Director: Sebastien Landry, Laurence Morais-Lagace
Writer: Edouard H. Bond, Philip Kalin-Hajdu
Stars: Sam Earle, Victoria Diamond, Emelia Hellman, Catherine Saindon, Erniel Baez Duenas
With it’s New York Premiere at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, Game of Death answers one of today’s most pressing questions. What does it take to motivate a millennial?
Millennials have been accused of killing many things (i.e.) the 9-5 work week, department stores, brunch, but they still love a nice afternoon of drugs, alcohol, sex and general laziness. Fuck your retirement fund! I want to eat avocado toast and play board games. As our group of youngsters settle nicely into their post coital and chemically induced buzzes, one of them finds a boxed game and convinces everyone to play. Aptly titled 'Game of Death', the game looks like an 80’s stowaway that’s been hiding in someone’s attic. With an archaic digital interface, the game asks each player to place a finger on the board where they all, unwittingly, donate blood to it: they are now required to kill at least one person or suffer the consequences. In fact, the game has decided that the group must kill twenty four people before being released from their blood contract. What if you don’t want to kill someone? Well, your head is going to explode in a fantastically gruesome fashion.
Seven different personalities take seven different approaches to this gauntlet thrown at them and it’s fun to watch a once tight knit group of friends decide where their loyalty really lays. It’s kill or be kill, no way around it, but can you find a way to save your own head without committing a completely heinous crime?
Directors Sebstien Landry and Laurence Baz Morais have crafted a horror movie out of Gregg Araki's Doom Generation vibes, obscene and joyous amounts of gore that are done with some seriously amazing practical effects, an 8-bit animation scene and a strange love affair with manatees. It’s kind of what I imagine Liquid Television would look like if it took some acid and went on a killing spree. Game of Death suffers from some uneven story telling, completely unnecessary moral platitudes and there’s a POV scene thrown in that looks rad, yet makes no sense, but the overall vibe of the film cannot be denied. This is some seriously gonzo, horror movie making that is not for the faint of heart and it’s a good fucking time.
Viewed as part of the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival
Lisa Fremont | Twitter: @lcfremont