The Name of the Game is Kill (1968)

Article 3019 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-13-2009
Posting Date: 11-19-2009
Directed by Gunnar Hellstrom
Featuring Jack Lord, Tisha Sterling, Colin Wilcox Paxton
Country: USA

A Hungarian immigrant is picked up by a woman who lives with her two sisters and their mother in a filling station. After an attempt to run him over sends the immigrant to the hospital, he returns to the filling station. There he attempts to win the youngest daughter and seeks to discover the hidden mystery of the family; what happened to the long-missing father?

One of the reasons this odd little psychothriller works is that the mystery element is very strong; all three of the daughters and the mother seem off, and all of them come across as if they might be responsible for the death of the missing father. Furthermore, we are given three contradictory stories about the death of the father. Even at that, the movie has at least one truly memorable twist near the end that I didn’t see coming, though it is a twist that has popped up before in other movies. There are good performances all around; I liked Jack Lord’s performance, as I primarily remember him as McGarrett in “Hawaii Five-O”, and it was great to see him in a totally different type of role here, but it’s the performance of T.C. Jones that really makes the movie work at certain crucial moments. Furthermore, I can’t help but have a bit of affection for any movie that prominently features music by The Electric Prunes.


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