Running Scared (2006)

"Running Scared is a vicious and brutal B-movie jacked up to hysterical, hallucinatory proportions -- a pulpy, violent action picture that torments the viewer as much as its characters ...

... and I mean that as a compliment."

*** The Miami Herald ***


Paul Walker plays Joey Gazelle, a small-time hoodlum who is entrusted with the responsibility of disposing the weapons used in a mob massacre which resulted in the death of many (crooked) cops. For reasons of his own, Joey hides the weapons in his own basement, where they are found by two kids. The kid next door uses one of the guns to shoot his abusive stepfather, a mobster, and this sets up a desperate situation which Joey must deal with. Joey knows that the slugs in the dead cops and the slug in the stepfather can be matched, so he has to run around and tamper with some evidence before everyone else finds out what he already knows. Meanwhile, the boy next door is scared and has run away with the gun, so Joey has get to the gun and the boy before anyone else does. The movie's frenetic pace captures Joey's high-speed quest to outmaneuver the cops and the mob for control of the gun, the slugs, and the boy.

That simple summary doesn't convey much about the film's intrinsic nature. There is nothing in this film which resembles reality, or even approaches it. It is a pulp cinema concoction which exists in its own form of comic book reality. The bad guys are one-dimensional, ugly, and evil beyond redemption. The violence and torture scenes are stylized and over-the-top. The plot twists are improbable and operatic. The cinematography and editing are flamboyant. The plot moves very fast, everything is exaggerated, and the whole adventure plays out like Sin City as remade by Tony Scott.

In general, critics were not very receptive to the film, although there were exceptions. It also failed almost completely at the box office: it had a bad opening week, a massive drop-off in the second week, and virtually nothing thereafter. Despite all those negatives, it has managed to accumulate minor cult status among the fans of pulp cinema.

As the Philadelphia Inquirer noted:

If Running Scared had come out in 1994, before Pulp Fiction, it - and (director Wayne) Kramer - would be hailed as blazingly original. But questions of originality notwithstanding, there's plenty of blazing going on here.

As we say here in Tejas, I kinda liked it my ownself. If you think about the film too much, it may seem juvenile, but isn't that also true of Leon or Pulp Fiction or Sin City? That's the nature of the pulp cinema genre. The way the movie experience actually works in Running Scared is that there really isn't much time to consider analytical matters because the director serves up the action like a boxer using body blows: the strategy is to keep you from catching your breath. It moves fast, it hammers away constantly, it catches your attention early, and it's pumped full of adrenalin. Best of all, it manages to do all that while letting the story and characters breathe a bit. Oh, sure, it's no Cameron Crowe movie in terms of character development, but the lead actors (Paul Walker and Vera Farmiga) manage to make their characters seem enough like flesh-and-blood people that the story seems to have at least some anchor in reality. Although the technique is flashy, I didn't ever get a feeling that the story was taking a back seat to the director's pyrotechnics, unlike Tony Scott's Domino, for example.

It does seem to me that the IMDb score of 7.2 is a tad high, and I can see why some critics disliked it, because it is not a very thoughtful movie and it's all been done before by Richie and Besson and others. On the other hand, I can also see why some younger guys thought it was pretty cool. This isn't the kind of film I would pick out for my own pleasure, but I think it may just hit the spot for you if you like such directors as Quentin Tarantino, Luc Besson, Guy Richie, Tony Scott, and Robert Rodriguez. It's a solid offering among those films for 12-year-old boys of all ages.

  • Farmigamania is back! Here's Vera Farmiga, who showed her bum in a thong and the top of her pubic hair.

  • Vera Farmiga

  • And here are some gratuitous strippers who showed everything. My hat's off to the director for adding unnecessary full frontal nudity to a film which was already going to get an R for extreme violence! Take that, MPAA!

  • Strippers





Other Crap:

If you are a techie or an inveterate early adopter, you might enjoy the Windows Vista Customer Preview Program

Al Zarqawi Killed: President Bush's Solemn Remarks (

Superman 'is probably the most heterosexual character in any movie I've ever made,' said Bryan Singer

SECTIONS of the King's Table, a symbol of royal power until it was smashed by Oliver Cromwell, have been found beneath the floor of the Palace of Westminster."

Anatomically correct skeletal systems of cartoon characters.

Top 10 Highest Skyscrapers Photos

Superman sucks...???

A pretty cool optical illusion

Colbert encourages us to ignore the World Cup

Tom DeLay sits for a fake interview with Colbert

Daily Show: Headlines - 'Night, Martyr

  • "Rumsfeld is choked up over the death of Al-Zarqawi because it's the first thing he's ever done right."

The Daily Show looks at World Cup mania

"Police raid original 'Animal House' at Dartmouth"

  • "One of the writers of the 1978 movie, Chris Miller, was a 1964 Dartmouth graduate and a member of Alpha Delta."
  • An interesting generational transition happened in the late sixties. If you graduated in 1963-1967 (the war baby sub-generation), you were completely immersed in the Animal House generation. If you graduated in 1971 or later, you missed that entire chapter of college history. Those who graduated from 1968-1970, early baby boomers like me, were hybrids. I graduated in 1970 - those full-fledged Animal House guys were seniors when I was a freshman. I ended up pledging the local Animal House (I was "The Bear"), only to find it a completely different place when sophomore year started (after "The Summer of Love"). Political activism just about totally took over campus life in the 1967-68 school year, reefer replaced booze as the high of choice, student riots replaced panty raids, radical feminism established a strong foothold on campus, and the Animal House mentality instantly became quaint and retro.

Best news of the year: Billy Ray Cyrus aims to revive the mullet

A new clip from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

The Weekend Warrior's box office predictions for June 9-11

  • He reasons that Cars will turn in some kick-ass numbers. He places The Omen in the #3 spot, and thinks Prairie Home Companion will crawl in around number seven - which is not particularly good news, because it will be a six team race, but not particularly bad news, since he expects it to take in more per screen than Over the Hedge or DaVinci Code.
  • If his numbers are about right, it will be a good week for the industry, with the Top 12 taking in about $156 million, compared to about $138 last year. That's a 13% increase, and the industry has not seen a double digit increase in the past four weekends.

"Wealthy New Yorkers are advertising rent-free rooms to women in exchange for sexual favours."

Yamaha's Crotch Air Bag

Ask Da Orcs ,,, like dear abby, but with orcs

  • "Advice column where personal emails are answered by our diverse panel of Orcs!"

"Flawless Man-Made Diamonds"

  • "After decades of experimentation, scientists can finally grow diamonds that outshine even the rarest De Beers rocks.:

FBI's most wanted: Aunt Jemina. Claim: Mold that forms in pancake mix can cause a life-threatening allergic reaction. Status: True.

Soccer Strip Quest

Adult Swim Reopens 'Pee-wee's Playhouse'

Who is this "chess beauty" that has chess masters engaged in fisticuffs? She is Arianne Caoili.

Al-Zarqawi, aka The Zarkman, blogs from beyond to report that paradise Is overrated

How to get Americans interested in soccer

"The English-to-12-Year-Old-AOLer Translator"

"Top Ten Signs That Your Relationship Is Heading For A Break-Up"

"Top Ten Signs You Have World Cup Fever"


Unlikely rumor of the day: "Informed sources Inside the Beltway report that First Lady Laura Bush has established temporary residence in the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC as a result of a tiff with President Bush over an extramarital relationship involving her husband. Mr. Bush's tryst is said to involve Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice."

Vida Guerra will be featured in the July Playboy




Movie Reviews:

Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format. Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.


"My Horny Girl Friend"

My Horny Girl Friend (2003) or Big bor yau wat, which actually translates Big Breast Seduction, is a recent Hong Kong comedy that is more sex and nudity than story. The lovely Grace Lam starts a new job, and is ravaged by the boss, who promotes her, and puts her on vacation. She comments that she expected to be taken advantage of on her first day, but didn't think she would have to screw someone so old and fat. She heads to the seashore for vacation, where a sexy lifeguard, thinking she is committing suicide, grabs her. The two fall into the water, and she nearly drowns, as she can't swim. When he rescues her, she decides that she wants him, and enlists in his lifeguard training class, even though she doesn't know how to swim. That is where she encounters her nemesis, in the person of the designated Japanese co-star slut that is always the most naked and is always badly dubbed, Yumi Hirano. Yumi has big tits, and the lifeguard prefers women with good flotation devices, so Grace has her work cut out for her.

She thinks she is having success when she gets a note signed by the lifeguard to meet him that night, but it is actually from Yumi, who, it turns out, is try-sexual (if it is sexual, she will try it) who ties her up and seduces her. Grace sees Yumi with the lifeguard spawning on the beach like grunion, and fantasizes that she is the one. Later, Grace meets the lifeguards friend, also sexy. She plans a sex trap, where the friend will seduce Yumi, she will photograph it and show the tape to the lifeguard. If you guessed that they end up in a three way, you are way ahead of me, and so it goes in a film that is mostly nudity and simulated sex, but has a few bright spots of comedy.

Yumi Hirano shows everything repeatedly. This is the first and probably the last film where we will see Grace Lam's buns. She has always kept her panties on before this film, and has announced that she is getting married and will no longer do film nudity. She has her small but firm breasts with award winning nipples out for much of the film.

IMDb readers say 3.3 based on only 8 votes. This film has very little of the off-beat energy that I so love about Hong Kong cinema in general and Category III in particular, but extra points are awarded for Grace Lam -- she is truly a China doll. We will call the genre couples erotica, and make this a C-.

Grace Lam

Yumi Hirano


Today the Time Machine travels back to 1982 for "Violence in a Women's Prison".

Laura Gemser stars as an undercover reporter who has herself committed to a Women's prison. Tough way to make a living as Laura is beaten, chewed on by rats (for your own well being no caps of that), yet still manages to show off her fully naked body for our pleasure.

Laura Gemser

'Caps and comments by Dann:

"Hollow Man 2"
You probably expect this 2006 sequel to Hollow Man to be far less than the original. After all, it's direct-to-video, with a smaller budget, less spectacular special effects, and lesser-known stars. Well, you'd be right. The story is set a few years after the first. The research into invisibility has been continuing, because the government wants it as a weapon. Subjects were dying, but a scientist discovers a "buffer" which seems to solve the problem, except that the head of the project won't let the buffer be given to any of the subjects. One of the subjects, a soldier, goes on a rampage to try and get a dose of the buffer, threatening the safety of Dr. Maggie Dalton, the scientist who discovered it. A local cop assigned to protect her has more than met his match, because invisible guys are kind of hard to fight. A lame sequel to the original, but on it's own, an OK B-movie Sci-Fi about invisibility.

Zara Taylor Laura Regan Terri Anne Welyki

Kaja Gjesdal doing the topless thing in the total stink-fest..."Underworld: Evolution". (Scoopy Junior's comments:) I have friends that loved the first film, so naturally, eventually I did as well (although my love never really went beyond the idea of Kate in latex). So anywho...I went into this sequel really wanting to like it. Yet as I watched (in an amazingly doped up state -thank you benadryl and vicodin) I still HATED this flick! My first thought was "wow, they really shot their wad on the first one! What a bunch of leftover crap!" Little did I know that later, as I watched one of the DVD extras, director/writer/producer/guy doing Kate Beckinsale would actually admit to that very fact! Did my drugged up, allergy filled ears deceive me? Sadly, NO! The gate keeper of this dung pile of a movie actually comes right out and says 'yes, we wrote a bunch of extra stuff the first time, but we had leftover ideas that we tweaked based on what we thought people liked in the first one and made sequel based on that'. Wow! I knew Hollyweird was really reaching these days, but I had no idea it was that bad! Honestly, do you guys need original ideas for movies? 'Cause seriously, I'm more that happy to take a few more pills and dream some shit up for you! Honestly, my most lame non-drug induced, foggy ideas about trying to squeek through the day in a cubilce are still MUCH more entertaining than the Underworld crap I just paid 19.95 for!

Enough of are Skin caps of one of the topless chicks in the only scene worth watching.

Also from the Skin-man, here is little/unknown actress Monica Himmelheber baring all 3-B's in something called "Babysitting Without a Net".

Pat's comments in yellow...

Coolest Of All: The Beerpod! - According to an annual survey of US college students by Student Monitor of New Jersey, iPods are now more popular than beer. Students were asked to rank a number of items and activities as "in" or "out." 73 percent ranked the iPod as "in," while "drinking beer" came in second with 71 percent. This is only the second time that beer was beaten: "The Internet" was #1 in 1997. But one year later, beer was right back at #1 again.

* That's the thing about beer: you can't keep it from turning into #1.
* Beer is still first: the other 29 percent of the students were too drunk to take the survey.
* I'll believe college students think iPods are cooler than beer when they can get girls to flash their boobs after listening to U2 songs.

"Get The Ot-pay Out Of The Idge-Fray!" - Elaine Baker of Spencer, Iowa, was in jail on charges of possession of methamphetamines and drug paraphernalia and child endangerment. Now, she's facing a new charge of intent to deliver marijuana. Police say she used the jail phone to call her son and ask him to get the pot out of the refrigerator and sell it to get bail money. She apparently didn't realize the jail phone was monitored by the police.

* There was a sign by the phone, but I have a feeling she was too stoned to notice it.
* I've got a feeling the child endangerment charge might stick.