Alright, so, this guy with glasses. Right there. Maybe there? Wherever he is. He is a failure. His girlfriend had recently dumped him, he just lost his job, etc... Life sucks. So he gets a call from these people (whom I shall dub as "X"). X says they are willing to pay him money for each of their 13 games he completes, but if he doesn't make it all the way until the end, he loses everything he made. He agrees and the game is on.
This film is quite the little trickster. If it weren't for the new name (Games of Death), at the beginning you would have no idea what this film turned into. It is very well constructed to lead you from a few innocent little games to the high stakes games near the end of the film.
13: Game of Death is as much as a character study as it is a horror film. We observe the change in behavior as our lead man is forced into all sorts of demeaning behaviors that eventually lead to very heavy police involvement.
The score was sort of bland, yet seemed to flow well with most of the movie. The camera was fairly adventurous, but never pushed too far beyond the safe zone. The special effects near the end really killed a lot of the impact the finale brought to us.
I should also point out that with this film, I am sure you could find one hundred or so things that don't really add up, but none of those one hundred things are even remotely important. This movie brings to mind The Game (1997 David Fincher). After it is all over, does it really matter how the company remained on top of everything? Nope. It is the same deal here. We are treated to a very nice character study of a man playing to the whims of others for money, and the side effects that carry with the man as he passes each test.
Notes: Feces, Flies, and Father Abuse