"THE SECOND PRIZE IS DEATH!"
(back of video blurb):
directed by: Michael Elliot
starring: Sally Kirkland, Lynn Banashek, Seam Masterson, Teal Roberts
(back of video blurb):
"SOMEONE IS STOPPING THE NATION'S TOP ATHELETS...DEAD IN THEIR TRACKS!
What is happening at the Falcon Academy of Atheletes? One by one the young competitors for the 1984 Olympics are facing a race against death- at the hands of a javelin-hurling madman.
Is potential champion, Annie Rivers, fast enough to outrun the killer and stay alive? She must use every trick and every turn in the book to stay ahead in this deadly game. There can only be one winner in this contest. Only one will finish!
FATAL GAMES- THEIR MISTAKE WAS TO EVEN COMPETE!"
Fairly incompetent late addition to the first wave of 80's slasher movies this one.
As an attempt to give the formula a new twist the action is set in an Academy for athletes, but it has more than a few similarities to GRADUATION DAY (1981); including an opening of athletes going through their paces in 'slo-mo' to a nasty 'rawk' song- 'Take it to the Limit' and the killer crossing the deceased off a team photo. But FATAL GAMES is a little closer to the fabled FAME era of film making and many of the buff young things wear (for then) trendy leg warmers whilst bouncing around on the track and field. And when they are not bouncing around there they are bouncing around on each other. There is a copious amount of nudity on display here, both male and (mostly) female. As they seem to spend more time in the showers or steam rooms than they do training. With all this oestrogen and testosterone in abundance, plus the fact that the athletes are taking experimental drugs, it is little wonder that what happens naturally in these kind of films begins to occur. Soon, a javelin wielding loon; in a black tracksuit and hood, is chasing (naturally) naked female teens through darkened gymnasiums. Athlete kebab is the dish of the day.
FATAL GAMES is a real cheap production- but still not as cheap as the video extravaganzas of later years. For much of its running time it has the production values, editing and acting of bad porno- complete with farting synth score. There are a couple of good scenes; most notably the murder of a girl in a swimming pool- but that was probably lifted from ROSEMARY'S KILLER(1981) and the bit where one of the characters finds all his (dead) friends stuffed into their lockers. And the final girl's hair is a true marvel. She has a kind of mutant, Farrah Fawcett flick which doesn't shift one iota regardless of whether she has been chased at length around the school by the killer or finishing an exhausting and gravity defying bout of gymnastics.
The last 20 minutes are fun, in a strictly campy way and the implausible identity of the killer goes way off the 'cheese-o-meter'.
BODYCOUNT 6 female:4 / male:2
1) Female teen impaled on javelin
2) Female teen impaled on javelin
3) Male teen impaled on javelin...(see a pattern emerging?) :)
4) Female teen impaled on javelin
5) Male teen impaled on javelin
6) Female impaled on sports trophy