In the year 2021, Squid fishing game took the world by storm. The South Korean Netflix series followed Seong Gi-hun — better known as 456 — and others stricken with debt as they played childhood games that included messy stunts. deadly and the chance to win a big cash prize. The games were horrible and intended for a small audience of the ultra-wealthy.
Squid fishing game is a unique asset, and part of what makes it so special is the way the show weaves its disparate influences together. There is a 1999 novel by Koushun Takami Royal War, and a 2009 Korean in real life auto workers strike that was brutally suppressed. But there were also other, earlier discoveries of gore and entertainment that created the environment for these works to thrive.
For Koushun Takami, the way to Royal War began, at least in part, with Stephen King. In the 90s, the author of It, Carrie, and The Shining is the rare writer to become a truly global phenomenon. Takami said that Royal War affected by King’s 1979 novel Long road, where an authoritarian state forces teenage boys into a murderous power contest.
King wrote both Long road and another wacky adventure, Running Man, under a pseudonym, Richard Bachmann. And while Long road has never been successfully made into a movie, Running Man to be. Director Paul Michael Glaser’s 1987 film is based solely on King’s work in the loosest sense, and provides a venue for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ’80s peak charm.
Set in the futuristic world of 2017, the film omits all but three aspects of King’s work: America has become a totalitarian disordered nation, the main character is named Ben Richards, and Richards must participate in a deadly state-run game show called Running Man. If that sounds similar, it doesn’t. King Richards was described as “thin” and on the verge of tuberculosis. No one in their minds would look at Arnold to fit that description.
At this point in his career, Arnold has become a popular commodity thanks to Carnivores, Special Forces, and destroyer. In his memoirs, Total hits, he lists Running Man near the bottom of the list the highest paying days ever in this period, with the movie grossing him $5 million.
“The humor is what sets me apart from other action protagonists like Stallone, Eastwood and Norris,” he wrote. “My characters are always a bit tongue-in-cheek, and I always throw funny lines… In Running Man, after strangling one of the cruel stalkers with barbed wire, I exclaim: ‘What a pain in the neck!’ and run away. “
These liners are the core of Running Man. Evil stalkers, in this case Subzero (played by wrestling professor Tanaka – this movie is full of wrestlers), are part of the game. They hunt down fugitives, including Richards, William Laughlin (Yaphet Kotto), Amber Mendez (María Conchita Alonso) and Harold Weiss (Marvin J. McIntyre).
These side players don’t have much to do but run away for their lives and inform Richards of important plot points. Fleetwood Mac’s Mick Fleetwood, who appeared briefly as the Mic resistance leader, had a larger role.
Social criticism in Running Man widely — Richards is appointed as a court-appointed entertainment agent instead of an attorney, has another television program called Hate boat instead of Love boat, and such. The film clearly wants to present a compelling deadly game show rather than questioning if it’s wrong to enjoy it.
Much more specific than moral quizzes To be Running Man’s sense of style. Arnold looked great, especially early on in a Hawaiian shirt. The dancers before the show, choreographed by Paula Abdul, were brightly lit and had a sense of cohesion. It was a shame that Arnold had dropped a pipe to run for his life.
Reflecting on why his films are so successful, Arnold writes in Total hits that they are “very outspoken. They make sense no matter where you live. ” Running Man, which fired a director two weeks before bringing in Glaser, is a bit more complicated. Perhaps a better director could have actually delivered its witty messages of bloodshed and entertainment, or at least provided more bloody and coherent entertainment.
But for an Arnold movie, it’s pretty entertaining. And “What a pain in the neck!” Still an interesting grocer.
Running Man streaming on HBO Max.
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