Tenement: Game of Survival (1985)

A gang of druggies are arrested after having the cops called on them by the superintendent of the building they were squatting in. After being released by the cops, they return to seek revenge, taking the building floor by floor and killing anyone in their path! Now this is an awesome plot, and sets up for a shit ton of fun. The gang is comprised of a motley assortment of different baddies, with the ultimate bad-ass Chaco leading the pack. They each feel authentic and intimidating, but I would have preferred if Chaco had remained silent as a mysterious background character. The film is drenched in blood and gore, rightfully earning it an 'X' in its initial theatrical run on the Grindhouse circuit. While the premise, action, and gore in the film all make for a great Exploitation classic, one cant overlook the terrible filmmaking and acting that come with it. There are many over the top and cheesy performances (mostly from the tenants) mixed with a range of film goofs, sterile directing, and cardboard camera work that make the low budget all too apparent. The pacing is also hindered by uneven action and plotting that loses focus at many points throughout the film, taking several unnecessary sidetracks that only serve to distract the audience and pad the run time. This is definitely a film that could benefit from a remake with a more competent director behind the wheel, but it makes for a great watch and comes recommended!

Rating: 6/10.
Entertainment: 8/10.
Gore: 8/10.

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  1. Not to try & ham-string your review or anything, since it's not even up yet, but my take on TENEMENT was that it was a pretty fun flick, but it seemed a little over-long. That's just how I remember it, anyhow.

  2. Carl! I haven't stopped by for a bit and look at you!! 102 followers! Good on you, my friend.

    This is a great post. I side immediately with any reviewer that will give a film his personal recommendation despite bad directing and bad acting, neither of which have a goddamn thing to do with the lovability/enjoyability of a film. Yes, Tenement needs to be in my collection! --Mykal

  3. Ive been guilty of the same Mykal, with limited time on my hands I have to wait for the weekends or break your reviews into several sitting sessions, but I have definitely been lurking in the Radiation shadows =D

    I think there are more bad films I would recommend than good, its hidden treasures like Tenement that keep me watching!