Sunday, November 02, 2008

Blood Games

SOUTHERN COMFORT meets RACE WITH THE DEVIL in 1990's BLOOD GAMES, a feminist revenge flick that plays better than expected. Healthy doses of violence and nudity propel the flimsy story, which pits a sexy female sandlot baseball team, coached by Midnight (B-movie vet Ross Hagen), against the beer-guzzling, sore-losing rednecks they beat 17-2. Afterwards, tempers flare, girls are molested, some people are killed—including the son of the town boss (Luke Shay, who has kind of a Luke Askew thing going)—and the chase is on, first over the road, and then on foot through the forest.

I’d be willing to bet director “Tanya Rosenberg” is a pseudonym for a male director and probably an experienced one. The gratuitous T&A shots and a somewhat graphic rape scene don’t play like something a woman would do, and the professional production values and occasional arty flairs look like a director who made more than the one film credited to Rosenberg on the Internet Movie Database. The fine score by Greg Turner helps maintain suspense, as knives, rifles, crossbow bolts and baseball bats cause damage to various male and female body parts. The implausible resilience of one lunky redneck, first seen in a hilariously dumb “Hooray” T-shirt, is entertaining.

On the downside, it’s difficult to tell the heroines apart, as they’re given zero personality and barely names. Star Laura Albert (still an active Hollywood actress and stunt performer) is certainly striking and, really, the only actress who looks as though she can play baseball. The story holes are typical of a screenplay with five credited writers, but, all in all, BLOOD GAMES is a reasonably effective chase thriller that would play nicely on a double bill with the B-star-studded HUNTER’S BLOOD.

MGM HD is playing a very nice 1.78:1 print this month, so check it out. I wonder if BLOOD GAMES ever played theatrically.


elgringo said...

I haven't seen the movie but I don't know if you can say that woman couldn't or even wouldn't make a film with gratuitous sex and nudity or rape scenes.

That being said, I still wouldn't be surprised if "Tanya Rosenberg" is a pseudonym, possibly for a guy. This is Rosenberg's only film and I can't find ANY information on her besides a production secretary/assistant art director position on some film 13 years prior to Blood Games. I wonder...

Marty McKee said...

It has happened. For instance, Roberta Findlay certainly made graphic exploitation movies. Stephanie Rothman and Barbara Peeters are two others, although Roger Corman notoriously went back and shot additional sex and violence during post-production for HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP. There very well could be a real Tanya Rosenberg; I'm just guessing. I'd love to know for sure.

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