76 user 56 critic

Runaway (1984)

PG-13 | | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi | 14 December 1984 (USA)
2:09 | Trailer

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In the near future, a police officer specializes in malfunctioning robots. When a robot turns out to have been programmed to kill, he begins to uncover a homicidal plot to create killer robots... and his son becomes a target.


Michael Crichton
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Selleck ... Jack Ramsay
Cynthia Rhodes ... Thompson
Gene Simmons ... Luther
Kirstie Alley ... Jackie Rogers
Stan Shaw ... Marvin
G.W. Bailey ... Chief
Joey Cramer ... Bobby Ramsay
Chris Mulkey ... Johnson
Anne-Marie Martin ... Hooker at Bar
Michael Paul Chan ... Wilson
Elizabeth Norment Elizabeth Norment ... Miss Shields
Carol Teesdale ... Sally
Jackson Davies Jackson Davies ... Inspector
Paul Batten Paul Batten ... Harry
Babs Chula ... Construction Foreperson (as Babs Chulla)


In the near future, a police officer specializes in malfunctioning robots. When a robot turns out to have been programmed to kill, he begins to uncover a homicidal plot to create killer robots... and his son becomes a target.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


IT IS THE FUTURE. Machines intended to do our work are programmed to turn against us. Someone must stop the madman who started it all. See more »


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

14 December 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Runaway - Spinnen des Todes See more »

Filming Locations:

Moses Lake, Washington, USA See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Writer-director Michael Crichton was a man who doesn't take filmmaking lightly according to the film's production notes. Every detail must be just right. Crichton said: "We're doing a story that looks to me like how the world is going to be in a few years. Many of the things in the film that are supposed to be in the future are already here". See more »


When Sgt. James cryogenically freezes and splits one of Luther's smart bullets in half, neither he or Sgt. Ramsay are wearing protective gear, and they are in an unshielded electronics lab next to a crowded police office. James even lights a cigarette, all of which is around an exposed device that has a solid propellant rocket engine and an explosive warhead. A nearby intact bullet's infrared sensor reacts to the flame from James' lighter, meaning the bullet is still active. See more »


Luther: I watch, I look, I listen. I'm watching you now.
Ramsay: Right. What's on your mind, Luther
Luther: You're standing by the desk punching buttons on the console, trying to trace this call, which won't do shit! Because I'm calling from a mobile phone. Now you're looking around... Now you're cupping your hand over the receiver!
Ramsay: He's tapped into the closed-circuit TV!
See more »


Referenced in Deathrow Gameshow (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

A very enjoyable techno-thriller
25 July 2003 | by bannonanthonySee all my reviews

Like quite a few of these 'forgotten' films of the 80s and 90s, I read about this before actually seeing it. Having an interest in Kiss, I wanted to see if Gene Simmons could act. As bad guy Luther, he does pretty well, but there's nothing particularly remarkable about his performance.

The other performances are okay. Tom Selleck and Kirstie Alley are rather good in their roles. POLICE ACADEMY's G.W. Bailey has a straight role as the Chief of Police (the typical by-the-book type who always chews the hero out). The storyline is very good. As it's written by Michael Crichton, it's another tale of technology gone bad, although this time, it was a deliberate human act which caused the mayhem. The film book I read about RUNAWAY in said basically that between WESTWORLD and JURASSIC PARK, two of the best known sci-fi films ever, Crichton made this film. This is true, but while WW and JP are remebered, this film is largely forgotten.

Granted, this film is hardly a classic, but in my opinion, there are times when you go 'who cares' and just sit down to a good, entertaining picture. I recommend RUNAWAY for a viewing. Although, this movie, and some episodes of STARGATE SG-1 seem to confirm that some people find tacky-looking mechanical spiders scary. Which I don't.

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