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Running Scared (2006)

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The Gazelle Family


Joey Gazelle

Played By: Paul Walker

A low-level criminal working for the Perello mob.

  • ...And That Little Boy Was Me: Joey relates to Oleg in telling a story about a young boy who "Mark Mc Gwires the fucking living shit" out of his abusive father to the point of the father being "neutralized". Putting that and the fact Joey lives an elderly man, Joey was relating to Oleg's life and how bad his family is, and also wanting him to live normally for a good couple of more years rather then suffer to his father.
  • Badass and Child Duo: With Oleg.


Teresa Gazelle

Played By: Vera Farmiga

Joey's wife.

  • Beware the Nice Ones: Not much for swearing or for the kind of business Joey deals in, but this does not stop her from shooting dead two serial killers in cold blood when she discovers their killing lair.


Nicky Gazelle

Played By: Alex Neuberger

Joey and Teresa's young son.


Pops Gazelle

Played By: Jan Kohout

Joey's father.


The Perello Mob


Frankie Perello

Played By: Arthur J. Nascarella

The head of the Perello Mob.

  • Affably Evil: Frankie actually comes across as very reasonable and genial much of the time.


Tommy ‘Tombs’ Perello

Played By: Johnny Messner

The psychotic son of Frankie Perello.

  • Large Ham: Johnny Messner is quite clearly having the time of his life playing Tommy as a psychotic, barely-sane sadist who chews through the scenery.
  • N-Word Privileges: Assumes them towards white people. Tommy is a weird guy.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Every other word out of Tommy's mouth is a casual curse.


Sal ‘Gummy Bear’ Franzone

Played By: Michael Cudlitz

One of Tommy's henchmen.


The Russians


Ivan Yugorsky

Played By: John Noble

The leader of the Russian mafia and Anzor's uncle.


Anzor Yugorsky

Played By: Karel Roden

A Russian meth-head and Oleg's abusive father.

  • Sanity Slippage: He was already batshit insane, but by the end of the film he disconnects completely from reality.


Mila Yugorsky

Played By: Ivana Milčević

A former prostitute and Anzor's much-abused wife.


Oleg Yugorsky

Played By: Cameron Bright

The young son of Anzor Yugorsky who comes into possession of a valuable gun.

  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: No shock considering his home life, where he's been forced to look out for himself as his mother is in no position to help him.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Oleg is surprisingly resourceful for a young boy who is clearly just running for his life. It's clear that his home life has forced him to learn how to fend for himself, and it's his keen sense of danger that keeps him alive through all the shit he endures.

Other Characters


Det. Rydell

Played By: Chazz Palminteri

A corrupt cop also on the trail of the missing gun.

  • Slasher Smile: A specialty of Chazz Palminteri.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Fully confident he can strong arm the Perello mob; it doesn't end well for him.

    Dez & Edele 

Dez & Edele Hansel

Played By: Bruce Altman & Elizabeth Mitchell

A married pair of pedophiles who abduct Oleg along with two other children.

  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: When Teresa pulls a gun on them they drop the charade and are forced to cooperate. Dez tries to offer her money if she just takes Oleg and leaves without another word. It doesn't do them any good after she uncovers their stash of snuff films.
  • Asshole Victim: It goes without saying that they deserved to be pumped full of lead.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Their soft cheerful demeanor only serves to make them creepier.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Their apartment is sickeningly lavish and even has a playroom loaded to the brim with toys, a huge camera set, stuffed animals, a closet full of costumes, and arcade games. Teresa quickly discovers that it's all a cover for what the room is really used for...
  • Didn't Think This Through: Understandably, they never counted on anybody storming into their apartment. However, the fact that they had no photos of "their" children anywhere in the place is what convinces Teresa that they've been bullshitting her the entire time.
  • Karmic Death: At the hands of Teresa.
  • Knight of Cerebus: While many of the villains in the movie are ruthless, none of them are child-molesting serial killers with a disturbing, faux-kindly demeanor that record their horrific crimes on film. Notably, Teresa is so horrified by their deeds that she tries to convince Joey to give up his life of crime.
  • Meaningful Name: ‘Hansel’ is a pretty transparent reference to Hansel and Gretel.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: It’s pretty clear that Edele wears the pants in the relationship.
  • Serial Killer: The pair of them have murdered dozens of children.
  • The Sociopath: They make home movies of the kids they rape, torture and kill, and then give them star ratings.
  • Snuff Film: Heavily implied to be what their home movies are.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Edele moreso than Dez.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: Their mundane appearance belies their true nature as psychos.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Dez is a schubbly, late middle-age guy. Edele is also middle-aged, but she's a stunning blonde.
  • Would Hurt a Child: They have molested and murdered dozens of them.



Played By: David Warshofsky

A violent pimp who has a violent encounter with Oleg and winds up in possession of the gun.

  • Big Bad Wannabe: Lester considers himself a 'mack daddy pimp'. Joey and Divina think he's pathetic.



Played By: Idalis DeLeon

A prostitute working for Lester whom Oleg encounters.


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