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Fridge: The Running Man

The film:

Fridge Brilliance:

  • Initially, I thought that it was ridiculous that Amber Mendez was able to smuggle the tape containing the EXTREMELY incriminating evidence on the government into the gameshow undetected. Sure, she uses the classic "Women have more hiding-places" line, but c'mon, she was caught red-handed rifling through the filing-cabinet - and considering what you gotta go through to get on a PLANE today, WITHOUT first being caught with your hands in a cookie-jar of dirty government secrets, it seems unthinkable that they'd fail to find the tape anyway. But then I realized - the 'crimes' they make up against her (which, as I recall, includes 'having sex with 3 different men in a year) indicate that this dystopian future society is extremely puritan on matters of sexuality (while being extremely liberal on matters of EXTREME VIOLENCE - anyone else get a hint of societal critique here?), including enforced monogamy at the very least. Hence, its enforcers would be uncomfortable searching through those 'extra hiding-places', making it a long-shot, but not entirely impossible, that Amber would be able to keep the tape hidden in her Trouser Space... — Black Dragon
    • Alternately, folks willing to search all those places weren't necessarily hard to find, but hard to find in the time they had. She wasn't discoverd rooting through the records until the night the show was on, and they were rushed to get her in costume to have her be part of the act. As for why Killian didn't go for a quieter method of dealing with her? I dunno, he's an 80's action movie villain.
    • Technically, the Really Gets Around smear wasn't indicated to be a crime, just a little extra dirt to go with her supposedly being the Butcher of Bakersfield's accomplice: "She's not only a criminal, but a slut too!" They were rather short of time to search Amber, and Killian was looking to drive his ratings even higher by any means he could, including bringing on a mystery contestant. There's also the possibility that they didn't realize she'd actually stolen anything; the edited video was still in the cabinet and the raw footage she took was located behind it. While they did obviously notice where she was looking, her arrest was specifically for being in an off-limits archive, not the theft of the video.
    • Another possibility: they knew Amber Menendez had the recorded chip on her somewhere, but didn't care. As Richards' fellow contestants noted, their resistance movement actually had a base out in the game zone, but had never found the up-link satellite dish that was also out there because "No one ever comes out here." The people in the studio didn't know any of the contestants had friends out there, and probably just figured that the recording (which they no longer needed for anything) would be fried or mangled or just plain lost along with her corpse when she inevitably met some gruesome demise.

Fridge Logic:

  • One Funny Background Event you can catch if you're paying attention is when the announcer is telling the people in the audience what kinds of prizes they can win. One of them is "Ortho-Pure Procreation Pills" which are also mentioned to be "available in adult's and child's sizes." Recreation pills might make sense if this society has legalized recreational drugs as part of its Bread and Circuses, but Procreation? Aside from the obvious potential Squicky implications if these are indeed some kind of fantastic Viagra or the like, how exactly does this square with the dystopian society's stated sexual mores?

  • When the movie shows the previous seasons "Winners," they're smiling and waving in front of some fairly obvious blue screens. However, the thing that hit me after watching the movie a couple times is that they're both still in their spandex contestant jumpsuits. Didn't anyone in the audience think that was a bit odd?
    • See I just figured they'd think they put them back on for the show and all.

  • Why would the government frame Richards for the Bakersfield Massacre in the first place? What did they gain out of it? They had to have known that firing on a crowd of unarmed civilians would either piss off the people or frighten them into submission. But you can only frighten people like that if they believe that the government is willing to kill them, not if they believe that it was the act of a single rogue pilot.
    • The people were clearly more pissed off than frightened by Bakersfield anyway; frightening them into submission probably wasn't the plan. The totalitarian society of The Running Man seems to work more on Bread and Circuses-style apathy rather than fear; it's more Brave New World (keeping the population nice and docile through distraction) than Nineteen Eighty Four (keeping the population weak and frightened). Even the poor people in the shanty towns are distracted from their wretched lot by watching the show and making bets on it. Killian even says at one point that the point is to keep people in front of the TV screens rather than rioting in the streets. So trying to frighten them into submission probably wasn't the game-plan, since that can also quite easily backfire; after all, if you're already poor. oppressed and starving, and the government makes it clear that it doesn't care and is going to machine gun you from above anyway just for being poor, oppressed and starving, then you've got nothing left to lose by rising up and fighting them. By making Richards the fall guy, the government can both quell a potential unrest while keeping their hands clean by pointing it all towards him.

Fridge Horror

  • Killian has Richards' and Amber's faces digitally mapped onto stunt doubles for the televised battle with Captain Freedom. Since Captain Freedom tosses them into spikes, this means that Killian had two stunt doubles killed to fake Richards' death.
    • No he didn't; it was old Footage of Captain Freedom. Those weren't stunt doubles, they were contestants.
    • That's not specifically stated. In fact, what is stated is that Richards' face is being mapped onto a stunt double.

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