Fatal Games (1984)
Fatal Games, a dismal, late-entry slasher with a sports theme (not unlike the dreary Graduation Day) is a perfect example of why this genre quickly flamed out in the mid-1980's. The plot is boring, the characters are beyond moronic, there are no scares or suspense and the ending is a bizarre howler that makes one wonder whether all of this junk was meant to be taken as a comedy.
We begin our journey at the Falcon Academy of Athletics where a bevy of beauticious teens (aren't all teenage athletes drop dead gorgeous?) are all vying for spots in the U.S. Nationals, and possibly the Olympics. The hopefuls are swimmers, gymnasts and track stars who must've been hired strictly for their combination of good looks and athletic talent...acting ability certainly wasn't the top priority.
Other cast members include the film's director, Michael Elliot, as a sketchy doctor who keeps pumping up the athletes with steroids, and Sally Kirkland, as a sports therapist. For anyone who wasn't surprised at Kirkland's Best Actress Oscar nomination a mere 3 years later, just watch this and you'll understand.
Anyway, our killer pops up and chases these brain-dead teens (who are mostly female, are almost always naked, and can never figure out what a bad idea it is to spend time in the sauna after hours), while wearing a windbreaker and hood and wielding a sharp javelin on which to impale them. This scene is played out again and again until the killer's identity is revealed. I wouldn't dream of spoiling it for you, but lets just say that a combination of experimental steroids, along with the stresses of being transgendered, is enough to set off one's jealously homicidal proclivities, apparently. The utter bizarreness of this ending, despite being clumsily telegraphed throughout the movie, is the only thing that saves Fatal Games from being a total washout. Yeah, it's bad, but at least it isn't profoundly boring...or at least it isn't in the film's final passages.
Fatal Games is a justifiably forgotten bit of mad slasher trash that really should stay in obscurity where it belongs. There's nothing here that isn't on offer in a hundred other like-minded movies, other better like-minded movies that have at least a micron of talent in evidence either in front of or behind the camera. This is for Sally Kirkland fanatics only...if they even exist.