The Running Man (1987)
February 19, 2017 7:54 PM - Subscribe

By 2017 the world economy has collapsed. Food, natural resources, and oil are in short supply. A police state, divided into paramilitary zones, rules with an iron hand.

Television is controlled by the state and a sadistic game show "The Running Man" has become the most popular program in history. All art, music, and communications are censored. No dissent is tolerated and yet a small resistance movement has managed to survive underground.
posted by chrchr (19 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 


I was always kind of curious about the nature of the relationship between this movie and the 1990 Williams arcade game Smash TV.
posted by Nerd of the North at 8:31 PM on February 19 [4 favorites]


Smash TV was AWESOME, a game I was never able to play enough. I will totally have one in my hypothetical future home arcade.

Messiah - Temple of Dreams
posted by rhizome at 8:56 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


The movie is fun, but I much prefer the original Stephen King (as Richard Bachman) version.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:00 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


Ugh, I haven't seen this in like twenty years. The book is much better but also has a much wider scope with some really killer world-building. RIP Richard Dawson.

Anyone up for a Bachman Books fanfare post? One of the classic novels is very difficult to find post-Columbine.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:04 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


Kotaku's 2014 review/recap:
The opening lore-scrawl is also pretty good, at least partly because its coloring makes it look like a VHS FBI warning. Also of note: This apparently all happens within the next three years. Look out for paramilitary zones and iron hands!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:20 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Wow this review:
And everything is dire, and the world is fucked, and of course television is somehow to blame, etc.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:23 AM on February 20


One of the classic novels is very difficult to find post-Columbine.

Only to the extent that Rage is the only one of King's novels that isn't still in print. Look for "Bachman Books" on Amazon and used copies abound.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:10 AM on February 20


My take on the Bachman books, not having read them in 20 years:

* Rage - Fine, I guess? The kid seemed pretty believable as a character, even though the plot got kind of unbelievably Lord of the Flies-y.
* The Long Walk - I loved this. Why has this not been a movie?
* Roadwork - Fine as a character study, but *way* bloated, should have been cut by half.
* The Running Man - Great. I love when King worked with SF ideas.
* Thinner - Meh. Felt pointlessly gross.

[/derail]
posted by Chrysostom at 7:33 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


* The Long Walk - I loved this. Why has this not been a movie?

Wikipedia says it's been optioned by Darabont which is promising.

posted by ftm at 8:18 AM on February 20


AKA: Hunger Games, 80s Edition.
posted by radwolf76 at 8:19 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


The Long Walk - I loved this. Why has this not been a movie?

I love the Long Walk, but in all honesty - how many King stories have actually been translated to screen and still been good? Stand By Me was a fine film based on The Body; and I know that many people despise The Shawshank Redemption, but I would also put it forward. The Running Man and The Green Mile are pretty solid. And while it's not my cup of tea, The Shining.

I guess I'm saying that I don't want to see someone try to put The Long Walk on screen; there have just been too many failures and I'd rather not see the one King-as- Bachman story I think is good suffer the usual fate.
posted by nubs at 8:23 AM on February 20


The Running Man was a good story and they should make a movie based on it at some point.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:26 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]


So RAGE and the 4-story Bachman Books are both out of print? If that is so it's possible someone on metafilter has a mobi of RAGE and would share it without ethical qualms.
posted by phearlez at 12:15 PM on February 20


I mean King has asserted his moral right to withdraw the novel from further sales and publication.

God, that was a weird derail.

I did like the face replacement CG sequence. It's not often entertainment admits that it will change and perhaps not for the better.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:01 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


I've not read the book, but the wikipedia description of it sounds like a really great story to make a film of.
Though the ending may need to be changed a little? Not sure american moviegoers are ready to accept a hero flying a plane into a skyscraper quite yet.

I always assumed that "Sven" Killian's bodyguard was Richards' brother back from the re-education camps.
But I don't see it mentioned on wikipedia, so, I guess not.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:23 AM on February 21


It's not often entertainment admits that it will change and perhaps not for the better.

Though the ending may need to be changed a little? Not sure american moviegoers are ready to accept a hero flying a plane into a skyscraper quite yet.

In retrospect, it's a little scary how some of the Bachman stories seem prophectic. Rage came out in 1977; The Long Walk in 1979 and The Running Man in 1982 and yet all have elements that capture some things about society, culture, and the media really well.

Anyways, I don't want to keep on a Bachman books derail (or maybe I should make a Bachman books post). I loved the fact that Richard Dawson was so willing to play the evil game show host; he made the film go from being a solid 80's action thriller to being a memorable 80's action thriller. For people of a certain age, it was a reminder that Richard was more than the host of Family Feud, but also an accomplished actor/performer (Hogan's Heroes, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In). RIP Richard.
posted by nubs at 9:43 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Dawson's turn in this movie has always reminded me of Jerry Lewis in "The King Of Comedy".
posted by briank at 6:01 AM on February 22


AKA: Hunger Games, 80s Edition.
Ben Richards himself noted the similarity in song form: The Running Man/Hunger Games MUSICAL SPECTACULAR
posted by AndrewStephens at 9:03 AM on February 22 [1 favorite]


« Older Movie: Air Force One...   |  Big Little Lies: Somebody's De... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments

poster