The Runestone – USA, 1991 – reviews

‘Some legends must be destroyed.’

The Runestone is a 1991 American supernatural horror feature film written and directed by Willard Carroll, based on a novel by Mark E. Rogers.

Plot:

A Norse runestone is discovered in Western Pennsylvania. The prophecy tells of the Norse great wolf Fenrir (Fenris), and that its release from the stone will bring about Ragnarok — the end of the world. After it is brought to New York City, a beast goes on a rampage of slaughter.  Archaeologist Sam Stewart and wife Marla find it has some connection to their friend Martin…

Reviews:

“The monster design was pretty cool and the whole film reminded me of one long Tales from the Crypt episode […] The dramatic score made the film seem more epic than it really was but that’s all part of the fun. It’s not a very gory film and kind of felt like a made for TV movie at times.” Belial Carboni

“Most of the violence takes place off screen, but this seems to be a budgetary decision more than anything. The gore is there, but nothing special. The creature effects are especially weak, all claws and fur, but with a most unconvincing mask. The Runestone is a noble failure that should have worked on more levels than it does.” Charles Tatum

“The movie is a real mixed bag, it takes about 43-minutes to pick up, there’s a constant struggle to hear what the characters are saying because the music and sound FX drowned them out, and the final confrontation was about 10-minutes too long but! there were a lot of moments I really enjoyed too.” Hollie Horror

“Over 25 people bite the dust in this flick and most of them do so offscreen. No fun. There is a sweet ancient Norse wolfman tearing up the city and I don’t get to see any of it?! What the hell? I know the majority of director Willard Carroll’s work would go on to be in animation for children, but if you’re going to make a crazy flick like this you have to give the audience what they want.” Horror’s Not Dead

“The scares are generated with a degree of competence and they at least keep the exercise moving even if they never exactly offer any real surprises. And there are times when the film almost – almost but not quite – comes close to being more than an average monster movie.” Richard Scheib, Moria

“Proof of what a talented group of people can do with standardized material if they treat it with intelligence, The Runestone is quite a pleasant surprise, a deft and intriguing low-budget horror item that deserved much better handling than it received..” TV Guide

Choice dialogue:

Marla Stewart: “Rosemary’s baby live here?’

Lars Hagstrom: “It’s good to be on a first name basis with evil.”

Cast and characters:

  • Peter Riegert … Captain Gregory Fanducci
  • Joan Severance … Marla Stewart
  • William Hickey … Lars Hagstrom – The Nightmare Before Christmas (voice); Tales from the Darkside: The MoviePuppetmaster
  • Tim Ryan … Sam Stewart
  • Mitchell Laurance … Martin Almquist
  • Lawrence Tierney … Chief Richardson – The Horror Show;  From a Whisper to a Scream; Silver Bullet; Midnight
  • Dawan Scott … Fenrir
  • Chris Young … Jacob
  • Alexander Godunov … Sigvaldson, The Clockmaker
  • Donald Hotton … Ask Franag
  • Erika Schickel … Angela
  • Bill Kalmenson … Lester
  • Arthur Malet … Stoddard
  • John Hobson … Marotta
  • Anthony Cistaro … Detective
  • Merilyn Carney … Tawny
  • Greg Wrangler … Bob
  • Ed Corbett Ed Corbett … Janitor
  • William Utay … Truck Driver
  • Carl D. Parker … Elevator operator (as Carl Parker)
  • Josef Rainer … Boardmember #1
  • Christopher Holder … Boardmember #2
  • Susan Lentini … Wife #1
  • Kelly Miracco … Wife #2 (as Kelly Miller)
  • Sam Menning … Wino
  • Gil Perez … Alberto
  • Gary Lahti … Sanders
  • Ralph Monaco … Cabbie
  • Peter Bigler Peter Bigler … Harris
  • Richard Molinare … Pulaski
  • Rick Marzan … Strange
  • Kim Delgado … Reynolds
  • David Newman … Graves
  • Josh Coxx … Crossley (as Joshua Cox)
  • Vanessa Easton … Nurse

Trivia:

A night watchman watches White Zombie (1932) on television.

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