Charles Luther

Charles Luther is the main antagonist in the 1984 science fiction action film Runaway.

He was portrayed by Gene Simmons of the hit rock band KISS.


Charles Luther is a criminal in the near future where robots work some jobs which humans used to do. Luther, while working for a defense contractor, developed a program that allows a robot to thermographically identify a human from amidst cover and to even differentiate between humans. Seeing the profit potential, he killed his fellow researchers and tried to sell the technology on the black market,  weapons, a smart bullet : a miniature heat seeking missle capable of locking onto a human target's unique heat signature, pursuing them wherever they run, even around corners. Luther plans to sell the microchip on the black market to the highest bidder. Luther has a gun with the heat seeking bullets also used robotic spiders to kill people also.

Luther was responsible for David Johnson's death, an employee of the company who lost his wife a few days ago while reprogramming a robot that was babysitting David's son arming it with a gun. A cop named Jack Ramsay saved his son from the robot, Sgt. Jack Ramsay and his partner, Karen Thompson are part of the 'Runaway' unit investigating Luther. Luther had a love named Jackie Rogers who double-crossed him and stole the circuit templates, intending to sell them herself.

Ramsay decides to make a public appearance with Jackie at a restaurant to draw Luther out, but instead Luther captures Thompson and wants Ramsay to exchange her for Jackie and the templates. Before making the exchange, Jackie gives some of the templates to Ramsay, for insurance that Luther won't kill her. But Luther kills her anyway, after discovering the missing templates. He then fires his smart bullets into the crowded restaurant and flees.

To retrieve the missing templates, Luther plans to attack Ramsay. He uses the police computers to discover everything about Ramsay's personal life, including his son. Once Ramsay discovers his information has been hacked, he races home to find his household robot damaged and his son Bobby missing. Luther calls to confirm he kidnapped Bobby and wants to exchange him for the missing templates.

Ramsay agrees to meet Luther at an unfinished skyscraper. Luther gets the templates while in exchange Ramsay sends his son down in an elevator whereupon Luther informs him that a legion of "assassin" robots—small, spider-like robots which kill by injecting their victims with acid—are waiting to kill the first person exiting the elevator. Thompson arrives and helps Bobby stay out of reach of the robots. Furious, Luther begins firing smart bullets, but Ramsay turns on the robotic construction equipment, creating multiple heat sources which cause the bullets to miss. Ramsay uses this distraction to escape and jump on to an elevator to go down. However, the elevator malfunctions, skyrocketing up to the very top with Ramsay onboard and stops. Ramsay is forced to overcome his fear of heights by reaching a reset button underneath the elevator to restart it, while encountering three robot spiders. Ramsay is able to defeat the spiders and restart the elevator downward. The elevator makes a stop on the floor Luther is on, with Luther approaching Ramsay in the elevator and exchanging words with him, causing Ramsay to start the elevator back down again and engage a struggle with Luther during the descent. Ramsay manages to gain the upper hand by pressing the elevator's stop button, catapulting Luther over the side, and the inventor lands on his back, in the midst of his robot spiders. Programmed to kill whoever came down from above, the robots rush Luther, injecting him in multiple places.

While Ramsay helps his son down and then cautiously approaches the motionless villain. Screaming, Luther reaches up to grab Ramsay, but falls back, dead, while the spiders self-destruct around him.

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