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A team of softball players get lost in the woods after their bus breaks down. They get attacked, beaten, raped and murdered by some psychotic men. The women fight back with baseball bats and bows and arrows. Written by
Jason Ihle <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Blood Games" is one funny movie. I can't quite figure it out yet, but on surface inspection it appears to be a sexist parody of "In A League Of Their Own" crossed with some passable Humans Hunting Humans carnage, a bit of "Repo Man" social satire, along with a Hicksploitation sleaze "Deliverance" ripoff angle thrown in for good measure. The producers went out of their way to make sure there was something in this movie to potentially offend anyone, and I for one appreciate their diligence in the matter.
Now bear in mind this is one of those movies that is only offensive if you're stupid enough to actually think about it in realistic terms. It's a cartoon for grownups, with a busload of blisteringly hot 20 year old women running afoul of a community of foul-mouthed, smelly redneck crackers. Their conflict is grounded in a baseball game since the gimmick of the film is that these Penthouse models are baseball players recruited based on looks who apparently travel from town to town playing pickup games. It is unclear if they are actually paid to play baseball, though their dubious manager has a gambling debt he needs to pay off, and wagers against the redneck team with the resident psychotic Vietnam veteran patriarch businessman who organizes the hicks. Through events left best discovered on your own, his dirtbag son knifes the manager, shoots the driver of the bus & gets killed for his efforts, the hillbillies organize into a drunken beer swilling posse, and chase the girls through the woods trying to kill them. Add ample gratuitous nudity, pepper with some gory death scenes, and presto: A fabulous movie to drink beer with in the company of your friends. It is, on the surface, a sleazy despicable little movie that no less than Joe Bob Briggs recommends heartily.
But hang on a minute, there's something strange about this movie. First off it was directed by a woman -- one Tanya Rosenberg, in her sole IMDb credit -- which is eye opening considering the exploitation element at work. These baseball girls aren't just hot, they are bedecked in an array of costumes that the ladies at Hooter's would refuse. The camera also lingers on them, ALL of them, especially in the obligatory group shower scene (where? at the redneck clubhouse?) which plays out more like something from a Women In Prison movie minus the catfight. There is also a self awareness to the presentation that suggests the girls knew they were being exploited and not just didn't mind but threw themselves into their work with pride like there was a message here. I was especially pleased by the nude sunbathing scene by the stream.
The rednecks also behave oddly to say the least. Sure, baseball is a competitive sport, but wouldn't you think that someone in their midst would have had a problem with them slapping around a busload of aggressively attractive twenty year old women? Wouldn't they want to get to know these chicks on better terms, maybe have them over for a kegger later? They aren't just the only decent women in the movie, they are the ONLY women in the movie. And the rednecks aren't just your typical movie rednecks, they are all hyper-rednecks with nary a decent soul who doesn't drink beer while driving their rifle rack equipped monster pickup trucks amongst them. Even stranger still, the movie was shot in California ... California has dysfunctional cracker trash communities?
The only conclusion to make is that the movie is a parody of some sorts, or a cartoon-like graphic novel brought to life, with behavior and mannerisms so over the top that they can't possibly be confused with the way real people would act, look, dress, etc. Think "Repo Man" with "Dukes Of Hazzard" production design. It's a bizarre, twisted little entertainment for grown-ups, and surprisingly well made with some interesting use of slow motion camera-work, a respectable budget, laughs galore, and never a dull moment. Sadly the film was a direct to video release by a small now defunct company whose work has yet to be resurrected for the DVD era. But it's worth tracking down if you're into junk like this, which is exactly what keeping a functioning VCR around the house is for.
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