Tenement (1985)

One of the few movies to be rated X for just plain violence, Tenement reminds me of exactly why I love Roberta Findlay. I’m not expecting high art. I’m expecting sheer spectacle and entertainment, which this movie overdelivers.

Also known as Game of Survival and Slaughter in the South Bronx, this movie is another that didn’t need a budget, just a Bronx high rise and a cast willing to do whatever it takes to make the movie, which involves rampant, bloody and over the top destruction of human beings.

A gang starts making their way from floor to floor of the building, acting like they’re the bad guys in a John Carpenter-style defend our home turf film. Imagine of the sad sacks in Death Wish 3 didn’t have Paul Kersey on their side to shoot people for stealing his camera.

Writers Joel Bender (Gas Pump Girls) and Rick Marx (Wanda Whips Wall StreetWarrior QueenGorDoom Asylum) bring the sleaze, Findlay brings the sleaze, the actors bring the sleaze, man, everyone is on their highest volume and it just works.

The poster for this is by John Fasano, who was all over the place when it came to talent. In addition to art directing the magazines Muscle and Beauty, Race Car & Driver, Wrestling Power and OUI, he rewrote and appeared in Findlay’s Nightmare Sisters, directed Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare and Black Roses, and wrote  and script doctored movies like Another 48 Hrs.TombstoneColor of Night and the Brian Trenchard-Smith directed Megiddo: The Omega Code 2.

Findlay has referred to this movie as a revisualization of her childhood, which is beyond wild. Man, Findlay is something else, doing everything from working in adult as a cinematographer under the name Robert Norman (she worked on CJ Laing’s ‘Sweet Punkin’ I Love You…. which she also wrote), photographed Shriek of the Mutilated and Invasion of the Blood Farmers (using the name Frederick Douglass), acted in several films as Anna Riva, provided Claudia Jennings’ voice in The Touch of Her Flesh and even composed music as Harold Hindgrind and the Cosmic Seven and Robin Aden. She rivals Aristide Massaccesi for alternate names!

You can watch this on YouTube courtesy of the great people at Blechbuster Video.

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