4.7/10
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12 user 7 critic

Fair Game (1988)

Mamba (original title)
Gene, a clever but seriously deranged computer-game designer, has been left by his wife Eva. Unable to win her back, he decides to take revenge by locking Eva in her new apartment, inside which he has released a deadly mamba snake.

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Cast

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Eva
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Gene
...
Frank
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Storyline

Gene, a clever but seriously deranged computer-game designer, has been left by his wife Eva. Unable to win her back, he decides to take revenge by locking Eva in her new apartment, inside which he has released a deadly mamba snake.

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Horror | Thriller

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R | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

27 May 1989 (Japan)  »

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Fair Game  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Features Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Heaven Now
Performed by Joe Pizzulo
Arranged by Anthony Marinelli (uncredited)
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User Reviews

 
All's fair in love and murder
2 August 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

All's fair in love and murder, apparently, as a man attempts to kill his ex-wife through use of a modified exotic, poisonous snake. The man, some computer bigwig, plants a tracker on both the snake and the woman so he can view their proximity to each other while he waits outside in his car. To ensure that his wife not escape, he jams her door (apparently she only has one?) and taps into her phone which allows him to periodically call in to make sure she's still alive.

Fair Game probably has one of the most interesting premises I've seen in a while but, due to only having one real potential victim, it gets bogged down by a ton of false scares. You keep seeing the snake seemingly draw near or think it's going to pop out only for the woman to miss it entirely. Humorously, she goes a fairly long while before she realizes it's even in the studio apartment with her. After that, the woman's paranoia causes her to act out in increasingly bizarre ways as he panics.

Long before Kill Bill popularized the black mamba, it was being used as the exotic snake of choice in this movie. In retrospect, it's actually a huge step up from other films which favored things like cobras. I suppose it's just one more thing that sets this movie apart. Trudie Styler, the intended victim, gives a very witty, neurotic performance that will endear her to some while likely annoying others. This level of weirdness, however, may make the viewer question why she'd be the one to leave the relationship >_> Gregg Henry, her would-be killer, plays the role rather stoically and has few bits of dialog to speak of. He essentially serves as a background piece, a catalyst for this fateful encounter. The real action remains squarely between the girl and the snake. More interesting than either the male or female leads is the brief cameo by Bill Moseley, who ironically is the only cast member to really do much with the rest of his career (one that's spanned numerous horror films, might I add).

The title refers to the notion that the man is giving his ex-wife a chance of survival. The snake, which has been doctored with some chemical that makes it both hyper-aggressive and more toxic but also means that it will die on its own in an hour, is a less than perfect execution method. The concept kind of justifies the rather bizarre attempt on her life, although the story still slightly pushes the boundaries of credulity. If the movie has one real fault it would be that very little happens at first but once things start happening it quickly loses the shock value and gets fairly campy.


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