DEADLY GAMES (1982)
Article 4556 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Scott Mansfield
Featuring Alexandra Morgan, Jo Ann Harris, Sam Groom
What it is: Psycho killer
A woman returns to her home town when her sister is killed by a maniac, and she decides to stay in her sister’s house while she is there. She befriends two men, but one of them may be her sister’s killer…
I use the phrase “psycho killer” in my description to differentiate certain movies from slasher films, which are generally playing a different type of game than the one this one is playing. Still, I have to confess that I’m not quite sure what game this one IS playing; though it does seem to be trying for suspense, there’s no real consistency to this approach, and it even seems to be trying for romantic comedy at times. The thriller aspects of the movie are nothing special (especially when you discover the killer’s motivation), but the real problem I have with the movie is when it tries to be something else. In particular, the lead female character is supposed to be a cute and lovable kook, but she ends up being a self-consciously annoying, and rather than being charmed by her antics, I end up feeling awkward and uncomfortable. The movie also tends to wander from scene to scene; there are moments where I feel that the movie was edited in random order. In the end, I just don’t think this one works.