DEATH GAME (1977) also known as THE SEDUCERS is one of the most underrated horror films of all time. Many know Eli Roth’s reimagining KNOCK KNOCK (2015), but that pales in comparison to the original which doesn’t get nearly as much coverage.
The premise is a simple one. Sexy and always in-charge Agatha (Sondra Locke) along with her best gal pal hottie Donna (Colleen Camp) seduce married man George (Seymour Cassel) into a RAWR RAWR threesome before torturing the fuck out of him, both mentally and physically. This is a girl-power shindig to the homicidal max.
Think FUNNY GAMES (2007) meets AUDITION (1999) and you’ll have an idea of what DEATH GAME is all about.
Agatha is no victim. From the moment she arrives on George’s doorstep with the peppier and more childlike, but equally crazy Donna by her side, she is in charge. Agatha is wickedly devious as she first introduces herself as a lost, happy-go-lucky sweetheart just looking for a party with her friend.
George is an easy target. Though happily married, the fems are gorgeous, and they know it. They know what to do to win him over, and have him in the palm of their hand immediately. He succumbs with ease, but regrets it afterwards, especially when they refuse to leave.
Still, he gave in to the boom-boom, and with that sealed his fate. The cat caught the mouse without the need for a chase, and it is goddamn delightful!
After the hot-and-heavy sex session, Agatha shows off her skills at mind-fuckery. She starts off playing nice. She makes pancakes and plays domestic though has no etiquette when it comes to eating.
At first, George thinks the girls are eccentric but mistakes them for harmless, uncouth, young playthings. When they destroy his house and goes thru his things, he’s less charmed by them. That said, he is more annoyed than worried.
At one point, Agatha toys with George while holding a banana and touching herself. She then asks him if he likes dirty magazines. Oh, I adore that scene. I love me some bad girls and she is as bad as they come. She has zero subtlety or shyness. She is in charge of her sexuality and knows the level of her prowess. She also is fully aware of the types of things that can make a man insane with worry. She’s evil, but she’s my kind of evil!
The fems lie about being underage and then dare him to call the cops. They say they’ll portray the innocent victim in front of a judge and frankly, George is a dummy. These gals are in their mid-twenties if they’re a day, but it works. It sure as fuck gives him pause! HA HA George-y boy! Hope the bangin’ good time was worth it. (Sidenote: It was. It sooooo was!)
Oh, I love Agatha. As he’s using his brute strength to hold her still and attempts to show dominance, she cuts him down to size by calling him an asshole without an ounce of fear. He’s powerless against her. She looks him dead in the eye and tells him that his wife will be baking cookies for him in prison and that everyone will view him as a sexual pervert. What’s a man to do, other than to freeze like a deer in headlights? Gotcha, big boy! You’re screwed, numb nuts!
When George is at his wits end and finally decides to call the police despite the consequences, Agatha pretends to give him a win.The duo persuades him to drop them off, and promises that they’ll leave him alone. What a dum-dum! Of course, they have no intention of allowing him to go, and they show back up at his place. He is Agatha’s puppet, and she likes to see him dance. She also likes to see him tied up and beaten.
Agatha is vicious and arrogant with her attacks. Whereas Donna at certain points expresses some pain and trauma that led her down this path, Agatha is just reveling in it. She’s a sociopath, but damn is she perfect at it!
You think Alex (Glenn Close) was hardcore in FATAL ATTRACTION (1987)? She has nothing on Agatha! Unlike Alex, Agatha isn’t doing this for misplaced love or obsession. Hell no. She’s doing it because she wants to watch the man suffer, just for the joy of it. She’s a thrill-killer who takes her violence out on unsuspecting, lustful men.
What makes Agatha all the better is as cutthroat as she can be with George, she can also flip on a dime and be playful with Donna. The lady wears a thousand unique masks, and I love them all!
The differences between the two antagonists is so important. Donna has serious problems and needs help. She dances and puts on George’s wife’s clothing and makeup as if she’s playing dress-up. There isn’t rhyme or reason in the way she applies it.
Now, Agatha puts on cosmetics and clothing too, but it’s organized and purposeful. Unlike Donna, she knows the gravity of the situation, but gets off on torture. Agatha always has the upper-hand.
Well, almost always – but no spoilers. Track this one down and watch it. It’s brilliant.
Sondra Locke’s performance is perfection personified. She’s sarcastic and raw without the hint of affectedness. I truly believe Agatha’s banana-pants crazy and would murder me in my sleep, and I still want to fuck her. If that’s not a Fem Goddess of Horror, I don’t know what is.