Whatever Happened to The Running Man’s Gus Rethwisch?

Whatever Happened to The Running Man’s Gus Rethwisch?

The Legendary Gus Rethwisch is no stranger to the late 80s American movie audiences. Although Rethwisch briefly appeared in Paul Michael Glaser’s 1987 dystopian action film The Running Man, his role as Buzzsaw, one of Damon Killian’s Stalkers, remains imprinted in viewers’ minds. Standing next to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gus made the action star look comparatively smaller, a remarkable feat considering Arnold’s imposing presence.

While both Wilt Chamberlain and Andre the Giant possessed the ability to create a comparable impact, making Arnold appear average-size on screen was no simple feat. However, Buzzsaw was a certified psychopath, sent in to eliminate Richards (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and driven by his obsession to split him in two with his chainsaw. But, as we all know, when Arnold is the hero, the bad guy never triumphs. A memorable scene from the movie saw Buzzsaw experience a public humiliation that left him wailing like a chorister. As fun as that was to watch, movie audiences have only had a few Gus appearances for a long time. After a long absence from film and television, audiences wonder what happened to The Running Man‘s Gus Rethwisch.

Gus Rethwisch Acting Career


Gus Rethwisch in The Running Man

Besides Gus Rethwisch’s phenomenal start from the 1970s until the 2000s in a handful of movies, there isn’t enough information about Gus Rethwisch. Gus’s next prominent appearance in film was as a Barbarian guard in Dwayne Johnson’s The Scorpion King (2002). Gus Rethwisch was known for his muscular physique and reputation as a powerlifter. It’s no coincidence he has only appeared in roles that needed physical strength.

He possessed an immense physique, characterized by a thick neck and a body that often accompanies powerlifters. Gus’s movie niche was portraying big, tough, burly guys. However, as you can imagine, that type of character, while still prevalent in today’s films, can be portrayed by many different actors who draw inspiration from those who came before them. Gus was just one of many who brought his unique brand of madness to the tough-guy role throughout his career. To be fair, he had a good run in the movies for a while and played a couple of downright crazy characters. Considering he appeared to be in his early 40s when The Running Man was released in 1987, Gus is well over 70 years now.

The Future Of The Running Man And The Possibility Of Gus’s Return

Gus Rethwisch as Buzzsaw in The Running Man

There have been talks of a remake or sequel to The Running Man and approaching it with a fresh perspective, but it doesn’t look like it will be coming. However, given the stark differences between the original book and the movie adaptation movie audiences received, it’s hard to determine what direction such a project should take. As it stands, the film could benefit from a significant update if someone had the audacity to tackle it. The concept of gladiators is still intriguing, and with the technological advancements available today, it would be fascinating to explore what could be done with a substantial budget. The question remains whether certain characters from the original should be brought back.

As much as viewers enjoyed Buzzsaw, Dynamo, and the like, it’s impossible to have them reprise their roles for obvious reasons. Dynamo’s actor, Erland Van Lidth, died about two months before the movie was released in 1987, and Gus is way too old to play with chainsaws. Besides the overall cheesy acting that characterized the 80s (a flaw shared by many during that era), Gus did an excellent job portraying a resident bad guy – the kind of character you don’t mind seeing on the receiving end of a chainsaw assault.

What Has Gus Rethwisch Been Up To

Gus Rethwisch with friends

Gus Rethwisch’s last appearance on screen was in The Scorpion King (2002). Since then, the actor has had no acting credit to his name. Although he may have left the world of film and television, Gus stayed true to his passion for powerlifting. With Arnold Schwarzenegger making a comeback to film and television, with his upcoming role in Kung Fury 2 and playing Luke Brunner on Netflix’s FUBAR, audiences can keep their fingers crossed for Gus Rethwisch to make an appearance soon.

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