sven Ole-Thorsen, an unlikely female companion (Maria Conchita Alonso), hilarious Hawaiian shirts, some latent homo-erotic machismo (just look at the tight leotards) and Arnie kicking arse against an assortment of big-guys is all present and correct. Indeed, the range of inventive stalkers on show gives The Running Man a distinct edge. From the ice-hockey stick wielding Sub-Zero, to the chainsaw wielding Buzzsaw, to Jesse Ventura's fantastic hairpiece as Captain Freedom; it makes for some enthralling computer game styled encounters which often end in grizzly fashion followed by a timeless Arnie one-liner. Barbed wire neck-breakage ("what a pain in the neck") and impalement on spikes are the order of the day here and the action is plentiful, frantic and fun throughout. After all, this is what Arnie does best!

If the stalkers are despicably violent then Richard Dawson seems to be having a great time being just plain old despicable. Spoofing his game show host background slightly, his smarmy studio audience revelling is a delight. The 'Come On Down' aspect as audience members guess which stalker is going to make the next kill, whilst Killian hands out Running Man board games as prizes, is the perfect antithesis to Arnie's begotten hero getting his arse whooped in the desolate game zone. It's an excellent contrast and Dawson makes for one of Arnie's most memorable villains - especially as he seemingly out-quips the muscle-bound behemoth throughout.

Alas, while this is all well and good, compared to the likes of Predator, The Terminator and Total Recall (Arnie flicks where the action didn't thoroughly overwhelm the sci-fi concepts) there's certainly that little hint of real quality missing from The Running Man. Perhaps it's due to the incredibly dated look. For a film attempting to predict the future, it becomes simply far too humorous to take a future so stuck in the eighties seriously. Perhaps it's the fault of director Paul Michael Glaser; Starsky is certainly no Cameron, McTierrnan or bonkers mad Verhoeven when it comes to giving a little bit of substance to the much maligned Arnie style. Whilst a final monologue from Killian regarding the viewing habits of Americans just about touches on some interesting thematic ideas, it's simply too little too late. Perhaps when all is said and done, despite the hyper-violence, despite the gore-laden deaths and despite Arnie quipping his way through the film, it's all just a little too bland and samey to be anything more than a bog-standard action flick.

Still, saying that, you're not going to see an operatic tenor with electrodes up his arse anywhere else. Or, for that matter, Mick Fleetwood leading a rebellion of freedom fighters against the tyranny of the television shows broadcaster - which is like totally bizarre! It's not an instant Arnie classic, but in moments like this, sitting alongside Ventura's comedy hairpiece and Arnie's genuine likeability, it still makes for a rather enjoyable couple of hours. And it's infinitely more entertaining than watching a bunch of deranged drongos on E4 do nothing more than bully each other pathetically of an evening! It can only be a matter of time until "Climbing for Dollars" becomes a reality for these idiots...

Overall - Although certainly showing its age The Running Man does what Arnie does best. Subtle this is not and ultimately fairly one-dimensional, but that's half the fun!


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Post #: 10
RE: Running Man, The - 22/5/2009 12:29:14 PM   


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i watched this on sky anytime earlier this week and thought it had aged terribly. i loved it as a kid, but found the first 40 minutes to be so dull.

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Post #: 11
RE: Running Man, The - 22/5/2009 1:06:03 PM   


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ORIGINAL: clownfoot

Stephen King, you could presume, has a certain degree of foresight.

Right down to the 9/11-eque ending of the book.

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Post #: 12
- 20/8/2009 3:59:10 AM   
BubbaGump Shrimps

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From: Cambridge
Mindless cheesefest. Switch off the brain to watch this one and just enjoy it.

".... And im gonna rip out your goddamn spine!"

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Post #: 13
(Short story, you fuckwit, it's actually a novel) - 8/9/2009 7:01:32 PM   


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This film is a load of shit, The origianl Stephen King Novel is a work of genius written in three days, If you have a modicum of a brain (unlike the reviewer who knows jack shit) Read the novel and you will see what an absolute wasted opportunity this film was.
i hope to fuck they remake this film but actually using kings novel as a starting point.

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Post #: 14
The Running Man (1987) - 16/10/2009 8:51:45 PM   


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From: Bicester
I love this film starring good ol Arnold Schwarzenegger. Takes place in the future and is about a violent game show in which prisoners are forced into an arena and must escape "athletes" with all sorts of weapons .Films like this are not meant to be analysed, they are meant to be enjoyed, and THE RUNNING MAN certainly manages to do that. 4 stars

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Post #: 15
Worth it just for Arnies Contract Rejection - 16/8/2010 10:27:24 PM   


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Okay here it is; Arnies greatest cinematic threat. After successfully navigating several "zones", Arnie is offered a contact to become one of the shows' Gladiators. His reponse is a masterclass in anger and vengence. [ripping the camera from its mount to speak directly to his foe] "I live to see you eat that contract! but I hope you leave enough room for my fist because I'm going to ram it down your throat and pull out your god damn spine!"

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Post #: 16
RE: Running Man, The - 14/7/2012 9:04:46 PM   

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The Running Man (1987)

Probably the first Arnie vehicle I ever saw as a kid and even then I thought it was average. Yes I know this could be seen as heresy but I must confess to never thinking a great deal about this film despite being a life long Arnie fan.

We all know the score with this film by now. The plot is based loosely on a Stephen King novel which is all about America being a police or totalitarian state, huge divides between the rich and the poor and of course death and violence being a popular much watched sport on TV. So basically a futuristic view on the ancient Roman civilisation and their bloody culture.

If you think about it its the perfect role for Arnie and various other muscle men just like many other Arnie films, this film pretty much started that craze. Today this kind of story is completely unoriginal but back then it was almost the first of its kind. To be fair its a videogame adaptation all the way haha Arnie's character must face each 'stalker' one by one, each has their own unique skill or weapon and they all have their personal 'level' or stage as it were. Guess what 'Sub Zero's' stage looks like?

The 'stalkers' are pretty cliched and generic now when you look back, 'Fireball' 'Sub Zero' 'Dynamo' 'Buzzsaw' and 'Captain Freedom', not hard to figure out what they all do...accept for 'Freedom' perhaps. A pumped bunch to say the least, Ventura looks full on steroids with his silly wig whilst Brown has a ridiculous wig himself (I think). The other 'stalker' cast members aren't as famous accept for Charles Kalani Jr. perhaps but 80's female action sidekick regular Marķa Conchita Alonso alongside Yaphet Kotto hold their own.

Of course the film is made by the excellent performance of Richard Dawson who takes a creepy direction on what was his current job at the time as a gameshow host. Not only does Dawson ham it up nicely but he adds a very eerie, sadistic, two faced approach to the role. Its actually quite fun to watch him crawl and grovel to the audience. A real slime ball deviously charming the gullible live audience, whilst virtually blackmailing them for their trust and ratings by lavishing easy prizes upon them with seemingly genuine generosity.
It did make you wonder if this was how real gameshow hosts behaved behind closed doors haha but I imagine that was the goal.

The film does look pretty cheap, it did even back then. Sets are not much more than big empty spaces with stark lighting effects and piles of rubble everywhere. Hell even the costumes look like they've been handmade by the cast themselves. Lots of spandex, a basic ice hockey uniform, lots of leather n chains for background thugs and the most bizarre concept for 'Dynamo' who is covered in what looks like Christmas tree lights stuck on transparent plastic body sections. Why does he sing opera? judging by his helmet its a homage or calling to 'Ride of the Valkyries' and the character is clearly trying to impose fear and terror on his pending victims as he rides his buggy thing into battle. Doesn't work too well though huh.

Quick one for you, who on earth knows what 'Captain Freedom's' outfit was suppose to do or be? looked like something out of He-Man.

There's a lot more hinting at moments than actual visual sequences but there is the odd classic moment. I'm sure everyone recalls the infamous head explosion sequence, the ultra fast toboggan thing that transports Arnie down to the gauntlet game zone and Arnie slamming a pen into some scrawny pen pushing suits back...wince moment, 'ouch!'.

Its your classic dystopian futuristic 80's action flick obviously, with the classic update of gladiatorial battles for the blood thirsty masses. Many have copied it but clearly this borrowed from other sources also ('Escape from New York' visually). Jammed packed with all the Arnie one liners you could want, dancing big haired blondes, some good bloody moments and a perfectly sleazy performance by real ex-gameshow host Dawson as the manipulative gameshow host 'Killian' (nasty sounding name also).

Predictable of course but its fun to watch the audience and viewers slowly get behind 'Richards' as he defeats the 'stalkers' one at a time. Watching 'Killian' and his yes men squirm as they know 'Richards' is coming to get them. A bit silly how this one act of rebellion seems to bring down the whole corrupt system as the resistance starts to broadcast the truth and everybody just believes it straight away but hey...its an Arnie film.

'I told Killian I'd be back. I wouldn't want to be a liar'

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RE: Running Man, The - 15/7/2012 6:15:18 PM   
Super Hans

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I think I've only actually seen The Running Man once, but remmeber it being good fun. Classic Arnie action!


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Post #: 18
Switch off the brain and enjoy - 23/7/2013 1:08:57 AM   
Mr Gittes


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Aside from the basic premise, this is absolutely nothing like King's book, and is vastly inferior. However, I still had a lot of fun watching this movie (I stuck it on right after finishing the story; the effect was jarring to say the least, although it was certainly not as bad as I'd heard it was). True, it couldn't be more 80s if it tried and the acting's hardly Oscar-worthy, but there's a certain charm to it all (especially with Arnie of course). And Richard Dawson just about walks away with the movie.

It's really saying something that I had a good time watching The Running Man, because I'm a huge Stephen King nut and I loved this story. Hell, maybe I'm a sucker for fun 80s action movies.

All the same, I'd love to see it being adapted faithfully one day (by Darabont, perhaps? Wishful thinking?). Although that ending would get changed, sadly.

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Post #: 19
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