There were two brothers - two dancers - in Communist Hungary. One defected, the other stuck it out. One gave his soul to commerce, the other to the Party. After twenty years, they meet again. And the dance begins.
Deborah Kara Unger
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Another sadly forgotten late 60's shocker, "The Name of the Game is Kill" features pretty much all the ingredients cult-cinema collectors could be looking for. The title alone will make certain people (= me) froth at the mouth, apparently the original spool went missing for several years (or so I read) and last but not least it has one of those typically engaging & challenging 60's promotional taglines! The VHS copy I held in my dirty little hand shout out: "You can't buy a ticket for this movie unless you sign a pledge not to reveal the surprise shock ending to anyone!" Call me easily enticed, but that's what I call salesmanship. The plot is wondrously weird and full of unpredictable twists albeit cheesy and absurd twists and demented character. The handsome Hungarian stranger Sim passes through a remote little US town and gets invited to the home of the uncanny Terry family. Mother Terry lives with her three daughters and a bizarre collection of poisonous snakes and tarantulas. The second oldest daughter Mickey is adorable, but the other women in the house behave somewhat odd and hostile. Sim nearly dies the next morning and ends up in the hospital were a dodgy Sheriff advises him not to go back there. Naturally he doesn't listen and returns to the house, only to encounter some of the freakiest family rituals and traditions imaginable. The movie is mysteriously compelling, original, well-directed and swinging! The soundtrack is quite awesome and it definitely helps you, along with the masterful photography, to get through the overly talkative and slightly tedious moments. And I'm pleased to say the VHS cover didn't lie! Although the ending certainly won't sweep you off your feet, the last 20-25 minutes are offbeat, creepy, convoluted and even somewhat disturbing. But most of all, the climax is deliciously insane! Sure the idea will have crossed your mind at the beginning of the film, but when the big twist eventually becomes revealed, you still don't expect it. Just the way we love it. Recommended, if you can find a copy.
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