Newest Reviews
Hunter Will Get You
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
Men, The
Parallel Mothers
Sadness, The
Bloody New Year
Body Count
Spider-Man: No Way Home
'Round Midnight
Wild Men
Barry & Joan
Wake Up Punk
Twin, The
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
One of These Days
Lift to the Scaffold
Savage Dawn
Rest in Pieces
Innocents in Paris
We're All Going to the World's Fair
Beyond the Door 3
Jules et Jim
Love Jones
Souvenir Part II, The
400 Blows, The
Virus: 32
Studio 666
Great Movement, The
Lost in La Mancha
Cellar, The
Sacred Spirit, The
Chess of the Wind
Nineteen Eighty-Four
All I Can Say
You Are Not My Mother
Newest Articles
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
  Deadly Games Chiller Chinwag
Year: 1982
Director: Scott Mansfield
Stars: Jo Ann Harris, Sam Groom, Steve Railsback, Colleen Camp, June Lockhart, Alexandra Morris, Saul Sindell, Denise Galick, Dick Butkus, Christine L. Tudor, Robin Hoff, Jere Rae Mansfield, William Patrick Johnson
Genre: Horror, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Linda (Alexandra Morris) arrives home in her quiet house in the Californian countryside to find her partner is not there, so she takes the opportunity to disrobe and lounge around as she receives a call on the phone. However, she is not as alone as she believes, for a heavy breathing, ski mask-wearing prowler is spying on her and getting closer and closer to her home. Suddenly, he breaks in and chases her around the rooms until he launches himself at her, knocking her through the window and over a cliff to her death below. Her sister Keegan (Jo Ann Harris) is unaware of the murder, like everyone else she thought it was an accident...

Slasher movies were big bucks in the early nineteen-eighties, they could be produced cheaply and quickly and turn some pretty decent profits if you were lucky. Deadly Games was one of the not-so-lucky ones, as it had actually been finished in 1980 but sat on the shelf for two years because nobody knew what to do with it. The director and writer, Scott Mansfield, also had misfortune with his next effort, a Kentucky Fried Movie type of sketch spoof film called Imps - that sat on the shelf for three decades! But on this evidence, he demonstrated a somewhat shaky grasp of what he wanted his opus to be - horror, comedy, romance?

Or none of the above? Although the characters seemed to be making with jokey dialogue, you had to say they were not funny, in fact more often than not the dialogue was just strange, like the way Mansfield thought people talked in normal conversation had somehow been warped in the transition from page to screen. What they sounded like was his stream of consciousness musings had been given to them to speak, since very little of what anybody said here was identifiable as normal chit-chat, from discussions of homosexual tendencies in the women's husbands and boyfriends to heroine Harris's supposedly quirky line in offbeat natter.

She even did a Charlie Chaplin impersonation at one point, as if desperately reaching into her repertoire to try and bring some life to her eccentric portrayal, presumably as ordered by Mansfield. Perhaps you were a horror fan looking for an undiscovered gem of an obscure slasher to add to your collection, well, you may be disappointed on that count, as there were only a few bloodless murders scattered throughout Deadly Games, and they did not display the director's interest in them to any great degree. Despite a few recognisable faces in the cast, it was as if he was forced to include the violence by his producer rather than being invested in making a shocker, certainly after that opening ten minutes of rather bad taste suspense were done and dusted, and it turned into...

What? A pilot for a sitcom that would never be made? A John Sayles-style indie where characters converse at enormous length but lacking his insights, swapping them with such scenes as the one where Keegan and her married detective boyfriend (Sam Groom) play a classic horror movie themed boardgame as the camera swoops around them to the strains of a ballad sung by a Barbra Streisand soundalike and co-written by the director? Who was this for? Yes, Mansfield included the nudity that usually kept a restless audience interested in your average slasher flick of the day, but these people were simply weird, leaving us nobody to latch onto, we merely observed them as if they were a form of alien life from 1980. In addition, the killer was absurdly easy to spot as he had a habit of creeping up on Keegan and other women, so there was no suspense there either. In its fashion, it was all somewhat confounding. Music by Richard Thompson.

[Click here to join the Arrow Player website - there's a free trial available.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 493 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Enoch Sneed


Last Updated: