The Game (1984)

MAY 8, 2007


Not since Cube 2 has a film been solely designated crap! Congrats, Bill Rebane and the rest of the cast and crew of The Game (aka The Cold)!

Yes, another day, another Rebane "horror" movie. See, these two (and a third, which will probably be Friday’s movie) are the other movies on the disc with my beloved Cathy’s Curse. I had assumed some of that movie’s amazing quality would have rubbed off onto the others, but at the time I didn’t know they were all Rebane films. Now I see that this was just part of Mill Creek’s diabolical plan: put the greatest movie on the set (not counting the four “real” movies that somehow got in there, among them Bad Taste and Deep Red) with the three worst, in order to restore balance to the force (of public domain garbage).

Actually I feel kind of bad calling this crap, because there is some fun to be had. But I really don’t know what else to call it. It’s sort of slasher, sort of supernatural, but not really, since the end reveals it was all fake (I think?). I guess I could make a new genre of horror movie called “Fuck you, audience”, which would include this, Wishmaster, maybe High Tension, and to a lesser extent, April Fool’s Day (which, unlike the others, was actually entertaining enough to forgive the ending), but Rebane doesn’t deserve that much effort.

That’s not to say the movie’s a total waste though. For example, the film’s narrator (who speaks in rhyme, for the hell of it) admits he himself doesn’t understand the ending, and even points out a few of the movie’s plot holes. “Hey, I’m on your side”, he seems to be saying. There’s a puzzling sort of charm to hearing a movie’s (unnecessary) narrator give the verbal equivalent of a shrug.

There’s also the standard Rebane dialogue that no one ever bothered to question, such as “I’m freezing my balls off. Sorry. You must be freezing your tits off,” said by a man to a woman, both of whom are locked in a sauna (don’t ask me what the hell sense this makes. And apparently, don’t ask the narrator either). Male genitalia makes another, more sensible, but no less horrifying appearance in the dialog, when an old man claims “little things mean a lot” in response to some light mocking of his ‘size’ from his wife. Thank you, movie. And as always, the music has nothing to do with the film itself, with a jaunty little ragtime ditty taking most of the score’s time.

However, whatever goodwill the movie has earned through these little morsels of hilarity is completely tossed out the window when Rebane decides to “wink” at us and has his masterpiece, Giant Spider Invasion, play out an entire scene on the TV (which we strangely just HEAR and not see) while a spider ‘stalks’ one of the females. This leads to a ‘twist’ when the spider turns out to be of no concern, and the true danger comes from a hilariously awful little Alien rip-off that comes out of the bed. John Hurt must be spinning in his grave.

Hopefully, The Alpha Incident (the aforementioned other Rebane film) will be the last one on my otherwise great 50 Chilling Movies budget pack. I don’t like to take shots at a particular filmmaker (I even defend Uwe Boll more often than not), but his Wiscnonsense single-handedly brings the rest of the set down. I can see why Fincher's remake had so little in common with this.

What say you?

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  1. John Hurt's not dead!

    1. Because it's overused and slightly disrespectful, I only use that phrase when describing living people.


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