Fair Game

Fair Game (1985)
Vanguard Films
Cast: Cassandra Delaney, Peter Ford

What do you get when you cross ’I Spit on Your Grave’ with ’Mad Max’? Apparently, that’s a burning question in Australia, as we have ’Fair Game’ (not to be confused with the Cindy Crawford picture of the same name). If you’ve ever dreamed of seeing a film where a group of unsavory guys harass a woman in the middle of the Outback, then this is the film for you.

Cassandra Delaney, who was once married to John Denver, and resembles a cross between Linda Hamilton and Kathy Ireland, stars as Jessica. Jessica lives on a farm in the bush, with her dog. Jessica has had some problems with poachers coming onto her land and killing kangaroos. One day, while driving to the nearest town, Jessica is almost run off the road by two trucks. When she reaches the general store, she learns that the trucks belong to three men (Peter Ford, David Sandford and Garry Who), who also happen to be the poachers. After an initial confrontation in front of the store, a dangerous game begins. Jessica returns to her farm and quickly realizes that she’s not alone. The remainder of the film deals with Jessica being stalked, chased, and tortured (both mentally and physically) by the trio of goons.

The film is very suspenseful at times, and the beautiful Australian scenery creates quite a contrast to the brutalities brought forth on screen. The problem with the film is that there’s simply no plot. Jessica and the men clash and then suddenly a war breaks out. That’s the whole story. While viewing the film, there are several points where one wonders ’Why doesn’t she just leave?’ Still, the movie is entertaining, and like many films of this genre, is worth watching if only to see the villains get there comeuppance.

’Fair Game’ arrives on DVD from Vanguard Films. The film is presented full-frame, but at no time does the movie give the feeling of being overly panned-and-scanned. The picture is clear, but there is a noticeable amount of grain. Also, defects from the source print are visible during several scenes. The colors are good, with flesh-tones appearing normal, and the bright image of the digital transfer gives a realistic look to the scorching Outback. No overt problems with artifacting or compression are present.

The audio on the ’Fair Game’ is a Dolby Digital mono track, which, I must admit, is disappointing. This film features several big action scenes and car chases, and they lose quite some of their impact with mono sound. I guess that we’ve been spoiled by the big-budget action films. There are no extras on the DVD. The running time listed on the DVD box is 88 minutes, when in reality the film is 82 minutes long. Also, if you pick up ’Fair Game’, DO NOT read the description on the back of the box, as it gives away the ending. Now, is that playing fair?