Sunday, January 29, 2017

Rare Flix: Deathrow Gameshow

Is the Original better than the newer one?  Today's Film is Deathrow Gameshow, a fairly-obscure 1980s Horror-Comedy.  It has a very similar premise to The Uh-Oh Show, only it actually has less holes in it.  To be fair, Swiss Cheese has less holes in it than that Movie's Plot too.  In this oddity, a Game Show is built around killing Death Row Inmates if they don't answer questions right.  If they answer them right, they get their freedom.  Presumably nobody ever wins, but they don't actually address this issue.  It is either a giant cheat designed to speed up the Death Row process or it accidentally releases Murderers- pick one.  The Film comes to us from the Director of Curse of the Queerwolf and A Polish Vampire in Burbank, so expect quality.  Our Star- John McCafferty- has had an interesting Career, starting out with stuff like this (with Mark Pirro), moving to a bunch of Emmanuelle 2000 Films and seemingly back to more normal stuff in recent years.  In 1999, he appeared in both Sex Court (that's a thing) and a Family Film where he dates an Angel- no, really.  This comes to us from the Airplane School of Comedy- lots of jokes, some of which land, but also fly by in seconds.  Is this one a forgotten gem or something to be given 'the chair?'  To find out, read on...
On Live or Die, Convicts on Death Row play challenges for their freedom and/or money.  They lose.
Just like in The Uh-Oh Show, we focus on both the Host when he's outside of the Show and a Reporter.  The big change...
He is being targeted for death.  Not for any of the countless murders that he facilitated, but rather just one incident involving a Mob Boss.  Naturally.
This Film is silly.  Need I say more?
The Boss' Son shows up after many failed attempts to kill the Host and decides to do it himself.  He's not to be messed with...
...unless you can get his Mother on a Game Show.

The only catch- she accidentally ends up on Live or Die and is killed by the Host.
He takes it well.
This leads to an odd bit where our Host tries to kill the Mobster with his Show, fails and then kills him later indirectly.  Morals!
In the aftermath, our Host quits (like in that other Film) and uses the dead bodies left lying around to test Infomercial Products like Electric Fences and Blenders.  No, really.  The End.
Dumb and pretty damn silly.  This one is all sorts of strange.  It is a Comedy about a Game Show where people are killed on-air.  Unlike The Uh-Oh Show, this one is at least a more official way of doing things.  You could sort of rationalize how this thing would be allowed- especially under you-know-who.  There are still a whole slew of problems here, mostly that this is PRIME TIME TELEVISION.  Could you imagine?  Yes, it is Satire.  I get that.  It is still crazy to think that something like this could work- ever.  As far as the actual Film goes, it is ridiculous.  The whole thing is just a slew of sight gags and puns.  Some of them work, but most of them don't.  Your penchant for dumb, dumb jokes will decide how much you agree with me.  As far as Comedies go, Deathrow Gameshow has some neat ideas and it could definitely work.  Just don't make it a complete rip-off of other ideas when you do it in, say, 2009.  I kid, I kid.  If you like stuff like Repossessed and others, this one just might work for you.  For most people, the odd mix of macabre and slapstick will just not though.  On the plus side, it won't give you gas.
Next up, Japan goes full-on crazy yet again.  This is too weird to just get a Quick Review.  Stay tuned...

No comments:

Post a Comment