Composer of the month The expendables month

Soundtrack review: The running man (Harold Faltermeyer – 1987)

running

 

Harold Faltermeyer was a synth god in the 80s. His scores hit the sweetest of spots with me as well as most of the others 80s film music fans. He is responsible for magnificent (and unfortunately yet unreleased) gems like Beverly Hills Cop and Top Gun. He also wrote Tango and Cash which is still one of my favorite scores and he is one of the main influences for Hans Zimmer. We’re still in “The expendables month” and “The running man” is a movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and we have a proper score release for it.

The appeal of Harold Faltermeyer’s music also comes from the fact that most of the movies he scored are also fan favorites. “The running man” is an adaptation of a Stephen King story about a crazy game show where convicted criminals were brought as game for different types of hunters, all for the entertainment of a blood thirsty public. The movie is very exciting and I watch it often.

The music is, of course, pure synth joy. As Arnold and his friends duck the traps and weapons of their pursuers there’s an exciting, pounding and dark rhythm following their adventures. You cannot watch this movie and not remark the music. Harold Faltermeyer could have very well written the music and jingles for the game show itself. Everything that makes a synthesizer score work for me is here: the ambient melodic parts and the relentless action parts spiced with some grungy guitar riffs. This score is a huge short of nostalgia and I hear the Terminator, I hear Jean Michel Jarre, I hear the wonderful 80s. “The running man” is like a drug that gives me all these flashes of images from my favorite movies.

Wonderfully dark, unpretentious and alert, “The running man” has its well established place in the gallery of the most memorable movies and scores of the 80s and it has become legendary with the passing of time. Speaking strictly for the music, all I need is to hear a synth anthem like “Medical checkup” and I am happy.

Cue rating: 93 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 25 / 41

Album excellence: 60%

Highlights:

Intro/Bakersfield

Main Title/Fight Escape

Mick’s Broadcast/Attack

Valkyrie

Buzzsaw Attack

Buzzsaw/Dynamo Attack

Massacre Highlights

Fireball Chase

Spare Dynamo

Weiss Discovers Dish/Amber’s Launch

Revolution/End Credits

 

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment