Saturday, 28 January 2012

5 Movie with High Stakes Games

Everybody loves games, be it on a board, on a show or even on the big screen, people love a good game when the stakes are high,  especially when someones life is on the line. These movies explore the lengths that man will go to survive.  Whether it be a futuristic setting, where a totalitarian government is using him for sport or in the day to day world, when bad investments, creditors and bad choices have brought you down to a point where you have no where else to turn.

Throughout the years, there have been tons of titles made but these are a few of my favourites.

 5. The Running Man (1987) - Ben Richards is wrongly accused of massacring innocent civilians.  He is sent to prison and escapes, only to handed back to the authorities by one his fellow escapees.  The government hands him over to an execution style gauntlet game show called The Running Man.  If Ben Richards can get through the gauntlet and elude his stalkers than freedom is once again his.  I loved this movie when I was a kid because it had everything, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse "The Body" Venture and it even had Richard Dawson to host the game and be the main bad guy.  In this film, Schwarzenegger did what he did best in the 80's, kicked ass and delivered some of the best one liners.  

4. Death Race 2000 (1975) -  David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone star in this Roger Corman classic about a government sanctioned cross country car race, where you need to kill pedestrians to earn points.   This is such a fun movie to watch, Sylvester Stallone is awesome as the villianous "Machine Gun" Joe Viterbo trying to beat the people's champion Frankenstein (David Carradine).  A lot of car explosions, tons of people getting run over and it's all done with a humour that is .

3. Battle Royal (200) - A Japanese class of 9th graders are taken to an island, each is given a weapon and told that after three days there will be one winner remaining.  I love this movie and think it's brilliant for so many reasons.  For instance, when each kid is issued a bag with rations and a weapon, some of these weapons are more useful, like the guns and knives, than the others, like a fork or a paper fan.  It's exciting to watch the school clics turn on each other and see how fragile friendships really are during extreme situations.  This has everything, great story, good acting and tons of violence.  A must see for anybody.

2. 13 Tzameti (2005) - A young impoverished immigrant, steals an envelope from a dead client of his and follows the mysterious instructions that could lead him to a game that could win him a fortune.  Unwittingly, it leads him to a world of rich men who gamble for high stakes in an underground Russian roulette game.  Now, he must compete or die. This movie is so crazy, the tension during the roulette matches is almost unbearable.  

1. Red Room (1999) - 4 people, an older couple, a young woman and a teenage girl have entered a contest to win a million dollars.  They are given a set of 4 cards, 3 are numbered and one has a king on it.  If you have the king card, it is your turn to tell the other people what to do and try to make them quit the game.  The last person willing to play wins a million dollars.  This movie is shot on video and it's only 68 minutes but, wow is it ever fucked up.  They contestants start by playing these harmless games and then it degenerates into a sick, sick mess.  I wouldn't watch this if I was faint of heart, definitely not one for the kids.

These films aren't for everybody and depict some extraordinary circumstances that hopefully you and I will never encounter.  Some will make you wince and turn away at the stark reality of a no win situation while others are fun and you can see the director winking at you behind all the gore and carnage. Whatever the case may be, these films are great example of man struggling to survive.

P.S - I had to laugh when I heard there is a Battleship movie coming out, who knows it could be good, I still love watching Clue.


  1. How do I get a hold of that "Red Room" movie? That looks incredible.

    1. It was totally accidental. I was in a video store that I frequented, when there were video stores and just looking for something to watch that I hadn't seen.I just grabbed it because it looked crappy and thought it would be funny. It's pretty crazy.