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Slayground (1984)

Peter Coyote , Mel Smith , Terry Bedford  |  R |  DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Coyote, Mel Smith, Billie Whitelaw, Philip Sayer, Bill Luhrs
  • Directors: Terry Bedford
  • Writers: Donald E. Westlake, Trevor Preston
  • Producers: Bob Mercer, Gower Frost, John Dark
  • Format: Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: December 3, 2002
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006LPCA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,020 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Slayground" on IMDb

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reviewed By Alan Gerrard February 11, 1998
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Stone, a professional criminal(Coyote) with a high standard of ethics, recruits a young getaway driver to drive for him after his own driver gets killed. But the kids inexperienced, and during the daring getaway, kills the daughter of a wealthy businessman. The businessman, in a fit of revenge, hires a sadistic hitman to track down those he believes responsible for the girl's death. And so begins a nightmare ride that Stone will never ever forget. A tale of relentless pursuit and savage revenge. END
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars They don't make em' like this anymore....... August 1, 2005
By rkenter
What an outstanding film this is. I saw it in 1984 when it released on VHS. Glad it's out on DVD after 20 years. Peter Coyote is excellent as STONE an armed robber with his own style of non-violence shall we say ? Unfortunately when a routine robbery goes out of hand and an innocent young nine year old girl is killed by accident, the father of the young girl seeks out his own brand of revenge to bring down STONE and his members. Brilliantly filmed director Terry Bedford shows a fine flair for directing films of this genre. Watch out for the spectacular suspense filled climax. Wow ! Watch this one immediately.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Slowgrind August 7, 2009
The SLAYGROUND of this picture is a not-so-amusing Blackpool, England funhouse.

A wealthy vengeance-seeking man sets a behatted assassin upon Coyote after the getaway car he was a passenger in collides with another vehicle and the man's daughter is killed.

Peter (as the rather vague 'Stone'), who has shrapnel in his spine from a previous injury that may soon leave him a paraplegic, goes to England in search of old friend Terry Abbatt (Smith). He and Abbatt's girlfriend visit his buddy's grave, yet Stone refuses to believe the man is dead. Turns out he's right-- Terry shows himself but is soon croaked for real by the hitman, who's followed Stone from America.

A a noise-filled but tedious climax in the shadowy fun house follows. The killer maniacally cackles in a "you can't hit me" way as Stone takes wild shots aimed at his voice. The screen blurs briefly in an attempt at psychotic nightmareism, but all this filmic falderol falls flat. Two guesses who kills who. Roll credits, drop the popcorn box, hit the exits.

The only surprise here for this viewer was seeing Mel Smith, who is so amusing as cabbie Rocco Melonchek in the Zucker Bros. 1992 tribute to the Marxes, BRAIN DONORS. The surprise is that Smith decided to get involved in this turkey.

Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 IMDb user poll rating.

(4.6) Slayground (UK-1983) - Peter Coyote/Mel Smith/Billie Whitelaw/Philip Sayer/Bill Luhrs/Marie Masters/Clarence Felder/Ned Eisenberg
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a bust! October 26, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
There is very, very little commonality between this movie and the Richard Stark book. It is nearly impossible to see even a remote connection. As a Parker fan, I find this movie a complete waste of time.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very underrated film! January 31, 2013
I'm a superfan of the Parker novels by Donald E. Westlake, which he wrote under the alias Richard Stark. Superfan meaning I don't just "like" the books, I LOVE them and reread them many times over. I will say straight off this adaptation of the Parker novel Slayground is not very much like the book it's based on. And Stone, the character that is based on Parker, is a much more humane version of the Parker us fans all know and love.

The plot veers wildly from the novel after the armored car heist (which was well done). For many Westlake fans, that spelled doom for the film right there.

But I think it's still an artfully and very well done crime film in it's own right. Stone and crew accidentally kill a young girl on the road after the heist. Actually, the idiot getaway driver is at fault, as Stone clearly tells him to slow down, which the driver ignores. This causes the wealthy father of the young girl to hire a really bizarre and almost superhuman hitman who is somewhat reminiscent of the old pulp character The Shadow. He just pops up out of nowhere, kills you, then disappears without a trace.

The hitman manages to get two of the crew, but not Stone. Stone gets shot and injured, but eventually escapes to England, to find an old partner in crime whom he thinks can help.

The scenes that are most like the book are at the end, where Stone and the shadowy hitman go mano a mano in an English amusement park that's been shut down for the season.

So: if you go into this expecting a straight-up adaptation of the book, you'll be disappointed. It's almost like an alternate universe Parker story where the main character shares some of the qualities of the Parker us fans know and love, but has some differences as well.
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