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
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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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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 Betty Boop's Life Guard (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

Singing To The Sky
Performed by Edie Lehmann Boddicker
Arranged by Anthony Marinelli (uncredited)
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User Reviews

 
Poppa Loves Mamba, Momma Doesn't Love Mamba…
10 May 2008 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

"Fair Game" or "Mamba", which is the less imaginative but apparently official title for this film, actually is the simplified and much more straightforward version of the British early 80's thriller "Venom" starring Oliver Reed and Klaus Kinski. That movie revolves on petty criminals facing the threat of a venomous black mamba snake whilst trying to take hostage the sickly son of a rich family. It's a fun but incredibly far-fetched (the mamba ended up in the house through an "accidental" wrong delivery) film and the script is over-ambitious for its own good, with police forces surrounding the house and virulent intrigues between the kidnappers mutually, whereas basically it should have just been a claustrophobic lethal-snake-on-the-loose suspense movie. Mario Orfini, writer/director of "Fair Game" and of course an Italian, obviously saw "Venom" as well and immediately realized that only the escaped snake formula is more than enough to attract horror audiences. The rudimentary plot of "Fair Game" is reasonably effective just because of its simplicity, and it's merely the details and character drawings that cause major disbelief. Gregg Henry ("Body Double", "Slither") is almost too good as the frustrated and seriously deranged ex-husband who can't process the separation from the joyous artist/play-dough sculptor Eva. What do you expect? If you compare their personalities, they must have formed a terrible mismatch of a couple since day one! So, what's a lunatic video game designer to do? He buys a mamba, kills the seller, injects the animal with hormones to make her even deadlier and finally lets it loose in Eva's hermetically sealed flat without windows. She faces a virulent battle with the slithering dose of venom whilst the psychopath watches everything in his car via a computer-designed game. "Fair Game" naturally is a highly improbable thriller, of course, but the approaching snake sequences are undeniably suspenseful. The score and sound-effects, although inspired by the legendary "Psycho" shower sequence noises, are terrific and the film contains approximately 30 ingenious POV shots, even though admittedly they serve more to provide glorious shots of Trudie Styler's bottom. Speaking of which, Mrs. Sting proves herself to be a very untalented actress but, in all fairness, performing all alone with just a not-so-talkative animal in the room isn't exactly the most grateful role you can get. The script is full of ludicrous little details and the finale is extremely forced and implausible. Interesting little detail for horror fanatics surely is that Bill Moseley forms the entire supportive cast all by himself in his second 'important' role after starring in "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II".


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