Without a doubt, one of my favorite pastimes is Friday the 13th trivia. I may be a little rusty now, but there was a time when I felt like I could hold my own with just about anyone when it came to the Paramount movies. The amount of time I spent watching them in junior high and high school was probably a little unhealthy.
They became like favorite songs – I knew every beat and I loved to sing along. Even with all the repeated viewings, there are still little bits of trivia that have left me scratching my head. The books and documentaries over the last few years have been exhaustive in their scope but have thankfully left a few mysteries for the most obsessive of fans to ponder. One of my favorites isn’t even noticeable until the final credits.
Who is Running Man? Lots of people run in the movie, but they’re all credited. Could it be an instance where Jason is credited multiple times like he is in part 3? There we had Jason, Prowler, and Jason Stunt Double. Maybe Jason actor Ted White refused to do the scene where he runs after Trish and Thad Geer sprinted to the rescue.
Somehow I doubt it though. The only section of the movie with a lot of extras is the beginning, when everyone is cleaning up the mess from part 3. One of those extras runs. He runs so much in fact, that I’m convinced he must be Running Man.
Why does he get credited though? There’s a bunch of extras mulling about and he doesn’t really stand out much more than his uncredited brethren. It wasn’t until I watched the credits and thought back to who Running Man could possibly be that I even noticed him. How great would it have been if he got his name on the opening credits as well? “and introducing Thad Geer as Running Man”
Although I find it a bit curious, I assume his credit has more to do with unions and agents than anything else.
The real mystery here is, where the hell is this guy running? Nobody else has that kind of fire under their ass. Even one of the ambulance drivers is particularly un-enthused about having to rush out to pick up a bunch of corpses. What did he need to do so urgently that would justify his tearing around like that? Seriously – everyone is dead. And if my timeline is correct, they’ve already sitting there for about a day. They’re not going to get any more dead if this guy decided to just walk at a brisk pace. I’ve never been at the scene of a crime like this, but can’t help but wonder if people really do zip around like the Road Runner.
It gets better though. One would assume that he’s rushing toward the scene of the crime. It seems like most of the focus is in the barn around Jason’s body. The Running Man is headed in that direction, but then he blows right past everyone. This just makes Running Man infinitely more fascinating. Nobody runs like that without a purpose. What was his? Thinking back to part 3, the only other bodies in the barn would be those of the bikers. Not to sound cold, but what’s the rush?
There’s more mystery though. Is that the last we see of Running Man? It could be. Instead of following him into the barn, we stay with two guys that are bagging up the axe from Jason’s noggin as evidence. Then the camera moves down to Jason’s body as someone throws a sheet over it. The man dropping the sheet has a curiously familiar poncho though. Is it Running Man? If so, where did he get the sheet? He certainly wasn’t carrying it when we first saw him. Maybe that’s what he was running into the barn for in the first place.
I like to believe that this is our guy. The only thing more awesome than the way he tore ass through the crime scene was the way he apparently materialized behind the cops as they collected the axe. I know there are other poncho-clad men around, but if this is the same one who we’ve been following, then he looks like this:
Couple that look with his cryptic musings about Jason, (“This time they got him“) and you’ve got a pretty bad ass moment in an already great movie. I’m thinking that he should have been a recurring character throughout the series. Imagine he ran into Manhattan and made some quip? The movie would have been ten times better. An Earth 2 equivalent in Jason X could have given that movie the little something extra that was missing.
Running Man is an easy thing to overlook. I know I did the first several times I watched the movie. Since I’ve discovered him though, I can honestly that my life has been a happier place.