Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Fatal Games, Violent Opposition to Title IX

In the 1980s, women's athletic programs at colleges were second fiddle to male athletics.  To counter this injustice, Title IX would eventually be enforced.  This federal law guaranteed female teams would receive equal funding than the male teams (football was excepted from this rule).  Opposition to this step of equality, or perhaps unnecessary government intrusion, could have taken a couple of different avenues.  First: Mobilize critics of Title IX, lobby congress, run expensive ads on TV, and change hearts and minds one by one.  This strategy would have been time consuming and expensive. A less expensive option: Stalk nubile female athletes, follow them into the shower or steam-bath, wait for them to strip, then chase them all wet and nude through hallways and skewer them with a javelin. Today we take a peek at 1984's "Fatal Games."
Really great looking athletes at sports academy are headed to Olympic try-outs. Seven athletes continue to work hard, but some fiend with a javelin seems to be working just a bit harder.  The lovely swimmer, Nancy (Melissa Prophet) will be the first damsel to fall as she is skewered in the weight room.  Sue Allen (Angela Bennett) is next and she will be slaughtered as she is chased from the steam-bath, naked and wet, through the halls and finally impaled.  Who is doing this?  Suspects galore are introduced to us.  The beautiful swim coach (Spice Williams-Crosby) is upset her sultry lesbian lover (Lauretta Murphy) was beaten out by other beautiful team-mates (they will all die horribly) may be the killer...or perhaps Diane (Sally Kirkland), the nurse/trainer is our monster.  She loves giving sensual massages to nude female athletes...or perhaps it is Joe (Nicholas Love), a javelin athlete very high on steroids.
Uh oh, these athletes are being juiced with steroids by a nefarious academy doctor, thus all of them are capable of violent deeds.  As the remaining female swimmers are cut down, and track and field stars start falling, Annie (Lynn Banashek), a gymnast, finds herself in mortal danger.  If Annie can keep her clothes on, at least for the remainder of the film, she might stay alive, and avoid Diane's advances. Do the steroids have anything to do with the murders?  What are Diane's true intentions in feeling up Annie?  Is this all a mere distraction from the corruption of the International Olympic Committee's corruption scandal?
"Fatal Games" will give you lots of gratuitous nudity, shower scenes, steam-bath scenes, some nice gore, lesbian love, and some napkin drama (don't ask).  Perhaps a statement of the carnage faced by female athletes before the enforcement of Title IX...or a film warning us of the dangers of steroids...or just a gratuitous slasher film, "Fatal Games" works as a horror film and an exploitation film.  "Fatal Games" may be considered the anti-"Chariots of Fire" film of the 1980s, but let us not delve too deep into the movie-maker's motives.

1 comment: