The Big Game (1972)

Article 2452 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-19-2007
Posting Date: 4-29-2008
Directed by Robert Day
Featuring Stephen Boyd, France Nuyen, Ray Milland
Country: USA/South Africa

The son of an inventor is blackmailed by a spy organization so they can get their hands on one of his father’s inventions – a machine that can control men’s minds from a distance.

“The Motion Picture Guide” was a multi-volume movie guide that came out in the mid-eighties; it was much anticipated, but proved a real disappointment when it first came out. I myself picked it up, and though it does have its uses, it certainly wasn’t worth the exorbitant amount I paid for it. For those who want an example of a its sloppiness, be aware that when describing this movie, it refers to it as a drama about big game hunting. Obviously, they never saw the movie; there is no big game hunting in the movie at all. I suspect they came up with the plot description after looking at the title of the movie, and little else. They do give it a fairly low rating, though, and that’s accurate enough; at best, this thriller is pedestrian and ordinary, but mostly it’s just dull. The science fiction concept behind it is its most interesting aspect; the concept of a machine that can take over the minds of armies and make them do their bidding is a truly frightening idea, and it’s sad that the best they can do with the idea is to make it the Gizmo Maguffin in a low-budget spy thriller. The closest I’ve seen to this idea being used before was REVOLT OF THE ZOMBIES , and that one was no better, though they used the idea more. The star power doesn’t help; of the name actors here, only Cameron Mitchell really does a memorable job, but he’s been the best thing in many movies far worse than this, so he knows his way around bad movies. The movie attempts to have a profound ending (which is where the title is finally explained), and it might have worked had the rest of the movie been up to scratch. As it is, this one is forgettable.



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