Sometimes you feel like you've been all laid up under a fucking
rock. The crazy world of schlock cinema fandom has just left you
sleeping in, while the minions had some sort of parade. Such is
the case of my ineptitude regarding the film LET'S PLAY DEAD.
You may have never heard of this film, at least by this title,
SCHOOLGIRLS IN CHAINS is the aka. If you're like me you've seen
that title floating around for years and if you're like me you
probably figured it was another of the many black and white delinquent
films Mike Vraney is so fond of putting out. Don't get me wrong
some of them are downright good, but generally but that style
of filmmaking is just not my bag. It seems that the word "schoolgirls,"
when it comes to film titles just sucks, now "schoolgirls"
for the most part can be good as actual things, but using that
word in a film title leads me to think the film must really be
bad. But that is assuredly not the case with this misogynistic
little sickie! Ahem. Let's get right to it.
Frankie and Johnny have some problems. They are brothers who
don't have much going when it comes to relating to the opposite
sex. Frank, the 40ish older brother has those steely good looks
the ladies should love, but they don't. Johnny, well Johnny is
slightly "special," he has the body of a 35 year old,
Barney Fife-like man, but the mind of a little boy. Frank's role
as big brother is to help Johnny find some playmates, the worst
thing about this is that Johnny prefers young, nubile, co-ed types.
Frankie and Johnny usually trap these would-be "pets"
and bring them back to their momma's house, where they are kept
locked in a musty old basement. This sounds just possibly like
a typical little slice of exploitation filmmaking and sure on
the surface the plot line is not too imaginative, but beyond the
surface of this simple set-up is one fucked up teensy portion
of cinematic smegma.
Overseeing the whole set of circumstances is the mysterious "Momma,"
who is shown usually in a crocheted shawl, barking direction to
her lovely boys. Momma does not take no shit either. She has it
in for these young bitches from the get go, continually warning
her sons about the potential problems pretty, young girls can
cause men. These girls are "dirty," "evil"
and always out to "steal" her boys from her. This makes
for a rather fucked-up home life for everyone, but for the gals
in the basement, it is beyond just fucked up.
Johnny, in his childlike manner, really just wants the girls
to play with him, albeit in a slightly overcharged sexual fashion.
Johnny's "doctor" requires the girls getting naked while
his makeshift coat hanger stethoscope pokes and prods the young
lady's private parts and even requires a sharp jab in the ass
with a nail made into a hypodermic needle. Johnny is the kind
of simple, fairly harmless galoot of the family, but Frank on
the other hand is just plain tortured. When one of the girls manages
to convince Johnny to play hide and seek outside and decides to
run for the train tracks, Frank wastes no time with his trusty
double barrel planting buckshot right in her back. In a surreal
sequence, Frank rapes one of the gals rather awkwardly and then
explains in flashback his story of the only girlfriend he ever
had and what happened when he brought her home to meet Momma.
His hot and bothered Momma, of course, was severely jealous and
explained to Frank's new fiance' in detail, how her and Frank
were getting it on regular like, when Frank freaked out and choked
his Momma, (after stroking her tit) she then explained to him
how all girls are bad that and she's the only real piece of tail
for him. Frank has some rather fucked up issues with the ladies
and Momma is the willing root of his evil.
The LET"S PLAY DEAD credits read like a pleasant, old, vinyl
menu of familiar tasty morsels. Led by the stellar Frank character,
brought into being by a stalwart in the field of bad film gone
good, Gary Kent. Kent has been in a list of great films from the
'64 Ray Dennis Steckler masterwork THE THRILL KILLER and his less
recommended BODY FEVER to the incredible TARGETS and the back
to back Al Adamson favorites DRACULA VS. FRANKENSTEIN and ANGEL'S
WILD WOMEN. Kent is still at it and has carved a niche as a stunt,
special effects and action production manager for the likes of
Bogdonovich, DePalma, Rush and Hellmam. Kent truly is an icon
just for the list of stellar guttershit he has been involved with.
His co-hort, Tim O'Kelly is best known of his stand-out performance
as serial killer Bobby Thompson in the aforementioned Bogdonovich's
TARGETS. Kelly brings the retarded Johnny to the screen and is
fairly effective portraying him simultaneously sympathetic, pathetic
and altogether creepy. Merrie Lynn Lynn Ross is the most recognizable
face of the "pets" in the basement. Ross has a small
little cult of followers mainly because of a knockout rack and
beautiful face, you get to see both in LET"S PLAY DEAD. Can
you say Topless Leapfrog? Well I can.
The cast delivers the goods, but the top drawer direction and
script work of minor sleaze broker Donald Jones makes LET"S
PLAY DEAD more than memorable. This was the first film for Jones
and he made it count. The career never got much better as far
as directorial duties, he was cameraman on the Prof. Tread fave,
THE LOVE BUTCHER but his other films lack the guttural punch of
LET"S PLAY DEAD. That's not so say you shouldn't see them,
the crazy assed TERROR IN THE FOREST is positively required viewing.
As is the 1985 curio MURDERLUST. Jones definitely likes to keep
his film near the darker side of humanity, motifs relating to
incest, cannibalism and serial killing all are parts of his best
work, if you're looking for a chunk of decent work to become familiar
with, suck a straw full of Mr. Don Jones.
LET"S PLAY DEAD aka SCHOOLGIRLS IN CHAINS aka ABDUCTED should
be seen and talked about a little more. My guess is that although
it contains a rather diseased plot line, some decent smut, and
great performances it does lack a little in the violence and gore
departments. Outside of the one shot to the back Frank delivers,
we have a hanging and a death by depression or something. That
just isn't enough violence for many of you buffs out there. Had
Jones just upped the ante slightly this film would be a God-damned
T-shirt. And of course, I know that is all you really want now
isn't it, another fucking T-shirt with a movie title on the front.
|TWACK! Johnny goes
|Joan Rivers before
plastic surgery. i didn't even see her in the credits.
|Momma's wittle baby
|Girls are bad and
evil and nasty and ...oh forget it.
|Drama, I can recognize
that look that is Drama!
|Just stop for a
second fellahs and think about that.
Discuss this baby.
Black Gestapo Black
Girl From Tobacco Row
Rape Squad Join
The Meateater Do
Dixie Dynamite POW!
Run Stranger Run
Horror House On Hwy 5
Behind Locked Doors It's
Nailgun Massacre Some
Bat Pussy It had to
Thunder Alley It is
Blood Freak A Classic
The Geek Bigfoot Porn
High School Ghosthustlers
Frankenstein Island You
SuperCock Not that kinda
The Alienator Feeling
Angel Midnight Fantasy
Vanity and the Beast
Tim Ritter's $0 budget wonder
Nightmare Prof. Tread
still can't sleep.
Shanty Tramp She is sumpin'
If Footmen Tire You...?
Viva' Knievel Evel of
The Killing Of A Chinese
Bookie! Smart Guy.
The Pink Angels Gayness,
The Burning The 80's,
ahhh the 80's.
Q - The Winged Serpant! Larry
Fight For Your Life!
WARNING Racist content
Walking Tall Buford Pusser
in the Hizouse!
Sleepaway Camp Internet
Born Losers Ya Loser!
Shriek of the Mutilated
Bro. George gets busy.
Bury Me An Angel
Gal Biker and more.
The Grim Reaper Reap
Abby One of William Girdler's
Deadbeat At Dawn A
Sonny Boy Carradine,
Great Hollywood Rape-Slaughter
Savage Weekend. Take
Dead and Buried. A Should-be
Hot Summer In Barefoot
Night Train To Terror
I Drink Your Blood Glug,
Vixen Russ Meyer and breasts!
Truck Stop Women Honnnk
Daddy's Deadly Darling!
Flesh Feast Maggots!
Soapy the Germ Fighter!
Why Doesn't Cathy Eat Breakfast?
Moonshine County Express!
The Night God Screamed!
White Dog Racists Pets!
Hunter's Blood City
Slickers get offed!
Devil Times Five Sean
Terror at the Red Wolf Inn
Headless Eyes See It
World's Greatest Sinner
One of the best!
The Baby! Goo Goo!
Summer Camp Nightmare Viva
Attack of the Beast Creatures
Let's Play Dead Incest
Island of Death Vacation
Evil Come, Evil Go! Bye,
Darktown Strutters Get
Poor Pretty Eddie Deep
Miami Golem Jewish Folklore
Tenement NYC Apartment
To Kill A Clown Alan Alda Vietnam Vet!
The Spook Who Sat Next To
The Door Booya!
I Woke Up Early The Day I
Died Mr. Ed Wood.
The Mutilation Man Andy
Copp goes arty on us!
The People Across The Lake
The Woman Hunt Load Up
The Devil At You Heels
These Are The Damned
Crowhaven Farm TV movie