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  • With the British media ramming the London Olympics down our throats in every conceivable way possible, I thought I'd escape the onslaught by watching Fatal Games, an eighties slasher flick where a hooded killer is impaling Olympic wannabes with a javelin.

    There's an immediate whiff of vintage cheddar about this film as we see the athletes doing their routines to an eighties theme tune that goes "Winning isn't everything, winning is the only thing" and I don't know about you, but I take great comfort from a slasher film when it includes a nice tune or two. We're introduced to our seven athletes/victims and assorted red herrings/possible killer.

    Fatal Games isn't full of imaginative kills. When we get done with all the crap banter and relationships and what not, the killer dispatches his victim with a javelin, and proceeds to do so throughout the film. He also hides the bodies, so there's plenty of head scratching 'where's such and such?' and stalking around the school. However, there's plenty of imagination injected into the stalking itself, as the killer's shadow is projected onto walls, or the killer is lit from the back, which livens things up a bit.

    The main 'livening things up' aspect of Fatal Games is the copious nudity shown through the first half of the film. Communal showers, shared saunas, massages, the whole lot is thrown out there to make sure you've got nothing to worry about. It keeps things going while the cast gets whittled down. Apart from that, it is your standard slasher stuff, with someone finding the bodies stashed away somewhere, to the final stalking of the remaining female around the school, etc etc.

    For an athletics-based slasher film, it's okay. Very similar to Graduation Day (which is better), but nowhere near the level of lunacy that is Pieces (which also had a swimming pool murder and a locker room murder).
  • At the Falcon Academy of Athletics, a crazed killer is using a well-aimed javelin to bump off the school's most promising young sportsmen and women.

    Given the wide range of sporting apparatus readily available to the lunatic in Fatal Games, it's a shame that the victims only ever meet their fate skewered on the sharpened point of a javelin: although it makes for a reasonably gruesome demise, the novelty soon wears off.

    Thankfully, the repetitive nature of the film's kills is easily offset by the excess of female nudity, which is shoe-horned into proceedings at every available opportunity: a character gets topless for her boyfriend, girls are regularly seen showering in the changing rooms, 'final girl' Annie (Lynn Banashek) enjoys a naked massage (but not as much as the masseur!), and, in the film's most gratuitous scene, a totally nude victim is chased all over the school by the maniac after being interrupted taking a sauna. All that nekkidness certainly helps to make matters a lot more enjoyable.

    Throw in an unscrupulous doctor plying the athletes with steroids and hormones, a coach having a lesbian affair with her student, a cool, lo-fi synth score and a lousy 'Eye of the Tiger'-style theme song (Take It To The Limit), plus a delightfully bonkers motive for the killer, and what you have is a reasonably entertaining piece of '80s slasher silliness. I may be in the minority, but I found it a lot more fun than Graduation Day, that other '80s slasher featuring high-school athletes.

    6.5 out of 10, rounded up to 7 for IMDb.
  • Tikkin22 March 2006
    Fatal Games is a pretty standard slasher that held my attention throughout and didn't get boring. It's nothing spectacular or unique, but it's quite fun and also gives a nice insight into the life of an athlete. There are plenty of slasher clichés present such as plenty of T&A. There is a moment at the beginning that made me laugh out loud: the athletes are all joking around and throwing food. They throw a sausage at a girl and it lands on top of her skirt. The deaths are OK, but nothing particularly gory. There is one death that looks surprisingly realistic. You are also kept guessing as to who the killer is throughout - I didn't guess and I'm usually good at figuring these things out. When the killer is revealed we get a nice little twist, but I won't spoil it for you.

    Watch this if you're a fan of slashers - it's not the best, but it's worth a look. Also recommended if you like this is a similarly themed slasher film called Aerobicide.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    OK this movie may not win any awards for filmaking or acting, but it's fun none the less. I picked this movie up in a pound shop, and I was quite pleased with the result.

    It says on the cover that A schizophrenic sex-change javelin with a murderous will to win, so that could be any one of the cast. The movie is set at a sports academy where a group of teens winning teens ready for the National championship are getting picked off one by one each murdered the same way with a javelin by an unknown hooded killer.

    This isn't the best slasher movie but it's still OK, the acting isn't that bad, but isn't that great either, until the final scene with the killer and the final girl. There are some enjoyable scenes like the killer chasing the naked girl through the corridors of the school and where the killer hits that boy with the javelin while standing on the roof, the girl getting hit with a javelin in the swimming pool is also quite effective as well. But the best has to be where the killer gets it in the end, he/she gets pushed off the scaffolding and lands on the trophy great ending.
  • zeppo-216 March 2006
    Take some characters that look like they came out of the 'Fame' TV series, add a script ripped off from countless 'Friday the 13th' and 'Halloween' clones, throw in a Dario Argento type music theme from 'Demons 2' and you have the ideal makings of a grade B straight to video or in this case, DVD film.

    I too, bought this from a pound shop in the UK and that's about what it's worth. No more, no less. For 90 minutes of brainless fun, it's OK and quite enjoyable if you don't expect too much. And also can amuse oneself by spotting all the trappings of the 1980's, leg warmers, BIG hair and slang, i.e. 'making out, you're out of your gourd,'etc.

    No use trying to detect who the mystery killer is as the rhyme and reason for it is so far off the logic scale as to be unreadable! Even for slasher films, this one is mega-dumb and just shoe-horned into the plot in the final moments with a handy discarded newspaper with a convenient, 'this explains everything,' revelation.

    For lovers of kitsch horror movies only.
  • ...Fatal Games would be their campy offspring!

    Students attending an athlete academy are getting speared by a mad javelin thrower!

    Other than the clever choice of weapon, Fatal Games doesn't add anything new to the slasher genre. It follows a very routine plot, which at times becomes quite repetitious and the cast is pretty weak. It has a completely dated 80's style - the cast even wears leg warmers! The javelin murders (hah, good alternate title!) are fairly gore-free and I dare say darkly funny at times. The revelation of the killer's identity is surprising though the motive is pretty silly. There's also plenty of female nudity on display though, if that's how you get your kicks.

    Over all, clichés and cheese abound but it's still not the worst of its kind.

    * 1/2 out of ****
  • Phroggy25 March 1999
    I saw this one at the Bruxelles film festival (memories, memories.) and the finale had everybody laughing out loud. But. the rest is just boring slasher stuff without anything that makes a good movie. Good if you want some noise in the background and raises your eyes when you hear a scream. Otherwise, skip it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Jason's machete, Freddy's glove, Michael's butcher knife, Leatherface's chainsaw...why not a killer with a javelin? They're so practical!

    This movie is so dead-serious and yet feels like a parody. A soft-core porn parody. And it's pretty hilarious, though I seriously doubt anyone involved meant it to be that way.

    My favorite example of "comedy" is two long shots in two separate locker rooms. The males are running around in whitey-tighties, including showering in them and then the film ventures into the female locker room where all the girls are completely nude, front, back and in almost every shot. Sure, I know I'm not the demographic for this film, but with careful editing, you could've given the illusion of the males naked without showing anything. It was just excuse #91 of showing fully naked chicks.

    I digress, I just finished this and the ending had the obligatory killer explaining his/her motives to the final girl...and I still don't know why the killer did all that killing. But, at least it's hilarious whenever the killer's onscreen: we just see this shadow of the killer with the javelin posed to be thrown at the victims and some crazy score. It's fantastic cheese.

    But...not as humorous as when they show the javelin travel through the air at the students. I imagine those scenes must be seen by someone high. Most...laughs...ever.

    Basically, there's an Olympic training academy run by four red herrings and students are getting, ah-hem, picked off one at a time. Oh, and they're being legally prescribed steroids because 1980s. Not sure if that's relevant because I still don't know the motives of JK, or Javelin Killer.

    And no, it's seriously not worth my time to go back and rewatch the ending. I really don't care that much. The movie was extremely hard to watch anyways: the budget was so low, they couldn't afford the electricity to keep the lights on for more than half the film.

    I award this movie one extra star for the unintentional comedy and I could see the actors, despite their terrible portrayals and dialogue, really trying. They did put their heart into it. But, more so for the downright, laugh-out-loud scenes.


    Final thoughts: I don't recall how exactly I learned of this movie - it was just a few days ago I first ever heard of this 1984 slasher film. But, what made me want to see it was the back cover of the VHS which read: "...Far too many people at the academy have motives. Dr. Jordan with his illegal use of drugs in training. Overly-demanding Coach Webber. Lesbian Coach Drew. Therapist Diane Paine, a maternal figure who takes her work into the bedroom..."

    Wait. Hold up, 1984. You are seriously lumping in a lesbian into that suspect bunch? And with nothing attached, just "Lesbian Coach Drew"? It's stated that one of the actresses who played a lesbian character took a filming break along with everyone else and came back to the shoot changed into a Born Again Christian and refused to kiss another woman, even for the sake of acting. Huh. Maybe we should've changed "Lesbian..." to "A Born Again Christian student" as a suspect. To me, that's just as offensive.
  • Yet another slasher movie from the 80's. This one is set in a sports academy and has the novelty of the killer using a somewhat unorthodox weapon - a javelin. But that novelty wears off after a while. There is not much suspense, no real clues to the "mystery" part, and the ending - especially the motivation of the killer - is absurd. There is also a rather laughable scene where the killer enters a pool in full scuba gear, javelin in hand, and his/her soon-to-be-victim fails to notice anything and keeps on swimming! On the plus side, there is ample nudity, a few well-done gore effects, the two main girls are cute, and most of the character interactions sound genuine. Enough good points to get this movie 4 stars out of 10.
  • "Fatal Games" is standard slasher fluff only with a lower-than-usual production value. It's about a killer wielding a javelin who begins picking off the athletes at the Falcon Academy of Athletics one by one.

    Unfortunately, the low budget shines through on most occasions. The supposed "Academy" is obviously just some high school, and the acting is truly terrible. Slasher movies aren't known to have good scripts and excellent acting, but contrary to popular belief most of them were actually very well made with healthy budgets. "Fatal Games" obviously was not, which is probably the reason it never got a theatrical release. Of course the only exception is Sally Kirkland, an underrated actress who was nominated for an Oscar in 1987 but here has little to do.

    Another thing that sets "Fatal Games" apart from the other slashers in terms of quality is the sleaziness. The film has little gore, but TONS of nudity. I think almost every female cast member strips down to the bare at one point. (Though somewhat hilariously, in a desperate attempt not to show ANY male nudity, the guys wear jock straps while taking their showers!)

    That said and done, "Fatal Games" is actually minor fun if you catch it in the right mood. It's certainly better than junk like "Graduation Day" (which this film is often compared to since both slasher films have sports themes) There are plenty of cheesy moments -- most of the highlights occurring during the last twenty minutes when the killer is revealed. Obviously I wouldn't dream of giving it away but I will say that he/she has one of the dumbest, most unbelievable motives EVER!!!

    Oh, and there's also a cool theme song! :)
  • Low-keyed 80's slasher with one tiny little difference compared to the rest of them. The irritating victims all go to a school for sport athletes instead to an ordinary high school. Hardly original, is it? Whilst the girls and boys preparing for the Olympics and the doctors pump them full of steroids, some demented loser is practicing his/her javelin techniques on student targets. It's a rather interesting modus operandi for an 80's killer, resulting in some nicely gory – albeit very cheesy – sequences. I don't know whether you're meant to guess along for the killer's identity, because the given clues are lame and very implausible, but it's a fun enough movie without intellectual red herrings and numerous plot twists. I was in an undemanding mood today, anyway! The humor doesn't really work, there's absolutely no tension or atmosphere and the acting performances are – as to be expected – pretty damn terrible. Oh well, at least "Olympic Nightmare" is never really boring and, since athletes need to take showers regularly, there's also quite a lot of gratuitous nudity. The denouement is a real hoot!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The Killing Touch. Olympic Nightmare. These are both great names, but they want with Fatal Games. If you watch this movie and think, is this Graduation Day, good news. You are not alone. Amazingly, this movie - a slasher from the late era of the genre - has never been released on DVD or blu ray. Give it time - everything is getting rediscovered these days.

    The seven member gymnastics team of the Falcon Academy of Athletics could make the nationals, but there's someone wearing a black tracksuit that is killing everyone with a javelin.

    This movie has plenty of interesting folks - Sean Masterson (who wrote for nearly every show Drew Carey has worked on), Michael O'Leary (Dr. Rick Bauer on Guiding Light), stuntwoman Spice Williams-Crosby, Sally Kirkland (who was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar and won the Best Actress Golden Globe for Anna) and short moments of Brinke Stevens and Linnea Quigley.

    It was created by two children of famous people. Writer Christopher Mankiewicz is the son of writer/director Joseph L. Mankiewicz and actress Rose Stradner. And Rafael Bunuel is the son of Luis Bunuel. Yes, the sons of the men who created All About Eve and Un Chien Andalou came together to create a slasher that has all of the acting power of a porn without the payoff of hardcore sex.

    Also, if you recognize the setting, it was also the same high school used for Jawbreaker, Los Angeles' University High School.
  • Fatal Games is a fun and watchable slasher! The kills are decent, the atmosphere is creepy, and the dark synth will grab your attention! I recommend this film to anyone that appreciates the simplicity of slasher cinema.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ***SPOILERS*** The competition is hot and heavy to makes the National Finals for the 1984 summer Olympics in L.A with a serial murder out to knock off the finalists, with a javelin throw, complicating things even more. Were made to feel that the killer is a disgruntled student who just didn't make the cut, to be in the finals, but the truth is far more crazier then that. And in the final moments of the film the truth is far more easier to understand especially if you followed the latest news about 1976 decathlon gold medalist Bruce Jenner: Which is in reverse of what Jenner is now going or putting himself through!

    It seems that all the top athletes at Folcon High are being knocked off by this black hooded psycho who hides their bodies in the schools locker room. The guy goes so far as laying in wait underwater in the school's swimming pool,fully dressed in a scuba outfit, to spear with his javelin his latest victim. It's when he messes up by letting Annie, Lynn Banashek,survive by not hitting her with his javelin in a major organ that we finally get to know just who the killer is and what his motives are. That by being introduced to a wounded Annie lying on a stretcher in the hospital ward a newspaper headline that he's-The killer-the major subject in!

    ***SPOILERS*** Lots of T&A but very little gore makes "Fatal Games" hard to be taken seriously as a slasher movie. Were even shown the students given steroids to improve their performance by the school principle Dr. Jordine, Michael Elliot,as if he were handing out candy. As we were to see Dr. Jodine was from the school of winning at any price even if it cost the health or lives of his students. With the killer now exposed or exposing him or herself it's Annie wounded from the killer's javelin spear now on the run for her life. The killer who's insane and murderous anger is that he was disqualified in winning a gold medal at at track & field event some 10 years ago in the end finally got it, the gold medal, in the high jump contest with a flying from 100 feet up dismount: Or a perfect 10!
  • dagonseve23 January 2011
    If you've been following my reviews thus far (in particular this long, on-going 80s Slasher review series), you may start calling your own sanity into question – or mine for that matter – when considering such a long list of titles that fall under the scope of this infamous sub- genre. "Oh what, dear Corpse Rot, do you have in store for us this fine winter's eve?" you may beseech, anxious to partake in a Slasher sequenza. Allow the maestro to conduct your attention to another time- honored vintage production simply known as 'Fatal Games'.

    Featured in this routine installment are the athletes of Falcon Academy of Athletics, eager to test their physical prowess among other potential young Olympians in the US Regional Competitions. The plot tightens its grip when centering on a clique of boys and girls that qualify for the Nationals. But alas! Someone is envious of the aforementioned talent and taking matters into their own hands; quietly railroading the operation by killing each individual with a javelin. Could it be Coach Webber…a man still bitter about his athletic shortcomings? Or is it Joe, the star javelin thrower who's been exhibiting signs of frustration and a volatile temperament against the staff?

    Fatal Games, Olympic Nightmare, The Killing Touch - whatever title you choose to refer to this after-school-special-sissy are all acceptable working titles. What I find interesting is that the actors and actresses chosen must've surely been selected solely based on their gymnastic abilities. The outstanding qualities of a tragedian were assuredly an after-thought. Adding another hindrance to this negative value is a script that hones too closely on family values, relationship quarrels, and the difficult lifestyle of a dedicated athlete; a ridiculous notion to consider when expecting a Slasher film. I wouldn't be too surprised to learn that after the film's completion, the authority figures who were unfortunate enough to lead this conquest failed to address the absence of any decent horror-related material. "Oh! Our mistake Sir! I thought the output of all our labor was for the good of the community and finely tuned moralistic values, certainly not that of a Slasher entry!" they muttered as armed security ushered them out of the building.

    Falling in line with other Slashers we're tossed a few distractions that attempt to build interest in identifying the killer; really, at this point, such an expression should receive the same depth and attention as a circle. But in keeping my smart-alec comments to a minimum, this sprinkling of herrings are mere salt grains to a tabletop; lightly frosted, if you will, and too convenient to be true. When the final reveal is thrust hitherto, it's handled terribly and there's no logical explanation for the motive. The choice to pin it on "mysterious killer A" with no build-up or evidence renders options B, C, and D pointless and you'll be left wondering why they distracted you with those individuals in the first place. I challenge anyone to watch this film and make an accurate prediction, 100%, of what'll happen during the final moments...because quite honestly, with such little evidence, I can't see how it's possible. "Ah, forget all of that, it'll just be this person anyway...they'll never guess this."

    Much to the contrary of a film like 1983's Sleepaway Camp in which the viewer has some notion of the outcome and an inkling of what to expect, Fatal Games just tosses the idea straight into your lap like a scared animal, thrashing about and clawing your person with reckless abandon. If you're totally lost, don't worry - the camera will quickly pan to a shot of a newspaper article that just happens to be lying face up, on the ground, revealing all of the details. "We'll just throw this newspaper on the ground featuring an article outlining all of the necessary details, and hell, why not, the motive of the killer too. Yea, that sounds like it should do just fine."

    Viewers may be treated to a period of reprieve when witnessing the director of Fatal Games, Michael Elliot, acting out the role of Dr. Jordine – the head physician that's strictly adhering to a program that focuses on the use of anabolic steroids. Why should we care about this bit of commentary? There's absolutely NO use for it. Especially when an utterance of Russian Olympians juicing up is spouted forth; assuming that Slasher audiences would give one iota of a cow's tail to be outraged over steroid use and the increasing media coverage centering around the Olympics in the 1980s. In what can only be described as a great civic duty, a close friend or a sponsor from an AA organization must have stopped Michael Elliot from making another film after the release of Fatal Games in 1984. A man in a lobster suit could've met him on a sidewalk one late afternoon and politely expressed his opposition to another title; a pleasant request to quit the 'biz. Regardless of how it happened, the world can rest on its laurels and avoid sleep deprivation therapy.

    I'm sure you didn't need me to tell you about the failure that encompasses Fatal Games. A flash of the title and a quick glance at the box art will cement your opinion almost instantly. That is to say, if you heed my warning! I can speak with confidence in assuring you that no exact replica of this premise is floating around in circulation. I can say, however, that 1981's Graduation Day is closely resemblant in that they both utilize a "sports" angle. If you enjoy reveling in failed attempts at horror you may want to catch a viewing of this one. This slop-house feature, celebrating its 27th year of existence, really only fits the needs of a fanatic with a desire insatiable; plagued by that vicious disease known as completism.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This 1984 horror film features a group of Olympic athletes getting slaughtered by a hooded killer who wears a sweat-suit and uses a Javelin as the weapon of choice. Sally Kirkland is featured as physical therapist, Diane. What can I say about this film? It starts off decent, but gets kind of boring after. The film is also very dark in many scenes, the acting is bad and the deaths are basically the same. The only good things are the nudity and some of the creepy music when the killer lurks about, but other than that this is a poor flick. I still recommend viewing it at least once if you're a fan of slasher/horror flicks.
  • Scarecrow-8820 November 2009
    Warning: Spoilers
    A gymnastics school, Massachusettes Falcon Academy of Athletics, is haunted by a psychopath. You can see how athletics is of great importance to the school as a whole. The Nationals on the horizon offer Olympics hopes. The faculty aren't fond of each other and we soon learn that the physician(..and his nurse, who objects to his decision to up the dosage) in charge of the kids is giving them improper doses of drugs to reinforce their athletic abilities despite the possible criminal ramifications which could result if caught in the act. The coaching staff come under fire when their students begin vanishing, medal winners whose potential of bringing the school a reputation diminish with each murder.

    Killer, in black jump suit and hoody, thrusts his/her javelin all the way through the victims, attacking each when they are practicing alone, mostly at night after hours. We see, in one instance, where a girl is saved while swim-training, because her boyfriend shows up in the nick of time(..though, we see later what happens when he isn't there to rescue her due to an injury he suffers while training). The javelin is certainly an interesting weapon of choice and is put to good use in this one.

    Lynn Banashek is Annie Rivers , a fine gymnast whose grades outside of the academy are faltering due to her commitment to athletics. Juggling both is a problem and her father wishes for her to dedicate herself to education because gymnastics won't last for a career. You know Diane is the "final girl" because she's the most established character of the cast along with being the most virginal and innocent. Annie is an example of

    the negative reaction to "medication" given to her, side-effects of the steroids(stomach spasms) they've been taking at the insistence of their coaches. Sally Kirkland has a lucrative role as the nurse who attends to the athletes when they suffer bumps, bruises, injuries, etc.

    Swimming coach and her female student lover(..although, their relationship isn't explicitly presented which is a crying shame). Physical therapist whose hand massage of Diane goes a little too far into an "inappropriate region". Sue Ellen running for her life naked throughout the empty halls of the school, the killer interrupting her sauna rest. Naked girls in the showers. If it weren't for these gratuitous elements(..and the violence), Fatal Games would be an after-school special dealing with young athletes(..and the coaching staff as well) and the numerous challenges that accompany competing for the Olympics, hoping to realize that dream. The performances could be horrendous because the cast was chosen for their athletic abilities, than acting prowess. The reasons for the murders is a doozy! It's quite a psycho-sexual twist.
  • bevo-1367830 March 2020
    Great drama/sports/murder mystery/Rom com. I like the bit with the javelin
  • Fatal Games is one of those typical eighties slashers that hasn't got any proper release upon this writing. It's even hard to track it down on VHS. But don't be bothered because it's not really worth searching unless you are collecting those old school horrors.

    It's Michael Elliot's only attempt to direct a movie, in fact, it's the only thing he did in the scene except for screenplay revision of To Kill A Stranger (1987). The story itself is weak, you just have a mad javelin thrower killing those who wants to go to the Olympics. The killings are very lame and not interesting in any kind because for a movie made in the heydays of horror and especially the slashers it doesn't have almost any red stuff in it. What it do has is a lot of female nudity which surprised me for this production.

    Some parts are okay but most of it is rather boring and the end scene is way too long and the final is to long too.

    We do have Sally Kirkland (Diane Pain) who is still in the scene and went to bigger productions like JFK (1991) and Bruce Almighty (2003). The second lead Lynn Banashek (Annie) only appeared in 2 flicks but all other actors made it into the world of flicks and that makes for some this VHS worth searching.

    I admit that it was rather cheesy, on part of the killings, that sometimes it even made me laugh or even say, common, kill the b*tch, like the swimming and diver part. As I stated earlier, only for the geeks of B-slasher flicks....

    Gore 0/5 Nudity 2/5 Effects 0/5 Story 2/5 Comedy 0/5
  • swag_bag6926 August 2014
    Warning: Spoilers
    I finished Watching Fatal games just over 4 hours ago and i found it to be a decent slasher movie, with a couple kills and a weird twist at the end.

    Basically these teenager athletes are training for their chance to make it to the Olympcs, but someone with a javelin thinks otherwise.

    This movie is another Standard 80S slasher movies, full if nudity, kills, and decent- to bad acting. In total there are 5 kills in this movie with two of them being pretty good kills, and the other three being just standard kills.

    I say It's worth a watch.. but that's about it.