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Deadly Games Blu-ray Review

“Deadly Games” is a tonal mess.

1982’s “Deadly Games” (AKA “Who Fell Asleep) is a relatively obscure 80’s slasher film from writer/director Scott Mansfield. The story kicks off with the murder of a woman (Linda) by a black mask and black glove wearing killer before switching focus over to her sister (Keegan) who is in town meeting with family and friends following the tragedy. While there, she socializes and befriends a cop (Roger) and a scarred movie projectionist/Vietnam War veteran (Billy), but her happiness becomes interrupted by a monster board game playing killer preying upon Keegan’s friends and perhaps even Keegan herself.

No doubt inspired by slasher films that came before it, “Deadly Games” is a perplexing horror movie that seems unsure of what to do or where to go (this is especially evident in the abrupt and rushed ending). Sure, it’s a slasher movie, but there are stretches of weird character montages, comedy, romance, and an endless amount of scenes with Keegan talking and talking. The characters themselves do not act like actual humans either. Not only do they seem relatively unphased by the deaths, but their actions are inexplicable. Linda goes outside and takes off her top because…reasons? Roger keeps popping up inside Keegan’s house unannounced and uninvited and she doesn’t seem particularly weirded out by it. The list goes on. And then there’s the dialogue. Who talks like this? 

Had the story focused more on scares, the horror or even the killer, “Deadly Games” might have amounted to more. The monster board game element and the killer’s motive really needed to be expanded upon more rather than resorting to standard horror movie cliches. 

The cast is quite strange. Steve Railsback amps up the creepyness as Billy, Collen Camp steals the movie as Randy, Dick Butkus (yes, the NFL player) randomly shows up as Joe, Jo Ann Harris tries really hard as the lead Keegan, Sam Groom is a truly weird cop, and June Lockhart randomly cameos as Marge.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? The film has been given a 2K restoration from the original camera negative. The night scenes are rather fuzzy, but the daytime sequences look clean.

Audio Track: 1.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? An all-around solid Original Lossless track.

Extras:
* A booklet with photos, credits, an essay by film historian/author Amanda Reyes, and restoration notes.
* Trailer
* Promotional and behind the scenes image galleries
* 2 separate interviews with special effects and stunt coordinator John Eggett and actor Jere Rae-Mansfield.
* Commentary by podcasters The Hysteria Continues.

February 16, 2022 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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