While most people were staying up till midnight on New Years Eve to watch the ball drop, I had stayed up to pre-order the newest offering from Grindhouse Releasing. With such titles as The Beyond, Cannibal Holocaust, and Gone with the Pope in their collection of films, what was the next gift they would bestow on us? That would be Peter S. Traynor’s 1977 psychological thriller Death Game starring Colleen Camp, Sondra Locke, and Seymour Castle.
Taking place over a weekend in 1975, Death Game follows George Manning, a devoted family man celebrating his 40th birthday. On that fateful night, a stormy night in-and-of-itself, two strange females show up at his front door, lost. He invites them to dry off and use his phone, only to be seduced by the two females. From there, Death Game truly starts in it’s spiral into psychological terror as these two women torture George over the course of the weekend.
The cinematography is gorgeous and all three stars do an amazing job in their respective roles. Watching this film, I can see why it was given a modern remake by Eli Roth (2015’s Knock Knock starring Ana de Armas and Keanu Reeves) and why Grindhouse Releasing felt the strong urge to restore and release this film.
Let’s get this out of the way right now — if you are expecting a gory bloodbath with this film like other Grindhouse Releasing films, you will be sorely disappointed. This is a psychological thriller to the tee with little to no blood at all. It works specifically with psychological torture. The soundtrack for this film definitely doesn’t help, as even the cheerful song they use, “My Good Old Dad,” has a creepy feel when paired with this movie.
If you’re looking for a good psychological thriller, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to pick this up on its to-be-announced street date. I give it a decent 8/10. It’s not an amazing film, but you won’t be bored watching it.
Death Game is only available in a limited edition, deluxe 2-disc Blu-ray set, limited to 2,000 copies, which is currently sold out. A street date is soon to be announced for a re-release. If you’re looking to see it before then, keep your eyes on Grindhouse Releasing’s social media and website for theatrical showings in your area.