SLASHER MONTH: Tag: The Assassination Game (1982)

Alright, this isn’t a traditional slasher. But hey — it was written and directed by one of the people who was there was the slasher boom got started, Nick Castle.

Also known as Kiss Me, Kill Me and Everybody Gets It in the End, this movie starts by taking a page out of The 10th Victim, as a group of college kids play secret agent with dart guns in a LARP game where two people are assigned to take one another out. Loren Gersh (Bruce Abbott, Re-Animator) is the best player there is, killing everybody before they get close to him. However, when an inexperienced player drops his gun when Gersh gets the drop on him. he finally loses the game. He snaps and kills his opponent for real. And that’s where Tag: The Assassination Game really begins.

He’s going up against Susan Swayze (Linda Hamilton, who married Abbott soon after this movie finished) to see who can be the last killer left alive. However, she’s unaware that he’s using real weapons. She’s helped by school reporter Alex Marsh (Robert Carradine, who would star in Revenge of the Nerds two years later with Anthony Edwards, who is in another movie kinda just like this called Gotcha).

This is one of the few non-Police Academy movies I can think of that stars Michael Winslow, who also has a bodyguard in it that’s played by none other than Forest Whittaker. KROQ DJ Frazer Smith — who was one of the announcers on WTBS’ Night Tracks when music videos took over pop culture — is in this, as is Kristine DeBell, who was A.L. in Meatballs and appears in all of David DeCoteau’s films, including A Talking Cat!?! 

The more raincoater audience among you may also notice Jack Baker, who went from the kids’ show Wonderbug to showing up in all manner of adult fare like the Dark Brothers New Wave Hookers (both one and two!), White Bunbusters and Let Me Tell Ya ‘Bout White Chicks. Ironically, he’s the kid who gets pushed out of the way to get cucked by Big Jim Slade in The Kentucky Fried Movie.

And if you’re wondering, is that the Rylan technician from Castle’s other movie The Last Starfighter as one of the game players, you have an eagle eye. That’s his wife, Charlene Nelson.

So how is this a slasher? Just take a look at it. There are stalking scenes and chases through student dorms. Sure, it starts like a James Bond movie and ends up a romantic comedy, but there are some decent moments.

You can watch this on YouTube. Synapse is releasing this on blu ray soon and we’ll update this post when it’s released.

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