Dungeon Classics #26: The Running Man

FilmDungeon’s Chief Editor JK sorts through the Dungeon’s DVD-collection to look for old cult favorites….

The Running Man (1987, USA)

Director: Paul Michael Glaser
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Conchita Alonso, Yaphet Kotto
Running Time: 101 mins.

The Running Man is an adaptation from a book by Stephan King (published under his pseudonym Richard Bachman) and it’s another cult classic from Schwarzenegger’s golden years. It is about a futuristic game show (the film is set in 2017-2019) in which contestants have to escape violent hunters – who go by names such as Buzzsaw and Fireball – who try to kill them. Ben Richards (Schwarzenegger), who was framed by the totalitarian government for a mass killing at a protest, is forced to participate. That’s bad luck for the hunters! The film is shot as a typical American game show and it’s very enjoyable. Truth be told, the film didn’t age extremely well, but in Schwarz’s eighties/nineties action movie benchmark, it still manages to almost score a position in the top tier. And that is saying something! When Arnold Schwarzenegger ran for governor, he rode around in a campaign bus and named it after this film. Unfortunately, this was the final movie for Richard Dawson (who plays gameshow host Kilian) and Erland van Lidth (who plays hunter Dynamo).


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