Fish-Flavored Baseball Bat

It's a John Cleese reference.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

VHS Vednesday: Night Game

As I considered in last night's post, my discovery of Versatile Video's huge selection of VHS tapes has inspired me to try starting a series of posts reviewing some of the obscure tapes I find there (as well as an occasional movie from my own collection). I'll try to focus on movies that are not available on DVD (to the best of my knowledge), hence "VHS Vednesday."

For my first offering, the tape I rented this past weekend:

NIGHT GAME (1989). Directed by Peter Masterson. Starring Roy Scheider, Karen Young, Lane Smith, and Rex Linn.

In an unsettling morbid coincidence, I rented this Roy Scheider thriller on Saturday, the day before Scheider's passing. While it's not his best film by any means, the always-reliable Scheider turns in an appealing performance as a former baseball player turned police detective, investigating a string of murders linked to the home team's performance on each night's game. The big subplot focuses on Scheider's upcoming wedding to Karen Young, and his prickly relationship with his fiancee's mother (Carlin Glynn). Predictably, by the end of the movie, Karen has caught the killer's eye, and it's up to Roy to save her. All in all, it's a decent but unremarkable thriller, with some effective (but unfortunately, few and far between) action sequences and set pieces. I would have liked to have seen more done with Scheider's character's background...his past as a baseball player is mentioned at several points, but it never really comes into play (so to speak).

Who's Leaving This Off Their Resume?
Fans of Xena: Warrior Princess might enjoy playing "Spot Gabrielle" and seeing one of Renee O'Connor's earliest screen appearances. She's on screen for about two or three minutes before meeting a gruesome fate in a carnival hall of mirrors.

Tooting One's Own Horn
In one scene, Roy and Karen are shown walking out of a movie theater on a date. One of the titles on the marquee: Full Moon in Blue Water, an earlier film by director Peter Masterson. (Yes, he's Mary Stuart's dad.)

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