Pick for the Weekend: Death Game (1977)

– Death Game is the movie for the weekend. In this section every Saturday or Sunday Celluloid Dimension picks a movie for the weekend. The selections are preferably underrated movies or neglected movies that we think should get more attention. Have fun with these recommendations. –

Death Game (1977) Directed by Peter S. Traynor

A wrathful, pseudo-intellectual feminist fable employing exploitative paraphernalia in a serious psychosexual thriller about two deceitful young girls defiling the idyllic bourgeois home of a San Francisco businessman. Sondra Locke and Colleen Camp are the perfect psychotic duo playing the two vicious young girls, and Seymour Cassel playing the victim(?) is always compelling in his hypothetically satirical conservative portrayal of the perfect family man. The ideas – considering its exploitative context and the decade in which it was made – are recycled from other great classics of the genre, yet severity and formality abound in the sensually lethal art of this thriller – the prolonged orgasmic carnal consummation sequence between the three characters filmed in exquisite double exposures is one of the peaks of seventies softcore cinema – and the narrative structure despite being basic continually shows signs of wanting to be more than just provocative material. Although the astonishing performances are what make the violent anarchy a kinky and thoughtful entertainment, and Peter S. Traynor’s absorbing direction is fabulously, determinedly caustic, David Worth’s baroque cinematography is the most important element in the creative symbiosis. The empowering feminine cathartic force, though savage and malevolent, imbues its social textures with a controversial empathy; it works more as a drama about traumatized women seeking therapeutic revenge than an erotic thriller, yet it is equally visceral and potent when viewed as both.



Matteo Bedon

Written by

Editor and Official Film Critic at CelluloidDimension.com

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