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November 24, 1987 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-11-24

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The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, November 24, 1987-- Page7


By Lisa Pollak
More mindless than Tic Ta c
Dough, more colorful than the
Wheel of Fortine, and more twisted
than a question on Jeopardy is The
Running Man - the scariest, most
bizarre game show of them all.
The Running Man, Arnold
Schwarzenegger's latest grunt 'n'
kill flick, takes place in America-in-
some-future-time. Oh, you know the
place. It's where everything is dark,
industrialized, and dirty, and where
the average citizen can be found
warming his hands over a vat of
toxic waste.
This decadent society is fascinated
with its game shows, and a sadistic
game show called "The Running
Man" in particular. Hosted by the
manic Damon Killian (played in a
typecasting triumph by Richard
Dawson), "The Running Man" pits
government-selected contestants a-
gainst a barrage of mutant hulks
with names like "Fireball" and
"Buzzsaw." No cruises, bedroom
sets, or shiny cars here; the grand
and single prize is life. Not only
does nobody win, but there isn't

much left to put on a gift certificate
when the game's over, either.
Add the heroic contestant (Arnold
Schwarzenegger), some gratuitious
violence, and a beautiful woman
(Maria Conchita Alonso), and The
Running Man soon turns into typi-
cal Schwarzenegger fare; as quick,
light, and predictable as the game
shows it parodies. Which is why
watching The Running Man is a lot
like sitting down to a two-hour
episode of Joker's Wild. Without
commercials. And with lots of
In fact, just about anything that
can be said about a game show also
can be said about The Running Man.
The film is noisy, animated, bright,
and glossy - with all the intellec-
tual stimulation of The Newlywed
Game and enough flashing electric
lights to cover all the trees in
America for Christmas.
Sure, a game show is an enter-
taining piece of fluff. So's The
Running Man. Sure, some game
shows have interesting premises. So
does The Running Man. But pre-
mises - which may translate well
in writing - get dull in action. Just

like The Running Man.
The television comparisons are
even more appropriate when you
consider the cast and crew. Director
Paul Michael Glaser received his
training as S tarsky on Starsky and
Hutch. Dweezil Zappa, Don Pardo,
Jesse "The Body" Ventura, and a va-
riety of other pop-tube icons all
make uneventful cameo appearances.
And then, of course, there's
Dawson, who does the whole kissy-
smarmy-flaky-host routine with an-
admittedly clever and macabre twist
for The Running Man. Dawson,
probably the most memorable thing
about The Family Feud, gives the
freshest, most inspired performance
in the movie. If you absolutely de-
spised him on television, you're sure
to love him here. A top ten survey
of a hundred Americans - and the
national box office receipts - agree.
Survey says : Dawson is the reason
to see this film.
But it's only one reason. The
Running Man, like most game
shows, is an fairly enjoyable piece
of mindless dribble - but one that
you only watch to kill time while
you wait for the real shows to begin.





Host Damon Killiam (Richard Dawson) introduces Ben Richards (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a fearless
contestant on the sadistic gladiator-style game show, "The Running Man."


The New Monkees
The New Monkees
Warner Brothers
The New Monkees are a rotten
idea gone haywire. A freak accident
in the marketing research laboratory
at Warner Brothers resulted in an al-
bum that is so bad that it's embar-
rassing to dignify it with a review.
The New Monkees are not, as
their moniker suggests, an '80s ver-
sion of the foolish charm and pop
whimsy that was the Monkees. This
record bears one similarity in that it,
too, lacks substance, but it also
lacks the undeniable listenability of
their namesakes. It hurts to play this
In no way can the band, if it can
be called a band, be blamed for this
atrocity. Marty Ross, Larry Saltis,
Dino Kovas (a Dearborn native who
played with Snakeout), and Jared
Chandler are four semi-pro musi-
cians/actors who beat out more than
5000 other auditioners for their
parts. From there, they were whisked
away in a shiny black van to a
warehouse somewhere outside of Los
Angeles, where the PR m e n
bleached, lobotomized, wardrobed,
styled, and polished them, wrote
songs and scripts for them to read,
and-taught them how to act wacky.
What the American public received
is these pre-packaged droids.
The deplorable results of this
process is a butter-soft metal, thick
with repetition and thin with
Yes, the TV show is just as bad.
-Mark Swartz
Pleasures of the Flesh
Combat Records
One of the many sub-genres of
metal that have appeared during
metal's latest revival is thrash or
speed metal. Exodus is amongst the
top echelon of thrash groups, along
with Megadeath, Metallica, and
Exodus comes from the same
San Francisco-area club circuit that
Metallica emerged from and has
several other things in common
with speed metal's premier band:
bizarre song topics (from flesh-eat-
ing zombies to toxic waste to
mental illness); a killer rhythm
section providing driving, insistent
beats; and, of course, speed.
Exodus is so similar to Metal-
lica that some listeners may be
suspicious; however, given the two
bands' similar backgrounds and the
fact that Metallica guitarist Kirk
Hammet was in the original Exodus
lineup, their similarity seems in-
evitable. This latest release from
Exodus reaffirms their right to be
on the top of the speed metal heap.
It's impossible to hold still while
listening to this album. You just

about Rastafarianism and its blood
brother, reggae music. The always
loquacious Macka B describes,
among other things, the significance
of Ganja (marijuana) in praising Jah,
the religion's opposition to any
form of racism, and finally, the
symbolic meaning of the Rasta-
man's long, snake-like, spongy afro-
braids known as Dreadlocks. Macka
B's emotional vocals perfectly carry
the spiritual ethos of Rastafarianism.
On "Big Mack," Macka B. asks
the universal question about Mc-
Donald's hamburgers: "What inna
there?" Easily the most infectious
melody on the album, "Big Mack"
sardonically compares the preserva-
tive enriched menu at McDonald's to
the I-tal (vegetarian) food of the
Rastaman. Macka B does his rapping
Richard Simmons impression with
such nutritious rhymes as "A choca-
late shake aint go no use/When you
stand it up next to some Pineapple
juice." All the while, the Mad Pro-
fessor accelerates the rhythm to ig-
nite the dancefloor into pure skank-
ing wildness.
The title cut features guest ap-
pearances by Drumtan Ward o n
Congas and Sergeant Steel on bass.
The congas, bass, and Macka B's
acrimonious assault combine with
the Mad Professor's furious rhythm
to produce an angry, anti-racist an-
them. The tune includes Macka B's
prophetic advice to the repressed

Blacks of South Africa: "Show me a
well organized people and I will
show you a people and a nation re-
spected by the world... organizing is
the key."
Macka B plays "Theodore Love-
money," the God-fearing parson, on
the raucous "False Preacher." Hear-
ing him feign the sugary southern
drawl of our favorite T.V. preachers
and sarcastically declare "I had a
dream" is a fun change of pace as
well as a scathing attack on such
publicity preachers as Jim Bakker
and Jerry Falwell.
On the album's premier cut,
"Apartheid," Macka B works himself
into a bellicose frenzy, angrily rap-
ping about the inhumanity of
apartheid. He delivers the lyrics in a
muddy Jamaican growl, reflecting
precise anguish over the Mad

Professor's convulsing Dread beat.
He sings, "In a world that is sup-
posed to be so civilized/How can we.
allow such terror as
Apartheid/Nelson Mandela should be
on the outside/The only crime he
committed was to fight Apartheid."
Macka B's musical style com-
bines colorful swatches of Black
Uhuru, Yellowman, and Scientist.
The Mad Professor adds cool special
effects, a relentless dance beat, and
his inimitable production style. But
it is Macka B's innovative lyrics and
unique vocal stylings which have led
him to be crowned as the
quintessential king of dub-reggae?.
We've Had Enough is hot reggae
dance music with a message. As
Macka B says, "Rastafari is a
beautiful sound."
-Todd Shanker

The New Monkees are (from left to right) Michigan native Dino Kovas,
Marty Ross, Larry Saltis, and Jared Chandler.

have to bang your head (or at least
tap your foot). This album makes a
perfect soundtrack for a bad day, es-
pecially when you're not feeling
nice and you want to break things
and be violent. Listen to this album
really loud and take it out on your
neighbors instead.
-Chuck Skarsaune
Macka B
We've Had Enough
Ariwa Records
Macka B's latest album is a deli-
cious dub-style potpourri of the

most progressive reggae music
available today. On We've Had
Enough (the follow-up to Macka B's
fantastic first LP,Sign of the
Timesd Macka B teams up with the
scholar of the Dread beat, the Mad
Professor. While Macka B provides
rasta vocals as thick and rich as Mrs.
Butterworth's syrup, the Mad Pro-
fessor separates the unique dance
rhythms into luscious aural clouds
of dub-style perfection.
On "One for Jah," Macka B fires
up a glib ganja dance tune dedicated
to Jab Rastafari, the sacred deity of
the Rastafarian religion. Besides be-
ing a catchy, danceable song, "One
for Jah" is an information packed rap

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