THE RUNESTONE (1991) Reviews and overview

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‘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.


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…


“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

Film Facts:

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

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