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Tag: The Assassination Game (1982)

College assassination game turns deadly as someone starts playing for real.


Nick Castle


Nick Castle
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Carradine ... Alex Marsh
Linda Hamilton ... Susan Swayze
Kristine DeBell ... Nancy McCauley
Perry Lang ... Frank English
John Mengatti ... Randy Simonetti
Michael Winslow ... Gowdy
Frazer Smith Frazer Smith ... Nick Carpenter
Bruce Abbott ... Loren Gersh
Xander Berkeley ... Connally
Ivan Bonar Ivan Bonar ... Patterson
Scott Dunlop ... Wallace
Jim Greenleaf Jim Greenleaf ... Swanson
Charlene Nelson ... Charlene
Steven Peterman ... Schooster
Jack Baker Jack Baker ... Gowdy's Aide (as John Anthony Bailey)


Susan participates in The Assassination Game, in which every player tries to shoot another with a toy dart gun, until only one remains. Pretending to do research for his newspaper, college student Alex Marsh teams up with the attractive Susan Swayze. While doing his best to win her over, and helping her finding her targets, Alex discovers that this year the Game may be more serious than most contenders realize... Written by Peter Zweers <peterz@pi.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


This time the butler didn't do it! See more »


Action | Thriller


PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

20 April 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Everybody Gets It in the End See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Antria Group (TAG) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In scene 2 Susan's target Schooster played by Steven Peterman and Jim Veneziano shoot one another when Susan ducks. The credits simply list Veneziano as an anonymous "TAG player" suggesting his character was never given a name; but towards the end at the TAG party he is referred to as Charlie. This suggests he was given a name why he was not credited is unknown. Moreover the progress chart contains a C Sterns thus he may have been Charlie Sterns. See more »


Carpenter claims the progress chart is confidential yet he keeps it in the common room with public access that is shared by 3 student groups instead of his office. See more »


Nick Carpenter: You're going to have to be quicker than that if you want to play T.A.G.
See more »


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User Reviews

TAG has a lot going for it
7 January 2006 | by LornsorrowSee all my reviews

Jaded viewers imposing current film standards and expectations may want to look elsewhere, but if one has an appreciation for 80's movies and other movies of this type and pace, then it's clear that Tag has aged well for what it is. Tag is a dark comedy-thriller that takes place on a college campus during the 1980's. Think of something along the lines of Terror Train (1980 with Jamie Lee Curtis), except with comedy and a tongue in cheek quality to it, at least in the films first half.

TAG, The Assassination Game (1982) is a great little film that has gained a strong, though seemingly small fan following over the years. I've watched it many times since I discovered it in the early 80's (after which I got a few people together in my high school so we could hunt each other down with rubber band guns –not recommended). A lot of people simply don't appear to know much about this dark comedy/thriller. Most people who've seen this film give it decent reviews, but the reviews themselves are few and far between. So, here is a little more information about this great flick. The plot is simple. At a college campus the latest pastime is a game called TAG. TAG players are given lists of targets (consisting of other players in the TAG group) that they chase after all over the large college campus with fake plastic suction tipped dart guns. The last man or woman who hasn't been hunted down and successfully tagged in the end, wins. There are a few rules to this campus game (game play stops at 12:00 midnight, etc.), but that's about it. It's all a fun pastime with a chance to meet new people. That is, until things go wrong.

The reigning champion (played wonderfully by Bruce Abbott in his first film role) gets so upset over getting tagged and losing that he decides to use real bullets instead and continue on with the game. The movie is a decent paced 80's film with a noir like tongue in cheek quality to it that develops into the dark and serious, contains a fair amount of suspense, and pulls it all off with nice style for a little film. Its ending is serious, but with a wink, and an homage to those noir films of yesteryear. It also shows that gore, tons of violence, etc., is not necessary to make a good thriller. Though I've never seen anything else really like TAG, there are a few other movies that one might like if they like it, such as Silver Streak (1976), and Foul Play (1978). I hope some day TAG gets remastered to DVD. Till then, I guess its out of print VHS tapes. TAG, was written and Directed by Nick Castle. Castle was involved in helping his friend, Director John Carpenter write Escape From New York, and TAG was Castle's first Directing project. Castle would later go on to direct more commercially honed films (for that time period) such as The Last Starfighter, The Boy Who Could Fly, and others. He's still working today. He was also the original man behind the mask in Halloween.

Having already been in a number of films before TAG, (most notable to me is The Big Red One as a cigar smoking writer named Pvt. Zab), Robert Carradine appears in Tag as a dashing cigar smoking journalist who falls in love with the movies heroine. After TAG, Carradine went on to do Revenge of the Nerds in 1984 as Lewis Skolnick. He's still active in his long career.

Aside from a couple of TV roles and minor work, TAG is Linda Hamilton's first real film. Her role as Sarah Connor in Terminator (1984) was still two years away. One can tell from watching her in TAG that she already had a good grip on her craft. She's beautiful here, and thankfully we would see a lot more of her skill and beauty in the years to come, and still do. (Incidentally, Bruce Abbott apparently did "get" Linda Hamilton in the end after all, in reality that is. They were married from December 19, 1982 till they were divorced in 1989. They had one son together Born October 4, 1989, Dalton Abbott.)

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