Fair Game Blu Ray Review (Umbrella Entertainment)
Fair Game (aKa Hunting Season, Open Season 2, She Was Fair Game & Death Game: The Return of Jessica) is a 1986 suspense thriller film directed by Mario Andreacchio (The Dreaming, Pals, & Paradise Found). The first major feature film to be produced in South Australia independent of the South Australian Film Corporation. The make & model of “The Beast” vehicle was a modified red and grey-silver 1977 Ford F-Series 1000 tray-truck. It’s accoutrements including six inch steel piping wrapped around its body, fat twenty-four inch drag-racing tires, red head-lights, & gigantic chrome front winged-horn bull-bars. It didn’t get a theatrical release in the United States. This film is considered an “Ozploitation” picture. Director Quentin Tarantino is a huge fan of Fair Game & considers it a classic.
Jessica (played by: Cassandra Delaney from Pledge Night, Hurricane Smith, One Night Stand, & Rebel) runs the wildlife sanctuary in the outback. It’s her passion & she will do anything to keep it safe. Three kangaroo hunters Sunny (played by: Peter Ford from Mad Max, King Kong, The Blue Lightning, & Prisoner: Cell Block H), Ringo (played by: David Sandford from Great Expectations: The Untold Story & Home and Away), & Sparks (played by: Garry Who from Dead End Drive-In, All Together Now, & Close Contact) have trespasses on her land. They kill some animals on the property. She goes to Deputy Frank (played by: Don Barker from Weekend of Shadows, Fragments of Terror, & Struck by Lightning) to file charges & to get some help from the savages that disrespected her work. He doesn’t do anything about the problems caused & he blows her off about it. The three marksmen retaliate by terrorizing her at home. She goes to their camp & gets a little revenge on them after that. This sets off a brutal game between the bullies & the defender trying to protect her home. They decide they want to hunt more than animals now. They are out for blood in “the beast” vehicle. The odds are against Jessica but she is determined to make it even. What comes around goes around in this tale of revenge! Who will survive this battle of wits between these motivated rivals? Australia can be dangerous if it’s used right.
Fair Game is pretty much the Australian version of I Spit on Your Grave. It came around at the end of the Ozploitation boom. It had that Most Dangerous Game vibe where the hunters decide to step up their hobby & go after an actual human. This film doesn’t waste any time going straight to the suspense & thrills. It’s consistently entertaining with all kinds of action between the characters. The revenge sub genre is one of my favorites & Fair Game doesn’t disappoint at all when to comes to that. Both Jessica & the hunters are relentless when playing this deadly game. It full of some brutal & unconformable moments. I know this one isn’t very well known here in the states but I hope this region free blu ray release from Umbrella Entertainment gets it more attention because it deserves it.
Let’s talk about this high definition presentation. This new 1080p (1.85:1) 2k transfer is night & day compared to the previous (1.33:1) problematic DVD that was released before. It has a few moments of noticeable damage but it kinda adds to the excitement of this grindhouse type of film. The Australian locations looked great in this & it becomes more than a background in Fair Game. The English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track enhances all the craziness that goes on. This film is action heavy so it really gives you the full experience. The 80s score roars out of your speakers, it sounds really nice! No English subtitles are included on here which is kinda a surprise considering the thick Australian accents.
Umbrella Entertainment proves again why they are the best when it comes to special features. This disc is loaded with extras! Audio Commentary with director Mario Andreacchio & screen writer Rob George. They discuss the history of the production & both give out lots of information that ends up pretty interesting when it comes to this project. They bring up the short films that were made. They go into detail about the stunts. They talk about how physical everything was back then before CGI. They bring up how the rape scene implied is better than it actually being shown. They mention the famous scene that ended up being used on posters all over. You can tell they had a blast working on Fair Game. “Extended Interview with Cassandra Delaney” is a 15 minute chat with the lead actress. It’s from the Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! sessions. She still looks amazing after all these years in this archival interview. She talks about how she was excited to play a female lead in an action film. She discusses her character. She chats about working with the director. She brings up the beast. She brings up the stunt coordinator. She didn’t like some of the animals she had to work with on this. She mentions there was no nude scene listed for the famous strapped to the beast moments in the film. She says the nudity was only used for the home video releases & not the theatrical run.
“On Location with Fair Game” is 3 additional minutes of raw footage from the production. “Behind the Scenes – 1985 TV Report from ADS-7, State Affair” is a quick little over 2 minute featurette. It has both director Mario Andreacchio & lead actress Cassandra Delaney sharing a few brief moments. Plus it has more raw footage included. “Behind the Scenes – 1985 TV Report from NWS9, Action News” is 36 seconds & it features director Mario Andreacchio. It’s nice to see that they tried to find every possible promotional material for this release. “Behind the Scenes with Dean Bennett” is 52 minutes of raw footage that gives you a deeper look from the production of this feature. You have be impressed that someone took advantage of technology at the time & captured all this rare stuff for all of us to view in the future. They didn’t really do much of that back in the day for home video releases. You get some promotional materials like the Theatrical Trailer, the 24 minute Image Gallery, & 8 minute Storyboards. Last not least, “Mario Andreacchio Short Films” which includes Vandalism (1981), Break-In (1983), Taken by Storm (1984), Abduction… Who’s Next? (1984), & Under Pressure (1986). It ends up being almost 90 minutes between the 5 shorts. It also includes reversible artwork. This Ozploitation gem is finally getting the treatment it deserves thanks to Umbrella Entertainment! If you are into revenge films, you need to check this out ASAP! HIGHLY recommended!!!!