Thursday, July 02, 2009

FAIR GAME (1986)



Leave it to the Aussies to give us a “persecuted female vs. crazy nuts” thriller more into suspense than S&M porno. And yet this is not a sterile movie. There is an underlying element of sleaze, the pace is properly but not frenetically fast, and excitement is generated, especially in the crowd-pleasing finale. Not quite as lurid as the video box gives the impression of being, but more interesting in other ways. The same box describes it as a cross between MAD MAX, THE ROAD WARRIOR, DEATH RACE 2000 and COBRA. Well, it’s from the same country as the first two alright, like the third there’s a car, and I don’t know what the fourth connection is.

The setting is the Outback. The heroine (Cassandra Delaney) is the attractive proprietress of a wildlife sanctuary thereabouts. The villains are a trio of professional hunters who travel about in an elaborate car they call “The Beast,” offing kangaroos for their pelts. On a trip to town, she strikes back when the guys indulge in sexual harassment, and nutty misogynists that they are, they really get pissed. As revenge, they drive out to her place and take nude photographs. She returns to town to report his incident to the police, but the constable is out, so she stays behind to encounter the loonies and demolish their camera. This REALLY pisses them off. Driven by anger, sadism, and madness, the three occupy the sanctuary, casting the lady in a MOST DANGEROUS GAME-type role, chasing her around the grounds, subjecting her to indignities and obviously having the time of their lives. Yes, they’re sick bastards, but that’s what the story calls for, and thankfully – excuse me for saying this – none of them are played by David Hess. No male ever comes to her aid, and she’s not depicted as a helpless female stereotype to begin with. They aren’t so joyful when the tables turn. The hunters become the hunted, and it’s demonstrated that they’ve chosen a pretty formidable prey.

Credits indicate that it was originally in Dolby Sound, further proof that the producers didn’t originally consider it a lost cause. If it played theatrically in the States, I don’t know about it.

[Originally published in Temple of Schlock #18, June 1989]

3 comments:

Gore-Gore Girl said...

Wow. This sounds like a candidate for my favorite film of all time. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

Marc Edward Heuck said...

This gets a great mention in NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD. There was a barebones DVD from Vanguard years ago that is now out of print - I'm hoping a more balls-out edition will surface as a result of the increased awareness from the docco.

Term Papers said...

There is an underlying element of sleaze, the pace is properly but not frenetically fast, and excitement is generated, especially in the crowd-pleasing finale.