The Killing Game (1988)

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The Killing Game (1988) Poster

A suave hit man becomes paranoid when he discovers blackmailers have photographed his latest murders.

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5 October 2010 | rsoonsa
| Earnest Performance By Chard Hayward Is Not Enough To Enable Film To Beat Par For Its Sort.
When comparing this film with others produced through the defunct and generally unlamented PM Entertainment, a viewer's attention will be arrested by the inclusion of only a bare minimum of footage from PM's customary emphasis upon explosions, car chases, and naked women, but there will be precious little of interest provided as substitute through the work's ragged narrative flow to prevent its being submerged within the Instantly Forgotten category of movies. Max Gilton (Chard Hayward) is, on the face of it, a reasonably well regarded proprietor/operator of a casino in Southern California's Orange County, where the picture was shot, but for some not revealed reason he has utilised a great portion of his time to establish himself with an additional vocation: assassin for hire, and is clearly successful at that grim trade, until a situation arises that signifies he may be targeted for a blackmailing plot. While in the midst of fulfilling a murder contract, Max is clandestinely photographed, and shortly after the baleful deed is accomplished, glossies of the homicide are delivered to him through the mail. He then must endure torment while attempting to discover who the photographer might be and for what purpose the pictures were sent to him, as there was no message included within the envelope. Additionally during this time, he is the subject of an overzealous investigation by police detectives relative to another possible murder that apparently was not the work of Gilton. Max journeys to Las Vegas, believing that his potential blackmailer is to be found there and the film's action accelerates. Unfortunately, the storyline prior to this has proved to be an intolerably slow-moving and indigestible blend of weakly composed melodramatic trifles, along with a courseless narrative and a plainly scant amount of preparation required to propel a scenario that is crippled from its outset by its inattention to logic. Filmed with video tape, and directly marketed for home rental, the film offers nothing for which it can be recommended, although one should take into consideration its low budget; nonetheless, a viewer must also consider flaccid and heavy-handed direction that is not mindful of the importance of effective pacing. The result is a goulash of unpleasant nonsense, branded by a failure at development of character interplay, bizarre depiction of police procedures, and a consistently unclear rationale for motivations of the actions by the principals. When one adds a musical score that often overwhelms dialogue, and erratic editing, it becomes evident that the piece is sinking to the low level plumbed by most PM Entertainment productions. Playing is generally adequate, despite being but loosely led from the director's chair, Hayward earning the acting laurels for his attempt to create his role. Easily the most outlandish portion of the movie has a group of jazz oriented dancers ostensibly rehearsing for some type of Las Vegas spectacle, although a viewer can not really know this, for these lengthy and absurdly choreographed fragments are not integrated into the storyline, typical of the untidy construction of this best-to-be-shunned affair.

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