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The Running Man (Special Edition) (1987)

Arnold Schwarzenegger , Maria Conchita Alonso , Paul Michael Glaser  |  R |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (230 customer reviews)

Price: $39.95 & FREE Shipping. Details
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  Special Edition $39.95  

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Product Details

  • Actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Conchita Alonso, Yaphet Kotto, Jim Brown, Jesse Ventura
  • Directors: Paul Michael Glaser
  • Writers: Stephen King, Steven E. de Souza
  • Producers: George Linder, Keith Barish, Rob Cohen, Tim Zinnemann
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Full Screen, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1 EX), English (DTS ES 6.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Republic Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: March 16, 2004
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (230 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001932ZA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,603 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Running Man (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "Lockdown on Main Street": a documentary about the current state of privacy and criminal issues in a post-9/11 society
  • "Game Theory": an inside look at reality-TV programming and its cultural impact on society
  • "Meet the Stalkers": obtain inside information about the deadliest foes in The Running Man

Editorial Reviews

Additional Features

Like many of the Governor's other DVD releases (Total Recall, Predator, and The Terminator 2: Judgment Day, to name a few) The Running Man has gone through various technical and bonus upgrades. Fans will not be disappointed with Lions Gate's latest, double-disc release of The Running Man (Special Edition). This is the first anamorphic (1.85:1) release and the first time the film has been presented in DTS 6.1 ES and Dolby Digital 5.1 EX. Without a doubt, this version is the best-looking and -sounding edition available. This is also the only edition to include a feature-length commentary; in this case, it's two. The first is with director Paul Michael Glaser and producer Tim Zinneman, the second with executive producer Rob Cohen. Both are geared more toward production than the themes and stories presented in the film, which is more or less appropriate considering The Running Man is first and foremost an action film that incorporates a few socio-political themes (reality TV, subjective media, and life in a high-security governmental state). Looking at the documentaries included in this set, however, you would think it was the other way around. Though well produced, the documentaries seem a little out of place. "Lockdown on Main Street" focuses on current post-9/11 issues with privacy and criminals. Though there is a common thread between the film and current events, using an '80s action film to discuss the controversial issue of privacy in a post-9/11 world comes across as a little tacky. The second documentary, "Game Theory," which focuses on reality TV and its cultural impact, is a little more on the mark and more relevant, but at times feels like a bit of a stretch. All in all, The Running Man (Special Edition) pretty much has got everything the Schwarzenegger and Richard Bachman (a.k.a. Stephen King) fan could want, other than an Arnold and King commentary. --Rob Bracco

Product Description

In this action thriller based on an early story by Stephen King, Los Angeles in the year 2017 has become a police state in the wake of the global economy's total collapse. All forms of entertainment are government controlled, and the most popular show on television is an elaborate game show in which convicted criminals are given a chance to escape by running through a gauntlet of brutal killers known as "Stalkers." Anyone who survives is given their freedom and a condominium in Hawaii, so when a wrongly accused citizen (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is chosen as a contestant, all hell breaks loose. Cheesy sets and a slimy role for game-show host Richard Dawson make this violent mess of mayhem a candidate for guilty pleasure; it is the kind of movie that truly devoted Arnold fans will want to watch more than once. And check those credits--choreography by Paula Abdul! "--Jeff Shannon"

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-Filmed Sci-Fi Adventure Movie! August 16, 2002
Format:DVD
In this wry and entertaining take on a world gone crazy, where corporate rulers routinely engage popular sport activities to distill public anger and frustration and to try to distract common people from civic unrest, we find perpetual everyman Arnold Schwarzenegger caught in the vise-grip of official lies when he escapes from maximum security prison only to be caught and selected as the latest "contestant" (read `intended victim' here) for the overwhelmingly popular television program called, appropriately enough, "Running Man". The point of the game is for the contestant to survive being hunted down by a sewerful of villains while trying to make his way through a nightmarish maze. The villains are a bit campy, ranging from an outrageously garbed electric man who dispatches virtual lightning bolts to fry his prey out of existence to a chainsaw freak who attempts to hack his victims to death while riding his motorcycle.
Yet the action sequences more than make up for the sometimes-silly dialogue. The supporting cast is composed of veterans like Richard Dawson as the venomous game-show host and producer, who manipulates every aspect of the game to reach the storyline he has laid out. There are also a lot of cameos here, from Mick Fleetwood as a revolutionary to Jessie "The Body" Ventura as a sports commentator to Jim Brown as one of the slayers. The special effects are well done, and the action sequences provide plenty of vicarious violence for the moviegoer. Of course, Arnie has a waft of throwaway one-liners, and we know we are in the hands of experience when he tells Dawson the "he'll be back". Dawson, of course, not knowing whom he is dealing with, blows off the threat.
But the moviegoer knows Arnie will be back, and that he will win the day.
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53 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great remaster - pathetic extras April 18, 2004
By Jon
Format:DVD
You know the movie, so I'll cut to the details of this particular release...

The newly-remastered picture is so much clearer and more vivid than the original release and the DTS soundtrack is an awesome addition. After having heard it, I would've bought it for the DTS, alone. Who knew that a 17-year-old, stereo movie could be remastered to DTS quality and 6.1 surround so well (including very targeted use of the rear channels).

The extras are another story, as many people have stated. The "Lockdown on Main Street" is a thoroughly one-sided political statement. Regardless of anyone's beliefs, it doesn't belong on an action movie DVD. It feels like execs at Artisan were determined to put this documentary out there and picked "The Running Man" from their upcoming catalog as the best suitor.

The "Game Theory" documentary is just a piece in which creators and participants of early reality TV shows pat themselves on the back for their popularity. Perhaps fans of Survivor and other early reality TV will find it interesting, but I didn't.

In summary, the new remastering of the movie is "special," but nothing else on either of the discs is. As someone else said, buy it for the movie. It really is one of the best remastering jobs that I've ever seen (or heard).
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not that eighties January 3, 2005
By Meesha
Format:DVD
It was between this or the second (but technically the first) Indiana Jones movie or this. I was surprised at myself, wanting to watch Indiana Jones, but it was too long. So this went on instead. I was forewarned about it being too eighties, but I think after you get warned about these things, they're don't jump out as much at you. Only the terrible hair & outfits, but they're only really the noticable things.

Stephne King movies have a habit of not being very good. Carrie & The Green Mile are exceptions, along with this. This film is loosely based on a novel written by Stephen King that he penned under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman. He wrote the story in 72 hours, and it was published with virtually no changes.

Like 1984, this book/movie was way ahead of its time, and is much more relevant now, than it was then. The ending from the book to movie as changed, and I'm quite curious to find out what happened originally.

There are some great lines in this, mainly spoken by Arnie himself and some of the best are:

Ben Richards: Killian! I'll be back!

Damon Killian: Only in a rerun.

Damon Killian: You b*****d! Drop dead!

Ben Richards: I don't do requests.

Ben Richards: Uplink underground, uplink underground. If you say that one more time, I'll uplink your uplink your ass, and you'll be underground!

Ben Richards: [after strangling Sub-Zero with barbed wire)] What a pain in the neck.

Amber: [after Richards cut Buzzsaw in half with a chain saw] What happened to Buzzsaw?

Ben Richards: He had to split.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a good DVD, but a Good Arnold flick November 13, 2002
Format:DVD
The Running Man tells of a future world where convicted fellons are put on a game show "The Running Man" and are placed in arenas along with psychotic stalkers who are there to kill these guys in record time all for the entertainment of the American people.
The film is great but not perfect. I love the way the film portrays society, as basically a bunch of mindless and gullable media slaves. Which some would argue is true for our society today, where we believe everything served to us on television and radio, not considering that maybe the people behind these stories are money hungry, heartless liars. It was almost like a future version of the Roman Empire, where upper class Romans found the most violent and bloody sport with slaves getting butchered in an arena as pure entertainment. This film uses the likes of rich corporate adults as the shows mainstream audience loving fellons get butchered the same way.
The films special effects are ahead of its time, with believable gore and movie props like futuristic cars and buildings.
Richard Dawson is great as the gameshow's host, as a lovable teddy bear on screen, and a greedy, self-involved liar backstage. The remaining cast do thier jobs well, although they could have found more talented actors. Arnold is Arnold, without him, this movie wouldn't have the box-office appeal that it did, nor would it have the appeal on todays audience that it did. And even though his one liners after each death border on stupidity in this film (with a lot of the other dialogue), his Arnoldness simply makes up for it.
This movie was a great and unique idea and it was executed just fine, I own this dvd and like it a lot. Although, giving us simply a trailer as an extra simply sucks. I wouldve like to hear some commentary on it at least. Oh well...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars worst Arnold movie I have seen
I watch this movie because it has Arnold Schwarzenegger in it. I wish I had use my time in a more productive manner. this is a very slow and very silly movie. Read more
Published 4 hours ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
Liked the action, I haved recommended it when it first came out.Liked the action, I haved recommended it when it first came out. Would like to see more movies of this type.
Published 2 days ago by BBQ Fan
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
Arnold was great. The storyline was great. This is my second favorite movie next to Terminator 2. Recommend this movie to anybody.
Published 2 days ago by Brent Miranda
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
I enjoyed it but it was packed with excitement like the usual Schwarzeneccer films are. I still like his movies, the eraiser was good all the terminators, the twins, many movies he... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Charles K. Gorga
2.0 out of 5 stars Someone please, PLEASE....
...do the Stephen King story justice!! The short story was a phenomenal thrill ride, that was Schwarzenegger-ized in this movie. Read more
Published 3 days ago by John
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, entertaining
Actually, I was not able to finish watching it because I went somewhere. But I believe it was good because the hero in the movie is Zchwarzenegger.
Published 3 days ago by Paterno Balansi
4.0 out of 5 stars awesome
Just an awesome action packed movie. This is easily one of the 80's greatest movies. A nonstop movie pack with a lot of action.
Published 4 days ago by Tempest
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, campy 80s fun
I know the movie deviated from the story, big time. That's not a bad thing. I don't doubt that Stephen King's (sorry, Richard Bachman's) The Running Man would make a great movie... Read more
Published 4 days ago by T. Willitts
4.0 out of 5 stars I'll be back
Typical Schwarzenegger movie. About something that is happening in 2017. Nice plot and recommended for Schwarzenegger fan , skip otherwise.
Published 4 days ago by Praveen
3.0 out of 5 stars Cheesy but intertaining
Was typical 1980's cheesy, bafd acting with 80's technology to boot. Almost everbody, from gladiators to the show host, to cops were pretty bad and unbelievable in their roles. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Barry A. Wrenick
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Warning: This movie is region coded
if this Blu-Ray movie ( Running Man) is region coded why don't Amazon specify it as such. I live in Australia , region 2, and have come unstuck on a couple of occasions .
Feb 1, 2010 by Mr. James G. Farrell |  See all 2 posts
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