Trailer

This is actually one of those rare trailers that, clumsily, pretty much chronologically walks you through the entire movie. You’ve essentially already seen the whole thing just by watching a minute and half trailer. Regardless, the trailer does show you just about what to expect. Enjoy that – “on video cassette or laser disc!”.

Introductory Thoughts

image_12297549-jpegRight, so where do we start with this little disaster heaven? It’s a hot mess, literally and figuratively, because it’s babes, guns and action but also an endless stream of terrible performances, lacking plot and awful Special FX. This movie hails from the Golden Age of late 80’s and early 90’s rock videos, think vintage Playboy baseball babes being chased by hill billies. Can you picture it? Good.

I would almost say this movie is watchable for (somewhat) younger viewers, such as teens, except that the movie is not very female friendly, not in the sense of Tumblr-esque “Patriarchy-paranoia” but the movie is all about a group of girls being chased after, beat up, killed, even abused and raped. The scene involving rape is not overly graphic per se but very, very suggestive – you might think that’s a little overdone and sensitive but trust me, it’s a pretty intense rape scene. For what it’s worth, the camera angles are also pretty interesting – no matter what odd angle it takes the crew made sure we could see right up the skirts of every girl possible. Of course the movie also comes with an obligatory shower scene with more boobies, butts and privates in “natural state” (Hey! Don’t judge! It was the nineties!) then any teenager could wish for! I mean, really, if you’re young – or drunk – enough you could totally get an involuntary boner out of it. Score! (And no I wasn’t drunk watching this movie. I’m just young at heart.)

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Plot

The plot on this one is pretty simple, I could probably put it all in one sentence but that would make this review a little short, wouldn’t it? So lets see what we can still squeeze out of it!

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It all starts off at a baseball match between a travelling, all-girls baseball team (Babe and the Ballgirls) and, what appears to be, a bunch of scrapped together local yokels. The locals don’t seem to be a team at all in the first place, they don’t even have uniforms or anything – it kind of makes you wonder why a bunch of random guys would play against an “actual” exhibition team but sure, I’ll play along.
Anyway, the movie immediately starts off with making blatantly clear who the good guys (or girls) are and who the bad guys are which undoubtedly you’ve already figured out all by yourself by now. If not, I advise seeing a doctor about that.

What we are shown is the baddest of bad sportsmanship, during the match, the men become physically aggressive to the women in order to win. Of course our team of sporty Playmates doesn’t stand for that kind of crap and pay them back with a smashing victory and a few crushed testicles – never mind the bruised egos.
As it turns out this was all a ruse by both sides – the local team was hoping to beat the women and win a hefty price in bets – the coach of “Babe and the Ballgirls” likewise is heavy into bets and gains and, apparently, is using his team to repay a standing debt. That doesn’t sound too awful, but it’s noteworthy that according to the story at least two of the girls on the team are his own daughters, one of which is named “Babe” as referred to in the team name (also graciously plastered all over their travel coach). Needless to say, getting your kids deeply involved in debts and helping settle them through illegal and risky practices is the staple of good parenting and guaranteeing their well-being. Sorry, I digress.

What happens next is quite simple – it turns out that the local town is owned, and the match organized by, a certain Mr. Collins and his son, Roy, also an active participant in the match. When Mr. Collins sends out a “money mule” with cash to pay the coach of our team, not only does the dirty old man sneak a peak at the naked ladies showering – just to be caught – it also turns out that the team has been stiffed! Not even half the cash agreed upon is in the envelope! What in tarnation!? That’s not going to do!
And so Coach waits till night fall and visits the local watering hole to track down that greedy old Mr. Collins and threatens him at gun point to pay off the rest of the money. After hog tying poor Mr. Collins to the bathroom fixtures, Coach hopes to make a swift escape into the night and to just ride that bus off into… Well, whatever town they’re about to hit next.
Unfortunately that doesn’t go according to plan, having taken a bit long to return, at least two of his girls have left said bus and are – seemingly aimlessly – strolling around the establishment before bumping into Roy Collins, the feared son of, and his best buddy. The men attempt to assault the two “babes” which quickly takes a turn for the worst when Coach comes running in with a bat to save his daughter and the other girl.

This is the catalyst to what happens the rest of the movie – Coach does not come off well in this confrontation, Roy Collins is shot in the leg and the bus takes off like all hell. Roy and his buddy then attempt to ambush them further down the road which leads to his own demise. Tip: Don’t actually stand in the path of the on-storming bus you’re shooting at.
Roy’s buddy makes it back to the bar, informs a – by now escaped – Mr. Collins of the loss of his son and that’s when it happens. The legitimate fear of every baseball team on the planet: A bounty put on your head, a thousand smackeroos for every dead baseball babe! Shit just got tense!

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We follow the rest of the movie as the girls flee, oh so desperately, from dozens of hicks with rifles, extensive hunting experience and a hunger for warm, naked flesh. And no, I’m not talking cannibalism – though there is some suggestion of necrophilia somewhere down the line.

All of this is accompanied by usual plot twists such the team splitting up – because that’s always the wise thing to do – and even a climactic return of the antagonist atop a grain silo in a dual with “Babe” who, for some reason, is suddenly crying and tumbling a lot during the final showdown. She didn’t really cry much anywhere else during the movie but – hey, crying a lot when you’re fighting for your life makes you stronger.

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Without spoiling it all, the movie ends with flashbacks to all the warm moments we’ve shared with each other during this film. I mean, wow – we’ve really been through a lot together! It’s like you really know these girls (and their boobies). The final flashback fades out into the sound effect of a screaming eagle. Deep – really, kept me up at night.

Acting

What happens when you’re a movie producer, get shitfaced in a strip club and offer all the working girls to star in a movie? Answer: Blood Games.
Okay, sure – they’re not actually strippers, or probably aren’t, but most of them do carry that sort of “Just passed my prime, doing this to support my kid”-washed out feel with them. Most of them can’t act to save their lives, in fact they can’t even act to pretend to save their lives. Someone should’ve at least given some of the girls some basic training on how to run – yes, flailing arms, little steps and everything.

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There are a few people in the movie that understood at least some basic acting, including “Babe” (Laura Alberts), Coach and the main antagonists. Everyone else just sort of stumbles through their scenes. Being a cult movie, that’s not bad per se, it’s kind of expected. But I’m not going to lie to you, it’s not far passed amateur stage play performances for most of the movie.

Sound(track) & Special FX

The soundtrack is the common “synthesizer symphonies” we’ve come to know and love from cult film. Sure, a lot of it isn’t much better than Ross’ performance in that particular Friends-episode of him rediscovering his old love for synthesizers. But it makes do for the movie, it’s there when it needs to be but it doesn’t add an awful lot. It’s certainly no John Carpenter-quality synths, I can promise you that much.

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Special FX are hilarious, there clearly wasn’t a lot of budget so effects are minimal and mostly boil down to “a little stream of blood”, basic scratches and wounds to a downright awful scene in which a bad guy is thrown from a driving bus and lands in a ditch – all the while very obviously being a dummy. How do I know it’s a dummy? Well, for one they didn’t even really bother filling out the legs, yes – really. As “he” falls his pant legs are waving around and go flat once it hits the ground.

There is also the old school “fight dubbing” – where they add extra sound effects in order to make a (dull) fight scene more exciting. This is clearly visible in one particular fighting scene at a gas station, the men and women are brawling with loud grunts, wails and what not – while never moving their mouths in sync with the audio. Peculiar and funny. But cheap ultimately.

Also, I’ve never seen sudden fog rise up in a forest like in this movie. And I’ve seen John Carpenter’s The Fog!

Art-Direction

What Art-Direction? Alright, alright – it all looks pretty authentic but then again most of it plays in the woods. If you actually go to the woods, it’s hard not to make it look authentic because Mother Nature herself took care of it. The local town seems real and authentic too, as do the locals – but we could argue about our Baseball babes. They look like a “naughty calender” all the way through. Honestly, I kept waiting for a pizza guy to suddenly arrive, get naked and they all engage in the “pizza party” of our teenage dreams. Sadly though, that never happens. There’s no pizza. Anywhere.

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The bus is pretty nice, but it’s hard to compliment, really. All they did was hire a big coach and put the team’s name on the sides – but that’s about as good as it gets in the Art-Direction department!

Cult Rating

7,5/10 – Not bad, huh? Again, as always, we don’t rate “Cult” like we do normal movies. They’re just not the same thing and this goes for Blood Games too. In many ways this is just a prime example of exploitation movies of the 70’s and 80’s (the film was shot in 1989) and does so gloriously – but not with raw talent or creativity but with simple stereotypical qualities. It’s cheap, dirty and lame but funny and strangely entertaining regardless. You know what to expect from the movie as soon as it begins and it never gets any better – it holds no pretensions and makes no effort to really tell us anything. You wanted hot baseball babes being hunted down by hill billies? You got it!

Film Rating

4/10 – Ouch! Yes, I know that’s really low! But as a movie this is just heinous! There is nothing admirable, movie wise, about Blood Games. The plot is junk, the acting is severely sub par, the effects are terrible and there’s really nothing that connects it all together in a good way. They never manage to make us bond with any of the characters either – live or die it doesn’t really matter much, also because you’re probably going to be too busy sneaking peaks at butt cheeks and boobies.

The movie is driven solely by hotties under attack. That doesn’t make for a good movie, trust me.

Final Verdict

Okay, so what does that mean? Should you watch this movie? Well – what are you expecting to see? If you are expecting an interesting plot, engaging acting or even something remotely inspiring – pass. Really.

But if you just want to watch a crazy movie, if you are appreciative of cult and cheap exploitation movies – this will do fine. If you can feel that late 80’s and early 90’s mindset of the odd years of crazy rock music and where nobody really knew where they stood on anything, that is what this movie breathes. Why? Because the creators too, clearly really never knew where they stood on anything making this movie either. But that doesn’t mean it’s not entertaining – it is but not in good ways. It’s entertaining the bad way – like cult movies should.

How to Watch & After Thoughts

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If you are an 80’s or 90’s kid, put your favorite Guns ‘n Roses album on that day, wear that geeky ass, faded out shirt with the Care Bears on it and buy your old school bubble gum and drink cola straight from the bottle! Once ready, start the movie with pizza on your lap and crack open a six pack of beer – maybe you even have some left over pot you’ve been hiding from the pigs since that Metallica concert in November 1991? Do these things and you’re ready to have a good time watching this movie! If you can’t or don’t want to do any of these things… Well, it doesn’t have to be a bad time, but you’ll probably come out neutral – you watched a movie and it was sort of fun but not a smashing good time. Kind’ve like when you’d go watch a movie with your parents at the mall. You wanted to see the one with the killer robots but they made you see one your younger brother wanted and it had funny space aliens in it and a heart-warming plot. You know?

Again, this is not a bad cult movie but it’s definitely not one of the better ones – but it probably won’t disappoint you if you’re willing to accept that. The choice is yours.

Post Scriptum

albert-laura-driving-uniformDid you know the actress portraying “Babe” is an officially licensed bad ass? No really! Laura Albert, the actress, is in fact a long-time stunt woman! She’s been in countless series and movies, including Star Trek and many others that you will certainly know of.
Amongst her stunts ranks her ability as a precision driver, you know those sleek car commercials in which a whole group of cars drive in perfect synchronicity? Or they fit between two walls while doing ninety with just inches to spare? Those drivers are precision drivers and they’re hired for their amazing talent – these people don’t wreck a car unless they mean to. Laura Alberts is one of those people! Pretty bad ass, right?

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