The Running Man (1987) (Umbrella Entertainment) (Blu-ray Review)

The Running Man (1987) (Umbrella Entertainment) (Blu-ray Review)

The Running Man (1987) (Umbrella Entertainment) (Blu-ray Review)

0 comments 📅19 February 2020, 10:09

The Running Man (1987) (Umbrella Entertainment) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Paul Michael Glaser
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Conchita Alonso, Yaphet Kotto
Rated: R/Region O/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Umbrella Entertainment

Sci-fi thriller based on an early story by Stephen King (under pseudonym, Richard Bachman) – Los Angeles in the year 2017 has become a police state in the wake of the global economy’s total collapse. The Running Man is the top-rated TV show, where condemned criminals are given a chance for freedom by running through a gauntlet of heavily armed killers known as “Stalkers”, the shows stars. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars Ben Richards, an ex-cop wrongly convicted of the massacre of unarmed civilians – He’s joined by fellow prisoners Yaphet Kotto and Maria Conchita Alonso as they try to survive Stalkers, Fireball (Jim Brown), Captain Freedom (Jesse Ventura), Subzero (Toru Tanaka), Buzzsaw (Gus Rethwisch) and Dynamo (Erkabd Van Lidth). The all-star cast includes rockers Mick Fleetwood and Dweezil Zappa as revolutionaries and Richard Dawson (The Family Feud) as the show’s smarmy host. Directed by TV’s Starsky Paul Michael Glaser (Band of the Hand).

People being blood thirsty over of all things a reality TV show might not seem very far off the mark by today’s standards, but when The Running Man hit in 1987 with that being a big part of the plot, who’d of thought it could be a bit of a cinematic prophet. I know it is based off the book (Written by Stephen King in one of his many different aka’s) and the book is apparently a lot different (I’ve not read it), but there is more here than just the legendary, Arnold Schwarzenegger, dropping some pretty awesomely corny, yet awesome, one-liners. This is a movie that you could never deny being an 80s’ movie, in the same way anyone who grew up in the 80s’ can’t deny being an 80s’ baby. That isn’t at all a bad thing. I think it is a good thing and making things even better is how this movie keeps all the things you’d expect from the 1980’s and still manages to have a pretty cool underlying theme and meaning that really makes this movie be all we love about action films of this time and much more. Oh another note, did you know that there is a possibility that the government might not be telling you the truth about everything? Yeah, that might be a shocker, I know. That is, however, how Arnold’s character, Richards, ends up in the situation where it is kill or be killed in the game known as The Running Man! His friends, and a new woman he meets up that is sadly pretty well in order to be blamed for him being there, gets tossed in there as well. And we spend the rest of the movie watching them go up against some characters that would make any video game villains blush and a dirty TV show host, played by Richard Dawsome in a classic role, until the film reaches its very cheesy 80s’ end. Call it what you will, but you can’t deny the entertainment value of The Running Man.

Being the horror fan that I am, I also love that this movie does give us moments of gore. Heads blow up, people take saws in various areas, people get impaled, and there are other goodies that horror fans will appreciate, but also fit really well in this strange “Running Man” atmosphere. If the movie had a weakness, I’d say that some of what leads us up to the game sort of drags in spots and I never have enjoyed the movie as much until we get the violent and weird game portion of the movie. When we reach that it is all good in the hood as Arnold is Arnold, which is always a good thing. Maria Conchita Alonso also plays really well off the big guy and we should give her credit for that as well. Not to mention, Jesse Ventura (Captain Freedom), who plays also about as memorable of a character from this movie as other stalker baddies such as, Buzzsaw, Dynamo, and Fireball. I’m really shocked this movie didn’t get a toy line with such characters as that. I’m well aware this won’t be everyone’s flavor of Kool-Aid, but I love this movie, regardless of it being rather far from perfect. It is everything I loved about the 1980’s action movie all rolled into one weird trip, with even psychic-like capabilities to how things would be on TV years later. Sure, we aren’t kill people on reality shows, YET, but this movie hasn’t been that far off and you never know. Still, this is one of the most fun movies you will find Arnold Schwarzenegger in.

Extras

  • None

Quality of Transfer: 94%

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