Podcasta la Vista, Baby! Episode 1 – The Running Man

Running-Man“A game nobody survives. But Schwarzenegger has yet to play.”

It’s the premiere episode of Podcasta la Vista, Baby!

Mike and Casey are proud to be joined by Greg Hatcher of Comic Book Resources’ Comics Should Be Good! blog, to talk about a 1987 science fiction classic from the height of Arnold’s cinematic career: The Running Man.

The year is 2019. American is governed by a fascist dictatorship that uses television to keep the populace docile. The most popular game show is “the Running Man,” where criminals and dissidents are forced to flee from murderous, costumed gladiators to win their freedom — and their lives. Its newest contestant is a certain Austrian man-mountain, framed for a crime he didn’t commit.

These guys are totally fucked.

4 thoughts on “Podcasta la Vista, Baby! Episode 1 – The Running Man

  1. Just listened to these (0 and 1) today; I have to say, I lean more toward Greg’s view about Arnold the man and megastar, but I just love the energy and enthusiasm Mike & Casey bring to these podcasts. It’s quite infectious.
    Also, I commend the choice on the topic for the first episode. Running Man is indeed one of the better Arnie movies – and this also reminds me that it’s been a while since I’ve seen it. I’ve got to remedy that situation…

  2. I, too, tend to lean to Greg’s POV, when it comes to Arnold; but, I saw about all of his films through the 80s, up to T2. One of his secrets, that seemed lost on his contemporaries (like Stallone and Van Damme) is he never takes himself seriously, on screen. He knows he sounds absurd, with his accent and the silly dialogue; but, he doesn’t care because he is having fun. That goes a long way to make even his lesser films at least watchable.

    Couple of comments: If you think it was bold of Jeese Ventura to committ to looking ridiculous, you’ve never seen his wrestling attire. The man came to the ring in tie-dye tights, outrageous Elton John sunglasses, and a feather boa. All of which he swiped from Superstar Billy Graham (as did Hulk Hogan). Ventura was a talker, because he was a plank of wood as a wrestler. That made him perfect for acting (in small roles).

    Richard Dawson, as an actor-I grew up thinking of him as Newkirk, from Hogan’s Heroes. I had several years of syndicated re-runs (and the tail-end of the network run) to build that image, before the debut of the Family Feud. he also did an excellent episode of the Dick Van Dyke Show, where he plays an obnoxious partying comedian, who ends up earning Rob’s pity, so he works to make him look good on the Alan Brady Show. Dawson plays it quite well, though it sounds like it wasn’t too far from the mark.

    You can also find Dawson in the 60s-era WW2 movie, the Devil’s Brigade, where he is part of the Canadian contingent of the 1st Special Services Force, a joint US-Canadian commando unit, which fought in Italy. He plays a Scotsman (who emigrated to Canada) in that one. That film is a feast of character actors, like Claude Akins (Sheriff Lobo), Richard Jaekel (Dirty Dozen, as an MP), Andrew Prine (the Cathy Lees Crosby Wonder Woman pilot), Jeremy Slate (a few Elvis movies), and Luke Askew (Provo, in The Green Berets); as well as leads William Holden and Cliff Robertson (plus cameos by Carrol O’Connor and Michael Rennie).

    Toru Tanak-He’s actually a Hawaiian-born Japanese/Polynesian-American (born Charles Kalani) and often got roles because of his resemblance to Harold “Oddjob” Sakata. In fact, a rather bad wrestling promotion, California Championship Wrestling, in the mid-to-late 80s, tried to make the audience believe he was Oddjob, in Goldfinger (even to the point of using the Goldfinger theme for his entrance music). He did a lot of tv, in the early 80s (Tales of the Gold Monkey, Fall Guy, A-Team, Night Court).

    This is also about the point where Arnold’s movies stopped trying to explain his accent (apart from Terminator). Even in Commando he talks of being a boy in East Germany (named the very Teutonic Matrix). By this point you just accept it. He could do a remake of It’s a Wonderful Life and everyone would just assume that George Bailey just talked funny (which, you have to admit, Jimmy Stewart di; kind of). Which would be totally awesome, as George Bailey exacts his revenge on Mr. Potter (ala the SNL skit, with Dana Carvey)
    Fun episode. This isn’t my favorite Arnie; but, like Greg, I enjoy it for Richard Dawson, and the satire.

    • ps. If you want to see Richard Dawson behind the scenes, check out the movie Auto Focus, with Greg Kinnear. Dawson had a bit of a rivalry with Hogan’s Heroes star Bob Crane and the film captures it well. Killian wasn’t that big of a stretch.

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