IMDb > Death Game (1977)
Death Game
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Death Game (1977) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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5.0/10   327 votes »
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Release Date:
May 1977 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The object is to stay alive. See more »
Plot:
A businessman whose family is away on his birthday picks up two young girls. He takes them to his house... See more » | Add synopsis »
NewsDesk:
(3 articles)
User Reviews:
"DEATH GAME" ...the object is to stay alive! See more (26 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Sondra Locke ... Agatha Jackson

Colleen Camp ... Donna

Seymour Cassel ... George Manning

Beth Brickell ... Karen Manning
Michael Kalmansohn ... Deliveryboy
Ruth Warshawsky ... Mrs. Grossman
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Directed by
Peter S. Traynor  (as Peter Traynor)
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Anthony Overman 
Michael Ronald Ross 

Produced by
Mel Bergman .... executive producer
William Duffy .... executive producer
John L. Moorehead .... associate producer
Larry Spiegel .... producer
Peter S. Traynor .... producer (as Peter Traynor)
 
Original Music by
Jimmie Haskell 
 
Cinematography by
David Worth 
 
Film Editing by
David Worth 
 
Production Design by
Jack Fisk 
Peter Jamison 
 
Makeup Department
Tino Zacchia .... makeup artist
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Chris Christenberry .... assistant director
Wes MacAphee .... assistant director
Leslie Moulton .... second assistant director
 
Art Department
Lowell Cannon .... property master
Eric Edel .... set dresser
Karin Haugse .... set dresser
Dan Martin .... set dresser
Michael Nevler .... set dresser
Bill Paxton .... assistant set decorator
Sissy Spacek .... set dresser
Linda Spheeris .... assistant art director
Janet Stearns .... set dresser
Beth Wasserman .... assistant property master
 
Sound Department
Turner Browne .... boom operator
Leslie Shatz .... sound
Wayne Wahrman .... sound effects editor
Hal Watkins .... head mixer
 
Visual Effects by
James F. Liles .... special optical effects supervisor
Mike Stanwick .... assistant color timer (as Michael Stanwick Jr.)
 
Stunts
Roger Creed .... stunts
Paula Crist .... stunts
Cyndi Swan .... stunts
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Terry Bowen .... first assistant camera
Robert Decker .... key grip (as Bob Decker)
Michael Kalmansohn .... electrician
Urve Kuusik .... still photographer
John LeBlanc .... second assistant camera
John C. Murray .... gaffer (as John Murray)
J. Michael Popovich .... grip (as Mike Popovich)
Lawrence Purcell .... electrician
Scott M. Robinson .... grip (as Scott Robinson)
Peter Smokler .... assistant camera: second unit
Jack Steely .... best boy
Norman Stevens .... electrician
Kurt Young .... electrician
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Todd Joy .... wardrobe
Aaron St. John .... wardrobe
 
Editorial Department
Bob Kaiser .... color timer (as Robert Kaiser)
Patrick McDowell .... assistant editor
Lee Stepansky .... assistant editor
Chris Thiele .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Ron Malo .... scoring mixer
 
Transportation Department
Frances Reid .... driver
Ken Tara .... driver
 
Other crew
Anthony Albirigi .... authority: Golden Gate Bridge (as Lt. Anthony Albirigi)
Elizabeth Barnard .... assistant to producer (as Liz Bernard)
Robert C. Cawley .... police motor officer (as Robert Cawley)
Carline Davis-Dyer .... script supervisor (as Cariline Davis)
Gini Giblin .... stand-in
Harvey Gibson .... policeman
David Grey .... policeman
Heather Katz .... real estate consultant
Flora Light .... assistant to producer
Mac McCord .... stand-in
Mary Meacham .... title designer
Marcia Mielke .... production coordinator: San Francisco
Alan Myers .... policeman
Gaylene Sagona .... location auditor
Arleen Scalla .... bookkeeper
Carol Shefland .... production secretary
Candace Siller .... assistant to producer
Ken Swerilas .... location auditor
Travis White .... police motor officer
Cathy Zheutlin .... stand-in (as Kathy Zheutlin)
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
91 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:X (original rating) | Argentina:18 (re-rating) | Canada:R (Manitoba/Ontario) | Canada:18+ (Quebec) | Iceland:16 | New Zealand:R18 | USA:R

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Voice of Seymour Cassel's character is dubbed; he was reportedly so unhappy during shooting (per Sondra Locke's autobiography) he refused to participate in necessary post production dubbing.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! (2005) (V)See more »
Soundtrack:
We're HomeSee more »

FAQ

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21 out of 25 people found the following review useful.
"DEATH GAME" ...the object is to stay alive!, 30 December 2001
Author: johnmorghen from United States

Okay, now it's time for my take on the film. I've read so many meaningless reviews that only serve to mislead and miseducate. So, first, here is the basic plot: Seymour Cassel portrays George Manning, a husband and father, living the idyllic family-life. He's got the perfect wife, lovely children and a beautiful home, just on the outskirts of San Francisco, in the (seemingly) peaceful middle of nowhere, to be exact. While his wife and kids have left town for the weekend, he is left all alone on his 40th birthday. This is where it all begins.

On this stormy night, he is greeted by two young women, whom he takes in for shelter while they call a friend and await arrival to be picked up. The girls, Jackson (played by Sondra Locke) and Donna (the delightful Colleen Camp) seem endearing at first, and are more than impressed by the lush surroundings of George's home. They warm up to George, resulting in a somewhat unwelcome sexual episode. This is where most people are wrong... the film does NOT contain "tons of nudity". Yes, there's Sondra showing off what no one wanted to see, and Colleen who gets the "cutaway" every time she disrobes, which is typical as I've never seen her in a nude scene before. She has done a lot of exploitation films, even T & A films, yet offered no T & A, which made me wonder whether or not these reviewers were correct. In fact, the initial sex scene involving the three of them is done in a tasteful manner, with a dizzying series of dissolves, and overall steaminess (not in the sense that it comes off steamy, it just looks like someone left the kettle on too long).

The morning comes and George awakes to the girls who are still at his house. Reality sets in and he realizes he made a bad call. The girls claim that their friend never showed up, which puzzles George. He offers to take them home, but they insist on dancing around the issue. During breakfast, the girls pig-out... big time. George gets irritated by their behaviour and now he wants them out. Through several difficulties, it becomes evident that the girls are no longer "teasing", they are seriously disturbed. Eventually, George finally manages to get them in the car and drives them into San Francisco. He drops them off and heads back home.

As George arrives home, he notices a figure stirring upstairs, only to discover that his journey was all-for-not, as the girls have returned. It is clear that George is now a prisoner in his own home, with no fore-seen conclusion. The girls' bent personalities really begin to shine, as they tie George up and put him through several ongoing tortures, which transcends the remainder of the film into this abyss of nightmarish absurdity.

The film has a very surreal, bad dream-like quality and the tone is nothing short of completely "off-kilter". Very much at home with others of the genre like "THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT" and "HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK", yet not as graphic.

The film's duration, an 87 minute running time, seems un-ending. And, yes it does have one of those "curve-ball wallop" endings, not so much in a good sense, but rather in one of those "time to make a mold" instances.

A few things of note: Cassel's performance is completely dubbed, by someone else, which sort of adds to the atmosphere in an odd way, and what may dictate his true feelings concerning his involvement in the picture. Colleen does have a couple of nude scenes, the "hopping on the bed" sequence and the weird and dreamy "window tapping" scene towards the end of the film. Supposedly, this is all based on a true story, which was a commonly used "hook", especially in the golden days of '70's exploitation fare, and more than likely, is a falsehood. The production designer, Jack Fisk worked on this film along with assistant set dressers, his wife Sissy Spacek and Bill Paxton. And, last but certainly not least, that damned song "Good Old Dad" will drive anyone into a sadistic, maniacal rage. It has to be the WORST song I've ever heard, and that says a lot. Not to mention, that it is played throughout the film, continuously, in long, overdrawn montage sequences that take you to nowhere, and leave you there!

Overall, I had wanted to see this film for years, and after finally viewing it, I must say that it fell short of what I had expected, yet I did not dislike the film. There are plenty of good ingredients to add up to an un-nerving cult classic, but instead we are left with a level of confusion, rather than curiousity. Despite a few shortcomings, the film is worth watching for the performances and atmosphere, and a chance to see Cassel in action while John Cassavetes had his back turned.

A First American Films Release. Distributed by Levitt-Pickman Film Corporation.

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