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Runaway Train  

USA 1985 Directed by Andrei Konchalovsky. Starring: Jon Voight, Eric Roberts, Rebecca De Mornay, Kyle T. Heffner, John P. Ryan.

Two convicts, Manny and Buck, escapes from the notorious Stonehaven prison in Alaska. Manny (Jon Voight) has escaped a couple of times earlier, and has been a legend in the prison. Buck (Eric Roberts) comes along mostly to be able to be partner with his idol. Out there is it almost snowstorm and 35 degrees centigrade below zero. Stiff with cold they get to a railroad station where they manage to get warmer clothes. Then they get into a huge train without passengers.

But the train which would be the key to freedom becomes instead a death-trap. Just after it set out, the engineer get a heart attack and dies. The throttle lever has stucked in the highest position, and now the train starts to run away in an ever increasing speed. The convicts realize pretty soon that something is wrong when the monster train mows down everything in its way, but then it┤s too late. They should kill themselves if they jumped off in that speed, and it┤s too icy to walk to the engine and stop it. During the horror-filled run observe Buck that Manny isn┤t the hero he imagined. He becomes increasingly bestial and disagreeable. In the meantime has the warden of Stonehaven prison Ranken begun a hunt for them. Ranken is the same bird of a feather as Manny and is obsessed by killing him.

Brrr. This is an ice-cold flick with a script taken from a story by a Japanese (Akira Kurosawa), with a Russian director and American actors. The result is sensational. A glorious blend of action, thriller and drama. Though actually is the train the only action element that exist. But it┤s also the meanest metal beast I┤ve seen. When it force one┤s way through the wintry landscape, is it suggestive of a doomsday machine which let loose from hell.

On the train it also occur some worth considering incidents and comments about the human society. Owing to this elements is "Runaway Train" appeal to a very broad audience. It┤s a pity that it today is a bit forgotten. Because this crack picture deserves a lot more attention. It can to some extent depend on that it was released by the littered B-company Cannon.

Kent Palmgren

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