How's about a magnum of Raid? TV P.I. Tom Selleck and costar Cynthia Rhodes counter colonies of what look like high-tech cockroaches in Michael Crichton's futuristic cops adventure "Runaway."
"Please, those are spiders," shouts Crichton, who is just a little bugged. "There are no cockroaches. Didn't you count the legs?" Crichton is still perturbed with the ratings board, which described them as "electric bugs." They're "lock-ons."
Villain Gene Simmons, "who has absolutely no redeeming features," brings intelligent weapons into the real world. (The military has had them for some time, adds Crichton.) Some look like insects, some look like furious steam irons. But all of them are personal assassins, permanently locked on target.
" 'Runaway' has a technological premise, but if you're a real gadgeteer, you won't like the movie much," says writer-director Crichton. "I'm bored with special effects. When they were doing the robot photographs for this, I used to go make phone calls. The little machines can be very distracting, and I've tried to keep them in the background. But people like the little gadgets, and I can't help it."
What Crichton likes is his basic police story, with real white hats and black hats. It's visually active with "lots of bang-bang, you're dead," says Crichton, even as he works on mixing the the sound. "It's a very noisy movie," he adds, "Hard to listen to."
It's also futuristic, but Crichton avoided a negative tomorrow like that portrayed in the "dread 'Blade Runner.' I'm sick of people on bummers. It's a nice looking future, no neo- Nazis, no Big Brother, no hideosity, no grime." Just a few arachnoid cyborgs.