This week on the B movie docket is Running Scared
Hello good people. And welcome to 50 B Movies: The Sequel. It’s bigger, better, and badder. The original 50 B Movies covered a wide range of B Movies. There was everything from Thankskilling 3 to The Void. Some films were funny. Some were unintentionally funny. And some were mainstream with far-out concepts like zombie tigers. All in all, it was a hell of a list.
Why make a sequel? Because narrowing down a list of 50 B Movies To See Before You Die was arduous. With so many movies to watch, one can never really know if the movie is good. Sure sometimes 5 minutes in, you know it is a real stinker. Other times it might take a half an hour before one realizes they will never get that half hour back to their life. Poof. Gone. But all in all there are many great B Movies that didn’t make the original list.
So welcome back if you are a LRM reader and welcome if it’s your first time here. Be forewarned we will be treading deep into the bush to pull these B Movies. We aren’t rehashing anyone’s previous 50 or 100 or 1000 B Movies list. Nope. So, prepare yourself for 50 B Movies To See Before You Die: The Sequel. Bigger. Better. Badder. Oooh yeah.
WEEK 3 – Running Scared (2006)
Running Scared is a vastly underrated movie. Despite starring Paul Walker, it did close to the tune of $9.4 million worldwide at the box office. Talk about a letdown. I remember seeing this one back in theatres. The AMC Hoffman, Virginia to be more specific. I arrived at the theater early because I had to grab a good seat. The trailer had hooked me months ago.
So, when I arrived, bypassing the line to pick up my tickets from the box office. This was back before you could select your seats at ticket purchase, and it was largely first come first serve for seating. Not only that, but I was a bit shocked to realize that despite it being opening weekend, the theater was opting to show the movie in one of those smaller theater rooms that are for movies that have been out for weeks.
But then why was I navigating a hoard of people to buy concessions? What else could be responsible for this madness? Madea’s Family Reunion. And to this day I think Running Scared would have made more money had it released another weekend. The filmmakers had underestimated Tyler Perry’s draw and appeal. Never go up against that man. He makes feel-good movies.
Go watch this scene here if you’ve never seen Running Scared –
Thrilling, right? I mean you’ve got what could have been a straightforward drug deal scene. It could have all gone down the way action happens in director Michael Mann’s Miami Vice. You know very much there’s a guy standing there, and when he isn’t because now he looks like a Pollack painting, but he’s not. It’s just blood, guts, are painted on the wall. But instead, director Wayne Kramer decides to inject the celluloid with hyper violence that would make Alex from A Clockwork Orange a little queasy. PS: I hope you’ve seen The Cooler. If not, why haven’t you?
There’s a lot of inventiveness to unpack in this one. In fact, it’s so over the top, Kramer’s movie has landed firmly in B Movie territory.
Mafia flunky Joey Gazelle (Paul Walker) is ordered to dispose of the guns that killed a pair of policemen. He hides them in his basement, where they are found by Oleg (Cameron Bright), the kid from next door, who uses one to shoot his brutal stepfather, a Russian mobster. The boy runs off, and Joey pursues him into the criminal underworld, desperate to retrieve the incriminating weapon. Meanwhile, corrupt detective Rydell (Chazz Palminteri) is following Joey’s trail with his own agenda.
I found that description online. It does not do the movie justice, so I have rewritten it below.
Bada## muscle head Mafioso Joey Gazelle (Paul Walker) plays a nonanthropomorphic big bad wolf in the darkest fairytale you’ve ever read. Unbeknownst to his mafioso employers, he is ordered to dispose of the guns that killed a pair of dirty policemen. He hides them in his basement, where they are found by the amazingly annoying Pinocchio like Oleg (Cameron Bright), the kid from next door, who uses one to shoot his brutal stepfather, a Russian monster or mobster. The boy runs off to pursue a life of being a pain in the arse, and Joey pursues him into the criminal underworld, replete with all manner of bizarre fairytale denizens including everyone from a Humpty Dumpty inspired Pimp to some ghoulish pedophiles. Gazelle lives up to the animal namesake as he sprints all across town desperate to retrieve the incriminating weapon. Meanwhile, corrupt detective Rydell (Chazz Palminteri) is following Joey’s trail with his own agenda. And he likes Mai Tai’s. And the icing on the cake is named Vera Farminga. She plays Gazelle’s wife.
The swears and slurs fly faster than the mile an hour dialogue Tarantino flicks are known for. In fact, the entire thingamabob is very Tarantino-esque. There are shootouts, tortures, and some explosive moments.
Okay, so besides Paul Walker running around screaming obscenities at the top of his lungs. There are other characters in this movie. The thorn in his side is Oleg Yugorsky as he steals the gun used to gun down a cop linking Gazelle and the mob to the murder. So, he’s a real dip$###. And becomes the most annoying little whiny MacGuffin you have never seen. You may like his character. We’ll agree he’s annoying.
If you’re a fan of Singer’s, The Usual Suspects. Then seeing Calogero Lorenzo “Chazz” Palminter back in blue as a detective, should bring sweet memories. But here in Kramer’s world, he’s not trying to figure out just who the hell this Keyser Söze is. Instead, he just wants dirty mobster money to frolic in like Scrooge McDuck.
And Karl Roden plays a very sick abusive Russian father that is in love with the Duke! I mean he is a hardcore Duke fanboy. So much so that he will not hesitate to lay the Thursday Night Smackdown on his family for showing a differing opinion. Boy, he loves some Duke. And I probably should not call him a fanboy. Nope, he’s a degenerate.
And I must mention Dez and Edele. They are sick and… I won’t ruin the last part. But I will say that seeing their reveal is quite creepy. I felt bad for that whiney kid Oleg once he found himself stranded in their super creepy house. It’s nuts. I should mention Dez is played by Bruce Altman and his wife Edele is played by Lost’s Elizabeth Mitchell.
It stars the late Paul Walker and is arguably his best leading performance. And Walker has a family. And the most important thing in life will always be family. Besides, it is a love letter to over-the-top machismo movies of the 90’s. And you know the 90’s were the best. Don’t lie to yourself.
Watch it where?
Running Scared is currently available to watch for free 99 on Tubi TV.
How To Enjoy It
Step 1. Go to Tubi TV. Step 2. Put on some headphones. Step 3: Embrace the joy of a profanity laden bomb dropping Paul Walker. This ain’t Eight Below people.