The Running Man,
released in 1987, was a science fiction flick some what
based on a 1982 Stephen King novel. The movie
starred Arnold Schwarzenegger as Ben Richards, Richard
Dawson as Damon Killian, and a few other gems, like Mick
Fleetwood and Jesse Ventura. With the exception of
the critic's general appreciation of Richard Dawson's
performance, the movie received mixed reviews.
Nevertheless, it was a huge box office success.
The movie is set in 2017. The
global economy has fallen apart and America is a
totalitarian police-run country. The government
attempts to entertain the population by airing gladiator
shows on the TV that find convicts trying to survive
contrived gauntlets, like the show "Running Man", hosted
by Damon Killian (played by Richard Dawson). In
the show, the "runners" try to evade the "stalkers", and
if they succeed, they earn their freedom (although death
is the more likely outcome).
A few years later, Ben Richards
(Schwarzenegger) is an ex-cop, convicted of a crime he
did not commit, and forced into the Running Man show to
protect a couple of his friends (who end up there after
all). While in the Running Man show, Richards goes
about the business of defeating the stalkers, saving his
friends, and winning the hearts of the audience.
Unable to convince Richards to join the show as a
stalker, Killian fakes his death to the audience.
After being captured by "the resistance" who have set up
shop on the set of the show, the truth is revealed.
By the time the movie wraps up, the bad guys are
eliminated, the audience is happy, and the good guys
walk into the proverbial sunset.