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Damon Killian

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Who do you love? Do you love me?
~ Damon Killian

Damon Killian is the main antagonist in the 1987 film The Running Man and serves as the host for the Running Man game show.

He is portrayed by Richard Dawson.

Novel

The show deems the runner as an enemy of the state, and allows him to go anywhere in the world. He is given a twelve hour head start before an elite group of hunters, known as stalkers, set out to kill him. The objective is to stay alive for thirty days.

Film

The show is portrayed as a gladiator-style competition that takes place in a section of Los Angeles ravaged by an earthquake in 1997, where several "runners" attempt to survive while being chased by "stalkers" for cash and prizes. These stalkers are large and strong men with ornate weaponry, costumes, and nicknames. Sub-Zero ice-skates and slashes his victims to pieces with a modified and razor-sharp hockey stick on a hockey rink surrounded with razor wire; Dynamo sings opera and shoots lightning from a specialized electric suit; Fireball possesses a flamethrower and a jetpack, and Buzzsaw has a titanium steel chainsaw that can cut through steel, Captain Freedom uses physical strength on his foes. Damon Killian is a very low person. He made a contract with the government to use his show as a way to keep the populace blind and under control. During the show, he manipulates facts about the runners, creating fake evidence and information about them in order to falsely "justify" their being hunted down in the show. As well as this, Killian does not keep his promises - this is shown when he tells Ben Richards that if he takes part in the show, his fellow prison escapees will not have to. When Ben does take part, Killian puts the two escapees in the game anyway. He also makes up lies about the innocent Amber Mendez, and when she enters the game zone, she eventually finds that last year's winners (who were said to have been redeemed on completion of their game and were now relaxing in a luxurious holiday resort) are in fact dead.

At the end of the film, Ben manages to show the audience Killian's true nature and that he has been lying to everyone. As Killian attempts to justify his reasons, Ben straps him to the bobsled used in the show to send contestants into the game zone and fires him down the chute. A screaming Killian finally exits the chute, bounces across the ground and flies straight into a billboard with his face on it. The billboard immediately explodes, killing him.

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