SLASHER MONTH: Blood Games (1990)

Israeli director Tanya Rosenberg only made one movie and this is it. And that’s a shame because I haven’t seen a movie that can somehow combine the roughest moments of 70s exploitation with female characters that are given plenty of agency and personalities that are explored more than their bodies. I mean, yes, it’s scummy as it gets, but it also surprises you at every turn.

Babe & The Ball Girls — Babe (Laura Albert who went from sexy scenes in movies like Angel III and Dr. Alien to the stunt work she still does today and oh man, I can’t forget that she’s in Stephen Sayadian’s Dr. Caligari), Donna (Lee Benton), Wanda (Rhyve Sawyer), Stony (Julie Hall), Louise (Paula Manga), Connie (Sabrina Hills), Ingrid (Randi Randolph), Shorty (Sonjia Redo) and Mickey (Lisa Zambrano) — have been brought to this backwater swamp by Mino Collins (Ken Carpenter) to play against his son’s softball team. Despite the guys getting physical and actually even breaking Stony’s nose, the girls easily defeat them and leave a few of them with aching balls. Their coach and manager Midnight (Ross Hagen) wants to get them out of town, but Collins isn’t paying up and his son Roy (Gregory Scott Cummins) recovers from getting a softball to the ball bag by trying to assault Mickey and Connie. Midnight saves them and gets stabbed for his troubles; the rednecks chase the bus and half the girls want to fight back and the others want to run.

Things don’t go so well. This is a dark film that somehow combines Deliverance with A League of Their Own and who knew that could even be a thing? It also has George “Buck” Flower sneaking into the locker room of the ladies and getting pummeled while wearing a hat that says “The check is in the mail.”

Writers Craig Clyde and James L. Hennessy also wrote China O’Brien 2 before this, so you know they know direct-to-video pacing. They were joined by writer Jim Makichuk, the very same person who directed, wrote and produced Ghostkeeper.

This is a movie that delivers slow-motion death on every side in this war, women in barely there outfits playing softball for money and a crossbow.

When I grew up, one of the biggest events in my hometown was when a Globetrotters-like softball team called The King and His Heart came and played against our hometown’s best softball players. Led by Myrle Vernon King, there only had a pitcher — of course that was Myrle — a catcher, a fast baseman and a shortstop against full teams. When asked why his team only had four members, Myrle would sometimes say that they needed someone to get on every base and still hit, but if he was feeling cocky, he’d say that no team could take on his pitching so thought that he should just reduce the roster to just himself. He may have been right, as during a February 18, 1967 charity game, Myrle struck out Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Brooks Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Maury Wills and Harmon Killebrew in order.

It’s so odd because this movie is erotic and exploitative yet it doesn’t make you feel bad about it. It helps when the women kill the men, doesn’t it?

You can get this from Vinegar Syndrome or watch this on Tubi.

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