ANARCHY IN LA
Surfer Mag-December 1988 by Ben Marcus
"If you could step inside the latest surf video from RUNMAN inc. you'd smell slamdancing suburban bodies drenched in sweat and beer, blood from Topanga skateboard crashes and hideous Baja highway collisions, dreadlocks and Drew Steele's blonde wig, cheap perfume, coconut wax, peroxide, plumeria, Malibu Lagoon, soul arches, sewage spills and other stagnation. And you would smell the sweet cleansing breezes of the pacific. RUNMAN TWO is a statement by 2 Malibu surfers who trade in boardbags, wax combs and t-shirts, and throw together videos under the singular name RUNMAN. Urban surfing has warped RUNMAN"S sense of truth and beauty, and his videos tremble with the anxiety of growing up at one of the worlds most crowded surf spots. RUNMAN is a soul who looks to local waters to ease life's pressures, but finds only more tension. He does what he can to fight the cold and crowds, but he lives to escape in music, violence, sarcasm, anarchy, or to that perfect tropical surf spot where surfing is still fun. Most of the surfing in RUNMAN TWO is done in LA County, at spots that break infrequently, and are guarded with great jealousy. RUNMAN has a reputation for discretion, and he names only one of the surfers, and none of the spots. Doing otherwise would be uncool and above-ground , and would get RUNMAN a movie camera shoved down his throat, or elsewhere. The California surfing ranges from pearl dives in 6" of water to perfect down-the-line sessions at a famous right point to some of the deepest West Coast tube rides ever caught on film. Outside California, RUNMAN finds a barreling left reef which he leads us to believe is in Mexico. In Hawaii, he makes the compulsory North Shore stop, but takes only a few shots before looking elsewhere for less crowded, less competitive waves. RUNMAN gets lucky, and shows us something different by sneaking his camera within range of a pair of seldom-seen Hawaiian spots. He catches a Hawaiian tube-stuffing session at a very hollow reef, and finds a famous father-and-son duo teaming up in long hollow 10' waves at another spot. The Mexican and Hawaiian surfing is worth seeing, even if some of it is overexposed. If wipeouts give off a foul odor then this video reeks. One-hundred-twelve wipeouts are shown-not counting the skimboard,skateboard and vehicular disasters. The high percentage of wipeouts is partially due to the unmakeable nature of certain LA County beachbreaks, and also because RUNMAN is something of a sadist, and assumes that we are too. Depending on your age or tastes, you'll love seeing the guy doing the floater get a surfboard between the legs, the body boarder going over the falls face-first, or the longboarder pay for his soul arch by getting kneecapped by the lip. RUNMAN has a wipeout for everyone, and he makes statements with his collisions: They aren't all gratuitous filler. The original RUNMAN video apparently went unnoticed in the Century City offices of the music industry execs, so the unlitigated RUNMAN felt free to again steal any music he wanted for the soundtrack. The mixture of punk, reggae and other tunes is well-swiped and well-placed. RUNMAN shows his genious for theme by using The Clash's "Death Or Glory" as soundtrack to a beachbreak wipeout sequence. He then gives us mood by putting the bass-heavy, ghetto sounds of Grandmaster Flash-rapping about the dangers of "White Lines"- behind the whitebread surfing of a PSAA contest at Malibu. The first RUNMAN video became an underground classic, and the sequel is a worthy follower. RUNMAN TWO is a longer, cleaner version that doesn't tamper with the very experimental format of the original. While RUNMAN has switched to unscratched film to show the same surfers and spots, he has upgraded only the technical quality and not the tone- this video maintains the crassness and sarcastic edge that made the first RUNMAN a classic. The nihilism,"screw-you-pal" attitude and crapping dogs are intact. This video may be too long, but there are a few surprises near the end. Shaun Tomson and the Surf Punks volunteer for a pair of anti-littering public service messages, and there is an Agent Orange video to the song "I Kill Spies". RUNMAN gives us our moneys worth. He is a businessman, after all. RUNMAN is a paradox. He has a love/hate relationship with his home: a beautiful stretch of coastline that is being buried under construction, newcomers, and Big Mac cartons. RUNMAN is jaded, pissed off, violent and confused. But what does not kill RUNMAN makes his sense of the absurd only stronger, and he has his act together enough to make the videos that entertain as they sicken. RUNMAN TWO is a unique video, and definetly worth the money. Buy it, Study it, Breathe it in deeply."
by Ben Marcus-Surfer Mag December 1988