(Music) Welcome back to
the Cinefix Infotainment Network. This week we’re going all the way
back to 1987 to take a look at what they thought 2018 would look like. It’s time for your favorite show,
The Running Man. (Applause)
>>I’m Clint Gage. And co-hosting this month,
you know him, you love him. He was gone for a while, but
now he’s back, Casey Redmond.>>Hey, thanks folks.>>What brings you back Casey?>>Parking tickets, I got a load of unpaid parking tickets. Some guy showed up in my house with a lot
of stuff about my debt to society and we’ve got your family and
blah, blah, blah. So, I’m here to talk about
Stephen King’s 1092 novel written under the suitor name Richard Bachman The Hein’s
and Bachman fans.>>So without further ado and no restraint on spoilers.
>>It’s time yo start running. (Music)>>All right, hang on, the guy’s that have my family said
I needed to read this ad copy. Today’s episode of What’s The Difference,
is brought to you by Chainsaws. No motorcycle is complete
without a dangerous chainsaw. (Sound)
>>Right, okay, so let’s start with the setting. Both the book and the movie take
place in a dystopian near future. In the film, the global economy has
collapsed and resources are scarce. America has become a police state, controlling every bit of information on
television as well as censoring other forms of art.
>>Meanwhile, the book takes place in
a similar dystopian. It’s the year 2025 and income inequality has left a very wide
gap between the haves and have-nots. There are even two different
kinds of money, old bucks for the impoverished and new dollars for
the employable well-to-do’s. Television comes exclusively through
the Free V, and while it’s a government mandate to have a Free V in your home,
it’s still legal to not watch it here. The Compulsory Benefit Act of 2021 just
missed the two-thirds majority to pass into law by six votes. By the way, this difference is brought
to you by Loud Hawaiian Shirts. Stand out in the crowd,
even if you don’t want to. (Sound) Wonderful.
>>So moving on to our Runner,
in the movie Ben Richards as played by Arnold Schwarzenegger at his
most Schwarzeneggerly, is a former cop. The movie opens with Richards refusing
to fire on a group of unarmed civilians.>>I said the crowd is unarmed, lots of women and children down there,
all they want is food for God’s sake.>>A few fisticuffs later and Richards is carrying massive steel
beams in a prison work camp before the opening credits are even over. But, don’t worry, our hero also escapes before we’re
done with the opening credits. We next see him hiding out
with some of the resistance, idealistic musicians like Mick Fleetwood,
who might actually be playing himself. Ben however is a loner and wants nothing to do with the resistance.
>>Meanwhile in the book Ben Richards lives in poverty, he’s been blacklisted because he
complained about working conditions. So unable to find work or
afford medicine for his sick baby daughter he
turns to the Games Network. The state sponsored network features
games like treadmills for bucks, where folks with bad hearts or asthma try
to answer trivia questions while keeping pace with an ever quickening treadmill. Or dig your own grave which is
pretty self explanatory and of course The Running Man.
>>The movie meanwhile has a similar TV show.
>>Hey, read this copy.
>>Right, okay. (Sound) This difference is
brought to you by Climbing for Dollars, a dark, satirical look at the
future of competition based reality TV. Climbing for Dollars. Don’t let those dogs kill you.>>Thank you.
>>Yeah, sure.>>But Ben is not quite a loner than his movie counterpart is. He’s got a wife and daughter, for one but
he’s also still politically motivated. He’s bitter and
resentful at the current regime, rightfully blaming the government and
their freebie for the current state of affairs.
>>Now, let’s talk about the differences
in the game itself. In the movie, The Running Man
is cast with the criminals.>>Sensational, perfect contestant, I want him.
>>If they can survive for three hours and make it through all four game quadrants,
they get at full government pardon. The arena, made up of neighborhoods
which were destroyed and abandoned in the great quake of 97,
is also populated by stalkers. Killers without landishly themed costumes
somewhere between wrestling gimics and American gladiators. Like Professor Subzero in Buzzsaw and
Captain Freedom. The stalkers are even cast
with former wrestlers and professional athletes which is a freaky
little glimpse into the future. A society in which celebrities earn
exclusively through violence and physical dominance while artistic
achievement is censored and made illegal doesn’t seem so far fetched.
>>(Cough) Sorry, something got into my throat. We can’t talk about that,
they’re listening. (Cough) Meanwhile in the book
The Running Man is a very different game. Beginning with the casting process. First, it starts with people volunteer. The whole point of the Games Network is to
make the impoverish masses feel like they have a chance to win some new dollars. So lines full of meek and desperate people
file into the Network Games building every day, hoping to land on
a show that pays out. After a medical, physical and
mental screening program, the applicants are weeded out or
assigned to a show. Ben Richards considered
an anti-authoritarian dissident and reasonably good physical condition makes
it through a three day application process.
>>The game itself is also very different. Contestants in the book version of
The Running Man have to survive for 30 days but they’re allowed to travel
literally anywhere in the world. And it’s not broadcast live either. Richards is required to record and then mail in video cassettes
everyday otherwise he forfeits. Meanwhile, the hunters led by the
notorious Evan McCon, wait, wait, wait, wait what’s that?
>>They’re hunters>>Yeah, but why is that on a mop?>>He’s not actually a mop, he’s a mop guy. He kills you and then cleans it up. Great sponsorship opportunities.
>>Okay, but in the book the hunters don’t have fun themes like they do in the movie,
they’re just regular human bounty hunters. Since the game takes
place out in the world, they have to blend in with the population
in order to sneak up on the Running Man.>>I know, I know, mop guy stays though.>>All right, fine, look regardless of who the hunters
are, they’re good at their job. The current record for a Running Man
staying alive is around eight days. But for every hour he managed to stay
alive, Richards will earn 100ND. He also gets bonuses for killing cops and
if he makes it the entire 30 days, he wins the grand prize of 1 billion ND.
>>This difference brought to you by the number 1 billion. Unless you’re talking about stars or
sand or skittles or something, it might as well be a made up number. Look at all those zeros.
>>In the movie The Running Man is produced and hosted by Damon Killian. Played amazingly by the Family Feud’s
own Richard Dawson. Again, the choice to cast an actual
game show host makes the world of The Running Man feel that much more realistic.
>>(Cough) Dude, you gotta stop doing that. They have my family. In the book however, Dan Calion is just
the shows Executive Producer not the host. As far as the book is concerned though,
he is still Richard’s main antagonist. And ones Richard is in the game
he is completely on his own. His stunt on the Running Man takes him
from Co-Op City which is somewhere like Cleavelandish to New York,
Boston, and of course, because it’s a Stephen King novel,
all over Maine. Including the fictional town of Derry
where Pennywise the Clown lives. Richards poses as an old man with buck
teeth and later as a mostly blind priest. He also blows up a YMCA in Boston
when the hunters get the drop on him. Then some kids in a local
gang help him escape, but not before educating him on
the current state of pollution. It turns out the gang sneaks into
libraries for rich folks and learns all kinds of stuff about
the government’s actions and how they’re literally poisoning people
as well as how they’re covering it up. Richards even record a few rants about
the problems on his daily cassettes, the network re-edits. In the way that ICS frames
Richards in the movie.>>Which is a monstrous move, putting different words in somebody’s
mouth to make it seem like they’re saying something they’re really not, so
that they seem like the bad guy. It’s a valuable lesson in being able
to question the things that you’re seeing.
>>Never.>>Do anything like that.
>>Here.>>On Cinefix.>>Nor do we think.>>Anybody.
>>In any position.
>>Do that. You should probably just.
>>Believe.>>What you see.
>>All the time.>>Okay? Thanks, bye.
>>So please take everything that I’ve just said very seriously.
>>Movie Richards meanwhile is saddled with Laughlin and Weiss, the two
members of the resistance he escaped from prison with as well as Amber Mendez. The woman hits the passage earlier in the
movie who got busted while trying to swipe the video evidence that proves
Richard Butcher of Bakersfield video was edited to make him look like a killer.
>>I got cap of that too.
>>(Cough) Okay, this difference is
brought to you by Labels. Clearly labeling your incriminating
evidence since sometime in the 1800s probably.
>>That’s a good one. I love label.
>>Yeah, yeah, who doesn’t? So now we get to the interesting stuff,
the why of it all. In the movie Ben and his resistance buddies track down the
source of the networks broadcast signal. It was in the Running Man arena, which is why the resistance
couldn’t find it before. Ben, seeing a chance to do some good,
decides to stop being a loner and joins the aged up drummer of Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame band, Fleetwood Mac to take down the network and their fake news.
>>Meanwhile in the book, Ben never finds a new mission. He never has any illusions that he’ll
ultimately survive the running man. His purpose is to solely live long
enough to earn money that will go back to his wife and daughter. He, like his movie counterpart, holds a woman hostage, forcing Amelia
Williams to drive him through Maine, and it’s here that Ben proves to
be a KG and resourceful runner. He used the network’s media
coverage against them, basically publicizing his whereabouts and
the fact that he’s got a hostage. When everybody turns out to watch the
motorcade OJ Simpson style, a class war breaks out between the rich on one side of
the street, and the poor on the other, and the cops in between.
>>And this is really the difference between
these two versions of the story. In the movie Ben Richards
is a reluctant hero for a resistance that’s just trying to
get the truth on the airwaves again. Fighting against the network that’s
falsifying a blood thirsty audience into submission.
>>Don’t touch that die.>>The book meanwhile there’s a whole level deeper. The games network is designed to keep
men like Ben Richards down, to make sure dissidents are seen as enemies of the
state, while the state continuous policies that literally kill the poor.
>>Ultimately, in the movie Ben gets a happy ending. He kills the bad guy, gets the girl, and
walks off into the sunset or hallway. But for Book Ben,
his ending isn’t so happy. He makes his way to the Derry jet port,
where he bluffs his way onto a jet, claiming to have a whole
craft ton of explosives. When it’s actually just Amelia’s
purse stuffed into his jacket. And as he makes his final stand on
the jet, he learns that his wife and daughter were killed by
an angry mob over a week ago. Almost immediately after
Ben started his run.>>So without a reason to keep running, Ben decides he’s done. He kills the plane crew including
chief hunter Evan McCone and takes a beating while he does it. His guts are literally spilling
out of his belly by the end. Ben pilots the jet into
the Games Network building and killing him in the split second before the
plane reaches his office can swear that he sees Ben Richards giving him the finger.
>>So what are we left with? The film version is pretty standard
1980s action fare with some surprisingly prescient themes about
the power of information. If you control the message that reaches
the masses, you control the masses. But, movie Ben actually wins. The book has a less hopeful ending, changing the message of the novel to
something more like it might be too late. There might actually be no real win for the little guy who gives
the authoritarian state that. (Sound) Are you not going to
clear your throat and cut me off?
>>What? Sorry I tuned out there when I
got super depressed about stuff. Hey, can I hide out here for a while until
this whole parking ticket thing blows over.
>>Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever you need man. The couch folds out. That will do it for this episode but
me sure to subscribe to Cinefix for more What’s the Difference?
>>This episode of What’s the Difference is brought to you by fold out couches, letting your deadbeat buddies hide out
til the heat soft and I don’t know. Hey, when did they invent
the fold out couch? What no, we’ve had them longer than that.