Friday, 15 September 2017

Game of Death (4 Stars)

This is the 41st film in the Stuttgart Fantasy Film Festival.

What's the point in making a film that almost nobody will see? In his introduction the festival host told us that we were very fortunate to be able to see "Game of Death". Apart from a few festivals it won't be shown in cinemas, it won't be shown on television, it won't be released on Blu-ray or DVD, and it won't be available on the major streaming services. It will be available exclusively on Blackpills, a video streaming service for mobile phones.

The film's plot is absurd, but effective within the context of a horror comedy. Seven people in their late teens (four boys and three girls) meet for a house party. They find a 1980's style game console called Game of Death, for two to eight people. The players have to hold their fingers on a button while someone presses the start button, then away it goes.

The rules of the game are simple. In each round one of the players has to kill someone, either a fellow player or an outsider. If nobody is killed within five minutes one of the players is killed at random. There are 24 rounds.

At first the young people think it's a joke and want to stop playing. But then BOOM! The head of one of the men explodes. They have the choice of turning on one another or finding other victims. The logical decision is to drive to a care home for the elderly where everyone will die soon anyway.

I love the film. It's ridiculous, and the special effects are very 1970's-ish, but it's thrilling from start to finish. Maybe I should install the Blackpills app on my phone.

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