The film drags a little here and there but it can’t all be awesome rapes and stabbing cocks and rat-poison-posing-as-heroin-overdoses, right?
I recently revisited Tenement (aka Game of Survival aka Slaughter in the South Bronx) after having a 20+ year hiatus with the film. I can’t recall if this was a video store rental or a USA Up All Night movie that I caught in junior high/high school.
The first thing I’d like to say is that despite what you may have ever read in other reviews, you need to understand that for every ‘bad’ part of this movie there is an equally “holy-fucking-shit-yes!” part to perfectly balance things out.
But honestly, this is the kind of movie that speaks to a certain type of individual, odds are you’re going to watch this fucker because you took one look at the cover art and you recognize Cigar Face and the power of those hard-as-fuck aviators on the gang leader, Chaco. You’re probably also intrigued by the endless possibilities that a sexy lil 80’s gang-slut can bring to the table. (as you should be)
So what is this little opus about, anyway? The drunken-louse building manager of the titular tenement decides he’s had enough of the violent, drug abusing gang that’s taken over the building so he gets them arrested, although they were smart enough to ditch their drugs and weapons so they get your typical turnstile release and come back to wreak havoc on the inhabitants of the apt building and reclaim their territory.
(holy shit! was that a fucking run-on sentence or what?)
Without giving too much away, I will say that the while the acting isn’t always up to snuff, the killing is creative and ample enough to keep you overlooking any minor details.
It’s a yummy, gritty little cheap exploitation flick that takes the cliche’d group-of-people-stuck-in-confined- space-fighting-off-their-attacker and couples that with inventive kills and making the most of a small budget with some deliciously trashy practical special effects.
This rape scene alone is worth the price of admission. Truly.
One of the more sexually charged scenes in this is the uber hot making out that Chaco and his bitch get into after they’re all turned on and covered in blood from killing some mother fuckers. Hell fuckin’ yea.
There’s actually a ton of interesting info floating around out there about the director, Roberta Findlay, (part of the infamous Findlay team of porn and exploitation fame…) I’d suggest looking her up sometime, especially if you have any interest in the “Her Flesh” series from the 60’s. She and Michael (her then husband) did quite a few roughies and it’s been said that they were encouraged to make these by none other than George Weiss (producer of Glenn or Glenda) who knew all too well the market for slick, sexy, sadistic quickies.Their films actually predate Doris Wishman’s sexploitation flicks by at least a year.
The duo was also responsible for the notorious film Snuff from 1976.
Roberta knows her way around a camera, making lots of porn (Angel on Fire, Mystique, A Woman’s Torment) horror (Blood Sisters, Prime Evil) and none other than this little beast I’m raging about today: Tenement.
Do yourself a favor and check this movie out, it’s a good god damn time no matter how you slice it and if you’re like me and have a proclivity towards dirty sex and hot violence…you’re going to get a boner watching this.
Take it from me, Cigar Face! You’re gonna like this fucking movie!
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Jocelyn lives on 35 acres of woodland in an undisclosed Appalachian location. When not boozing it up or fighting the power she's tending her organic garden or collecting punk/soundtrack albums. Her best friends walk on 4 legs. She does not own a cell phone.