Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


THE NAME OF THE GAME IS KILL (1968). Director: Gunnar Hellstrom.

"It looks like our little party is over."

A Hungarian named Symcha Lipa (Jack Lord) comes to a sleepy desert town and encounters a strange woman (T. C. Jones) and her three daughters, Nan (Tisha Sterling), Diz (Collin Wilcox Paxton) and Mickey (Susan Strasberg), all of whom seem to be keeping secrets. Symcha and Mickey seem to fall in love, but will they get the chance to get out of town and start a new life? The dialogue in Gary Crutcher's screenplay isn't bad, but this is one of those weird "psycho-thrillers" [another with an obvious nod to Psycho] that may have you scratching your head at the end trying to figure out the motivations of the demented characters. The acting is decent -- Lord and Paxton are fine, with Strasberg, and especially Sterling taking top honors. Mort Mills is as professional as ever as the sheriff, but Marc Desmond is poor as the doctor; he had few succeeding credits. This isn't terrible, just half-baked. T.C. Jones isn't bad either, although many will prefer his Alfred Hitchcock Hour vehicle "An Unlocked Window." Strasberg starred in the more memorable thriller Scream of Fear.

Verdict: Entertaining gobbledygook. **1/2,

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