dangerousgame2aDANGEROUS GAME

3 Stars  1988/18/87m

“When a crazed cop goes shopping for terror…”

Director: Stephen Hopkins / Writers: Michael Ralph, Peter West, Stephen Hopkins & John Ezrine / Cast: Marcus Graham, Miles Buchanan, Steven Grives, Kathryn Walker, Sandie Lillington, John Polson.

Body Count: 1…uh??

A super-rarity within its own genre: the slasher film that isn’t. Sort of. April Fool’s Day kinda meets the criteria, and the godawful Granny. But what of little known Australian export Dangerous Game, eh? Yeah, what of it!

Grives is an unhinged cop sporting a dire Irish accent and is conveniently named Murphy. For kicks, he likes to torment his former superior’s son and, when his penchant lands him suspended, he goes a little wacky and stalks said kid and four others to a department store they’ve broken into for a dare with the intent of pinning a B&E on them and regaining his position.

When he accidentally kills one of the kids, his id proposes he kill the other four and burn down the joint to save his own ass. However, rounding them up isn’t so easy and they fight back with veritable gusto. Where Dangerous Game deviates is when we learn that Murphy’s conscience won’t allow him to kill them and he ends up being the one hunted.

Much is borrowed from the likes of Hide and Go Shriek and The Initiation by way of Maniac Cop, but proudly showing off its Australian-ness with some truly horrendous fashion errors (braces and a yellow shirt – ugh!) and hairstyles. Despite the body count of one, there’s a slasher stamp all over this, with tense chase scenes and well written characters who react convincingly to the death of their friend. Killer cop Murphy even attempts to resuscitate his victim and reasons that the youngsters haven’t experienced enough horror in their lives (clothing choices aside). An intriguing diversion from the usual formula from the director of A Nightmare on Elm Street 5.

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