March 01, 2006
Crazy Alex Jackson's Running Scared Rant
Here you see stills of Atari 2600s "Custer's Revenge" circa 1980 and the recently retired sex game on the website of Running Scared. I ask you friends, is that progress? Twenty five years and it seems that the creators of the Running Scared minigame have made few advancements. I have no idea what the hell that is, but it ain't the female form.
The Running Scared game is chillingly unerotic. First of all; I don't have anything against the act of cunnilinigus per se, but the idea of having the protagonist have to race home to eat out his wife (you can run out of time getting there and thus "fail" at your mission) is powerfully emasculating, reminding of those cuckold stories you read on alt.sex.stories. There is no possible way that the game could be any less threatening. Secondly, the game play is atrocious. The entire game as a whole is really little more but a crummy Grand Theft Auto clone. Load times are painful, controls are jagged, the visuals are blocky. I hesitate to say that porn loses its utility when it's this hard to access as that would rule out the great Ganguro Girl Deluxe where the build up is more titiliating then the payoff, but I can't imagine that driving around in a shitty GTA clone is anybody's idea of foreplay. The actual sex game laughably uses that virtual dancing format where you have to press the right keys at the right time as they drift down your screen. Fatally, when you play the erotic video game in Running Scared you realize how desperate and pathetic you are for playing an erotic video game.
Still, the indignation of conservative media watchdog group National Institute on Media and the Family is enough to set my teeth on edge. I'm an equal opportunity offender mind you, I hate all media watchdog groups-- ADL, NAACP, NOW, GLAAD, CCRL; all those groups trying to regulate the marketplace of ideas. That just seems so adamantly anti-intellectual. Actually, those groups probably piss me off even more. Who the hell knows what a black, a gay, a woman, or even a Catholic or a Jew is anyway? Could the negative portrayals, on some level, reflect or even inform something identifying in the culture? At least you get the impression that the sense of morality that NIMF is protecting is concretely, if somewhat arbitrarily, defined. Eh, I'm going off on a dangerous tangent.
Running Scared the movie, by the way, is kind of hilarious. Just in case you haven't heard already. It would be churlish of me to spoil it's surprises for you, but it's the kind of film that could have only been made by filmmakers with no moral limits and no sense of good taste. I have no idea what my favorite girly-girl Stephanie Zacharek was babbling about when she condemned the film for being self-serious and too high and mighty to give us cheap, sick, thrills for their own sake. I could not detect any message, intended or not, in Running Scared. It's all cheap, sick, thrills for their own sake.
The film is genuinely, and honestly, so bad it's good. They seem to have made it with fairly serious attentions but the thing ran away from them. However I will admit that the pleasures in taking an ironic stance toward it are kind of shallow ones. The film is good for a laugh but it soon evaporates into thin air and that's kind of disturbing for a film with this subject matter. There are degrees of camp and irony and truth be told Running Scared is pretty rudimentary. It's not as sophisticated as Final Destination 3 and that's the one I would recommend you seeing in theaters. On DVD, at the dollar theaters, or premium cable or something you know, you should give this thing a look. I smell cult classic all over it.