Fatal Games (1984)

  • Year: 1984
  • Released: 25 Aug 1987
  • Country: United States
  • Adwords: N/A
  • IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087243/
  • Rotten Tomatoes: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/fatal_games
  • Metacritics:
  • Available in: 720p, 1080p,
  • Language: English
  • MPA Rating: N/A
  • Genre: Horror, Sport
  • Runtime: 88 min
  • Writer: Rafael Buñuel, Michael Elliot, Christopher Mankiewicz
  • Director: Michael Elliot
  • Cast: Sally Kirkland, Lynn Banashek, Sean Masterson
  • Keywords: slasher, athletics,
12% – Critics
12% – Audience

Fatal Games Storyline

A group of amazing athletes are systematically stalked and killed by a crazed, hoodie wearing psychopath.

Fatal Games Photos

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Fatal Games Movie Reviews

Brainless fun

Fatal Games is a pretty standard slasher that held my attention throughout and didn’t get boring. It’s nothing spectacular or unique, but it’s quite fun and also gives a nice insight into the life of an athlete. There are plenty of slasher clichés present such as plenty of T&A. There is a moment at the beginning that made me laugh out loud: the athletes are all joking around and throwing food. They throw a sausage at a girl and it lands on top of her skirt. The deaths are OK, but nothing particularly gory. There is one death that looks surprisingly realistic. You are also kept guessing as to who the killer is throughout – I didn’t guess and I’m usually good at figuring these things out. When the killer is revealed we get a nice little twist, but I won’t spoil it for you.

Watch this if you’re a fan of slashers – it’s not the best, but it’s worth a look. Also recommended if you like this is a similarly themed slasher film called Aerobicide.

Cheezy ’80s slasher fun.

At the Falcon Academy of Athletics, a crazed killer is using a well-aimed javelin to bump off the school’s most promising young sportsmen and women.

Given the wide range of sporting apparatus readily available to the lunatic in Fatal Games, it’s a shame that the victims only ever meet their fate skewered on the sharpened point of a javelin: although it makes for a reasonably gruesome demise, the novelty soon wears off.

Thankfully, the repetitive nature of the film’s kills is easily offset by the excess of female nudity, which is shoe-horned into proceedings at every available opportunity: a character gets topless for her boyfriend, girls are regularly seen showering in the changing rooms, ‘final girl’ Annie (Lynn Banashek) enjoys a naked massage (but not as much as the masseur!), and, in the film’s most gratuitous scene, a totally nude victim is chased all over the school by the maniac after being interrupted taking a sauna. All that nekkidness certainly helps to make matters a lot more enjoyable.

Throw in an unscrupulous doctor plying the athletes with steroids and hormones, a coach having a lesbian affair with her student, a cool, lo-fi synth score and a lousy ‘Eye of the Tiger’-style theme song (Take It To The Limit), plus a delightfully bonkers motive for the killer, and what you have is a reasonably entertaining piece of ’80s slasher silliness. I may be in the minority, but I found it a lot more fun than Graduation Day, that other ’80s slasher featuring high-school athletes.

6.5 out of 10, rounded up to 7 for IMDb.

More sports based terror

With the British media ramming the London Olympics down our throats in every conceivable way possible, I thought I’d escape the onslaught by watching Fatal Games, an eighties slasher flick where a hooded killer is impaling Olympic wannabes with a javelin.

There’s an immediate whiff of vintage cheddar about this film as we see the athletes doing their routines to an eighties theme tune that goes “Winning isn’t everything, winning is the only thing” and I don’t know about you, but I take great comfort from a slasher film when it includes a nice tune or two. We’re introduced to our seven athletes/victims and assorted red herrings/possible killer.

Fatal Games isn’t full of imaginative kills. When we get done with all the crap banter and relationships and what not, the killer dispatches his victim with a javelin, and proceeds to do so throughout the film. He also hides the bodies, so there’s plenty of head scratching ‘where’s such and such?’ and stalking around the school. However, there’s plenty of imagination injected into the stalking itself, as the killer’s shadow is projected onto walls, or the killer is lit from the back, which livens things up a bit.

The main ‘livening things up’ aspect of Fatal Games is the copious nudity shown through the first half of the film. Communal showers, shared saunas, massages, the whole lot is thrown out there to make sure you’ve got nothing to worry about. It keeps things going while the cast gets whittled down. Apart from that, it is your standard slasher stuff, with someone finding the bodies stashed away somewhere, to the final stalking of the remaining female around the school, etc etc.

For an athletics-based slasher film, it’s okay. Very similar to Graduation Day (which is better), but nowhere near the level of lunacy that is Pieces (which also had a swimming pool murder and a locker room murder).