Guilty Pleasures: The Running Man

The former Governors of California and Minnesota, the original host of “Family Feud”, a Hall of Fame Cleveland Browns running back, the drummer of Fleetwood Mac, and the son of Frank Zappa in a movie based on a work of Stephen King? Yes, it exists and it’s the fun guilty pleasure that it sounds like. We’re talking about The Running Man from 1987 and it’s kind of the original down and dirty Hunger Games 25 years before Katniss and company graced the silver screen.

Released in the same year as his genuine classic Predator, Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in this science fiction entry set in the far off future year of 2017. The pic imagines that time as a police state where accused criminals are chased down for sport before a live TV audience on a show hosted by a nefarious character played by real life Feud host Richard Dawson. The supporting cast includes aforementioned folks like Jesse Ventura, Jim Brown, Mick Fleetwood, and Dweezil Zappa.

Let there be no mistake – this is strictly B movie stuff and it doesn’t deserve to mentioned in the same breath as true Arnold classics like The Terminator, Predator and Total Recall. Yet this cinematic junk food is a lot more of a good time than it ought to be and that’s why it easily qualifies as a true guilty pleasure.

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