You’re going to have to be quicker than that if you want to play T.A.G.

I was an HBO kid.

As soon as they FINALLY got cable TV here in Kansas, we subscribed. The whole enchilada. All 13 stations, including HBO. Had a lot of firsts thanks to HBO back in the day.

FIrst Music Video (We are the Radio Clash, btw), first short film, first boobies (a burlesque with one of the Landers Sisters), first decapitation (by giant snake no less in “Jennifer”), first FULLY nude girl (same flick).

I got turned on to a lot of obscure flicks, thanks to HBO… Breaking Glass, Patrick, Knightriders… These were not flicks covered in Starlog… and Fango wasn’t *quite* out yet.

One of my favorites should have been though.

Imagine if you will, a thriller, written and directed by the guy who played “the Shape” in the original Halloween… starring John Carradine’s son (the one from Revenge of the Nerds and Lizzie McGuire), the woman who would become Sarah Connor, Herbert West’s buddy Dan Cain, and The Last King of Scotland!

Yep, written and directed by Nick Castle, and starring Robert Carradine, Linda Hamilton, Bruce Abbott, and Forest Whitaker, all in either very early or very first screen roles.

This thing is dripping with genre street cred, and it was barely released on VHS, and never on DVD.

What was this gem? This cinematic “masterpiece”?

It’s called T.A.G.: The Assassination Game.

Here’s the blurb from the back of the box:

“Every year on the University campus ‘The Assassination Game’ is played.

Each participant is designated a victim who has to shot with a toy gun to be eliminated.

However, this year contestants mysteriously disappear.

When ‘The Game’ has finally whittled down to its last two competitors, Susan and Kersh, it is a case of ‘may the best killer win’. Unknown to Susan, Kersh has an unfair advantage. He uses a real gun.

TAG… ‘may the best killer win’.”

You couldn’t make this film today… not in today’s emotional climate. Certainly not post Columbine. Plus this was just about the last film made where smoking actually looked sexy.

Is it gory? No. Suspenseful? Not especially. But it is an awful lot of fun. Solid acting, clever cinematography, a great Craig Safan score, and fun dialogue… of course my tastes often fall into the realm cheesy pseudo noir.

But it’s no worse than half of the slashers and giallos of the same time period. And I like it, dammit.

T.A.G. was one of the, if not the, first thing I ever taped on our brand new VCR. I still have said tape and until a few years ago when our VHS finally gave up the ghost, I’d pull it out at least once a year, and enjoy it just as much as I did the first time I had seen it.

T.A.G. was one of the, if not the, first thing I ever taped on our brand new VCR. I still have said tape and until a few years ago when our VHS finally gave up the ghost, I’d pull it out at least once a year, and enjoy it just as much as I did the first time I had seen it.

So why do I mention it now? It’s still not on DVD, perhaps forever buried in the legal quagmire that befell much of New World’s films, between various buyouts.

Today, when looking for something else completely, I ran across the film online on Google Video The whole thing.

Mind you in the meantime, they may pull it… but for now you can watch it streaming, or download it to your computer. It’s now gracing my iPod… and it will do until an official DVD release comes around… which I will buy, gladly. Multiple copies, even!

Please give this a watch. Let me know what you think. Then let’s find out who has the rights and tell them we want T.A.G on DVD!

“I want suction cup hands… and feet.”

My boy just came upstairs with the following announcement:

“I want suction cup hands… and feet.”

“Why?” I asked, bemused.

So I could climb the walls and… up there” he explained patiently, motioning toward the ceiling, “so the bad people can’t see me.”

“What bad people?”

“Aliens.. and robots… and people keeping me from the treasure…”

He went on to explain in great dramatic onomatopoeic detail, for about 30 minutes, the magic claws that poke people, and that he really wanted to be “Catman”, flying around the world with claws out of his feet…

I honestly couldn’t keep up. My keyboard has been broken for a couple of weeks, and I have to cut and paste certain letters to make any sort of sense out of what I’m typing. At work I have a keyboard I can plug in… not here.

By the time I thought I had caught up, he was off on another subject… or three.


My darling wife could have used suction cup boots this weekend. She tried to navigate a boulder at a customers house.. and fell off, fracturing her ankle. So she’s been sitting with her foot up all weekend.

You know I really have no point to any of this, save that I thought that if I just started writing, a theme would appear.

Not so much, it seems.

If I think of something else, I’ll edit later.