A Movie A Day #66: Deadly Game (1991, directed by Thomas J. Wright)


Seven strangers are invited to a remote island by a mysterious billionaire named Osiris.  There is a doctor, a dancer, an auto mechanic, a mercenary, a football player and his agent, and a member of the Yakuza.  The auto mechanic points out that, in Egyptian mythology, Osiris judged mankind’s sins.  For some reason, none of the seven think twice about going to the island but, once they arrive, they soon discover that they should have.  Osiris is willing to give them seven million dollars but to get it, they have to reach the other end of the island without being killed by Osiris or his men.

Of the many movie adaptations of The Most Dangerous Game, this is probably the worst.  The cast, which includes Michael Beck, Marc Singer, Jenny Seagrove, Mitch Ryan, John Pleshette, Soon-Tek Oh, and Roddy McDowall, isn’t bad but the script is terrible, full of overwrought dialogue and plot holes.  Across the island, Osiris has left clues that are designed to trigger flashbacks and lead to each member of the seven explaining what it is that they did in the past.  But for that to work, Osiris would have to know exactly what route the seven of them were going to use to cross the island and he would also have to know who would still be alive by the time that they came across each clue.  Also, whenever they come across the clue, everyone stands around and wastes valuable time arguing about it.  Considering that there are armed men trying to kill them, no one seems to be in that much of a hurry to make it to the other side of the island.  The flashbacks themselves are interesting in how clumsily they are put together.  40ish Marc Singer plays himself as a senior in high school.

Like Hitler’s Daughter, Deadly Game was originally made for the USA network.  The first time I saw it was in the UK where, for some reason, it seemed to air frequently during the mid-1990s.  (Possibly this was because it starred quintessential Hollywood Brit Roddy McDowall.  That’s the only reason I can think of.)  It’s now on YouTube, for anyone who wants to sit through it.

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Insomnia File #23: Death Do Us Part (dir by Nicholas Humphries)


What’s an Insomnia File? You know how some times you just can’t get any sleep and, at about three in the morning, you’ll find yourself watching whatever you can find on cable? This feature is all about those insomnia-inspired discoveries!

If you were having trouble getting to sleep around one in the morning on March 7th, you could have watched the 2012 horror film, Death Do Us Part, on Showtime.

I don’t know if it would have helped you get to sleep though.  Death Do Us Part is one of those films where the entire cast spends a lot of time screaming.  I couldn’t tell you much about who all of the characters were meant to be, as they all kind of blended together (especially the male characters), but, if need be, I could identify all of their screams.

Of course, it takes a while for the screaming to get started.  Death Do Us Part takes its time getting to the mayhem.  It tells the story of a rich girl named Kennedy (Julia Benson) who has a history of mental instability and who is marrying Ryan Harris (Peter Benson).  Kennedy enjoys posing in her wedding dress, popping pills, and nervously smiling.  Life seems to be perfect for her!  But, as often seems to happen in these movies, Ryan is also having the occasional quickie with Kennedy’s sister, Hannah (Christine Catelain).  Kennedy’s best friend, Emily (Emilie Ullerup), happens to see Hannah and Ryan doing it in the woods.  Emily gets a slightly crazy look in her eyes as she watches.

(Then again, at some point in this movie, everyone has a crazy look in their eyes.)

Kennedy, Ryan, Hannah, Emily, and a couple of guys who aren’t that important are spending the weekend in a cabin in the woods.  The cabin comes with its own pervy caretaker.  If I ever spend the weekend at a cabin in the woods, I’m going to specifically ask for a cabin that doesn’t come with a caretaker.  Judging from the movies that I’ve seen, those dudes are always bad news.

ANYWAY — it takes a while but eventually, people start dying.  In fact, once people start dying, the movie suddenly picks up the pace.  Before you know it, everyone’s running around in the woods and getting killed and screaming.  Seriously, there’s lots and lots of screaming.

Up until the last fifteen minutes, I was ready to dismiss Death Do Us Part as just another low-budget attempt at horror but I actually did like the chaos of everyone running around in the woods.  Don’t get me wrong.  The movie takes way too long to get going and the characters are so generic that you really don’t care whether they’re dead or not.  But I did appreciate the fact that, when confronted by a murderous maniac, the majority of the characters reacted the way that I would have reacted.  They started running around, screaming their heads off, and ultimately, they just made things worse.  It was a nice change from the usual movie technique of having one of the characters suddenly turn out to be a hyper competent survival machine.

There is a twist but you’ll see it coming from a mile away.  That said, the final few shots of the film were enjoyably surreal in only the way that a bloody wedding dress can be.

(Speaking of wedding dresses, I loved the one in this film.  Way to go, Kennedy!)

Anyway, I can’t really recommend Death Do Us Part because it takes too long to get going and the characters are way too generic.  But, I did like the final fourth of the film and I may have found my future wedding dress!

All in all, not a bad way to handle insomnia.

Previous Insomnia Files:

  1. Story of Mankind
  2. Stag
  3. Love Is A Gun
  4. Nina Takes A Lover
  5. Black Ice
  6. Frogs For Snakes
  7. Fair Game
  8. From The Hip
  9. Born Killers
  10. Eye For An Eye
  11. Summer Catch
  12. Beyond the Law
  13. Spring Broke
  14. Promise
  15. George Wallace
  16. Kill The Messenger
  17. The Suburbans
  18. Only The Strong
  19. Great Expectations
  20. Casual Sex?
  21. Truth
  22. Insomina

 

Music Video of the Day: Dancing Queen by ABBA (1976, dir. Lasse Hallström)


Err…according to mvdbase, there are four versions of this music video. FOUR! Why? Oh, well. On the plus side, I can’t find the others.

I can find them performing at the Swedish Royal Opera for the marriage of the then new Queen of Sweden the night before her wedding.

I can also find them on Top Of The Pops.

You can also find them performing this song on a TV special for Olivia Newton-John that also featured Andy Gibb. There’s even one where they all do some songs by The Beach Boys.

I can’t find anything particularly interesting about this video to talk about. They captured the fun of the song well. What else is there to say? One of the kids looks at the camera at one point. I guess that’s something to mention.

Otherwise, just enjoy!

ABBA retrospective:

  1. Bald Headed Woman by The Hep Stars (1966, dir. ???)
  2. En Stilla Flirt by Agnetha & ??? (1969, dir. ???) + 8 Hootenanny Singers Videos From 1966
  3. Tangokavaljeren by Björn (1969, dir. ???)
  4. Vårkänslor (ja, de’ ä våren) by Agnetha & Björn (1969, dir. ???)
  5. Titta in i men lilla kajuta by Björn (1969, dir. ???)
  6. Nu Ska Vi Vara Snälla by Björn & Agnetha (1969, dir. ???)
  7. Finns Det Flickor by Björn & Sten Nilsson (1969, dir. ???)
  8. Nu Ska Vi Opp, Opp, Opp by Agnetha (1969, dir. ???)
  9. Det Kommer En Vår by Agnetha (1969, dir. ???)
  10. Beate-Christine by Björn (1969, dir. ???)
  11. En Stilla Flirt by Agnetha & ??? (1969, dir. ???) + 8 Hootenanny Singers Videos From 1966
  12. Att Älska I Vårens Tid by Frida (1970, dir. ???)
  13. Min Soldat by Frida (1970, dir. ???)
  14. Söderhavets Sång by Frida (1970, dir. ???)
  15. Ring, Ring by ABBA (1973, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  16. Ring, Ring by ABBA (1973, dir. ???)
  17. Love Isn’t Easy (But It Sure Is Hard Enough) by ABBA (1973, dir. ???)
  18. Waterloo by ABBA (1974, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  19. Hasta Mañana by ABBA (1974, dir. ???)
  20. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do by ABBA (1975, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  21. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do by ABBA (1975, dir. ???)
  22. Bang-A-Boomerang by ABBA (1975, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  23. SOS by ABBA (1975, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  24. Mamma Mia by ABBA (1975, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  25. Knowing Me, Knowing You by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  26. Tropical Loveland by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  27. When I Kissed The Teacher by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  28. Tiger by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  29. Money, Money, Money by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  30. Money, Money, Money by ABBA (1976, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  31. Fernando by ABBA (1976, dir. Lasse Hallström) + Spanish Version