Night Game (1989)

  • Year: 1989
  • Released: 15 Sep 1989
  • Country: United States
  • Adwords: N/A
  • IMDb:
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  • Available in: 720p,
  • Language: English
  • MPA Rating: R
  • Genre: Crime, Drama, Horror
  • Runtime: 95 min
  • Writer: Spencer Eastman, Anthony Palmer
  • Director: Peter Masterson
  • Cast: Roy Scheider, Karen Young, Lane Smith
  • Keywords: detective, baseball, serial killer, houston astrodome,
11% – Critics
false% – Audience

Night Game Storyline

A Texas police detective ties pitcher’s strikes to a serial throat slasher.

Night Game Photos

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Night Game Movie Reviews

Hello Sports’ fans! We are ready for another killer baseball game!

Thanks to brilliant genre classics, such as “Jaws”, “The French Connection” and “Sorcerer”, Roy Scheider is one of my – admittedly many – cinematic heroes, but it’s nevertheless quite difficult to take him seriously here in this film. Roy depicts a police detective in a coastal Texan town, who asked the daughter of his high-school sweetheart to marry him (!), and meanwhile he tries to solve the case of a serial killer who slays beautiful blond women with a hook. His modus operandi also seems to be linked to the calendar of the local baseball team. Neither the plot nor any of the characters are very plausible, but luckily there are other things to enjoy in “Night Game”. There’s a lot of misplaced humor, for instance one of the deputies gets sick upon the discovery of a new body whereas another one orders pizza to the place of a crime scene. The killer cuts the throats of victims with a hook; hence the murders are reasonably gory and sadist, and the stalking that he does before killing them results in a couple of suspenseful moments, notably at the mirror-palace at the carnal or on the construction site near the beach. Scheiders’ quarrels with his future mother-in-law are often funny, and there are pointless supportive roles for familiar faces like Lane Smith and Paul Glaser.

A passable time waster.

Roy Scheider plays Mike Seaver, a Texas police detective (and former ballplayer) who picks up the trail of a serial killer in this very pedestrian thriller. The hook here is that the killers’ attacks are tied in to night games at the Houston Astrodome. Roy’s impending marriage to the much younger Roxy (Karen Young) forms a subplot, as does Roy’s vendetta against a fellow detective, Broussard (Paul Gleason) whom he believes to be corrupt.

A rock solid cast does the best that it can with this routine script by Spencer Eastman and Anthony Palmer. (Palmer also plays the supporting role of Mendoza.) Peter Masterson is a good director, and the movie isn’t incompetently made, but it’s of no real distinction. It’s pretty predictable, although it might hold the attention of some viewers because of its brutal murders, location filming, and fine performances. It’s gorgeously shot by Fred Murphy, and the score by Pino Donaggio is okay but it’s definitely not as memorable as the scores he composed for features such as “Carrie”, “Piranha”, “Dressed to Kill”, and “The Howling”. Pacing is mostly decent, but the movie is just not that exciting, even in its final act when Seaver realizes who the killer is and races to prevent them from committing another murder.

Scheider is fine as always in the lead, even not having that much to work with. Young is radiant and appealing as his love interest. Gleason is amusing in one of his typical jerk roles, and Richard Bradford glowers and rants adequately as Scheiders’ commanding officer. Lane Smith is rather wasted as a government man named Witty. Carlin Glynn (Mastersons’ wife) plays Scheiders’ domineering future mother-in-law; Rex Linn of ‘CSI: Miami’ makes one of his earliest feature film appearances.

This is watchable enough but completely forgettable once it’s over.

Five out of 10.

Baseball & Murder in Houston Texas

****SPOILERS**** Towards the end of the movie “Night Game” Houston Astro pitcher Sil Daretto, Alex Garcia, walks off the pitchers mound as the game is about to start and to the surprise and astonishment of all those on the baseball field and in the stands walks over to newlyweds Mike & Roxy Sever, Roy Scheider & Karen Young. Daretto congratulates them on their wedding and sincerely tells Mike & Roxy to enjoy the game, the nightmare was at last over for all of them.

A number of young women were found dead in and around the beaches of Houston and Galveston and the one thing they all had in common is that they were murdered when Houston Astro ace pitcher Sil Daretto pitched and won a night game at the Astro-Dome. They also they had their throats slashed by some hook that the killer used.

The movie “Night Game” mixes baseball with murder in this very unusual story about a disgruntled former Houston Astro player Floyd Epps, Rex Linn, who was cut by the team to make room for Daretto and on top of all that lost his pitching hand in a bus accident as he was leaving.

Epps wants to upstage Daretto when ever he wins a ballgame by committing a murder that same night and getting the headline for his crime over Daretto victory. It’s Epps’ insane way of getting even for what he holds Daretto responsible for; the loss of his job being a pitcher for the Astros and his left hand. Roy Scheider sleep-walks through his role as a former baseball player now Galveston policemen and the movie is better then the average made for TV movie even though it isn’t but should have been one.

The ending was a bit ridicules with Epps chasing Roxy all over the catwalk outside a waterfront restaurant with Roxy not having the sense to get inside and thus not getting trapped by the insane hooked killer. In fact Roxy actually ran outside the eatery as she saw Epps and easily got trapped by him. Mike came to Roxy’s rescue in just the nick of time with Rex hook and all getting dumped in the ocean below after taking a number slugs from Mike’s revolver.

Dopey but watchable film that was a bit too unbelievable not in the fact that Epps was a crazed former baseball player who felt that he got a raw deal from life and wanted to rectify it in his own crazy way. As you would have expected the local police as well as the Texas justice department were so slow and incompetent in realizing who Epps was when the evidence was right in front of them, the man the hook and the motive, but were just too blind to see it.