Tenement (Game of Survival) (Slaughter in the South Bronx) (1985)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The tenants of a South Bronx slum rise up against the thugs who want to take over their home in this violent thriller from exploitation legend Roberta Findlay. A vicious multi-ethnic street gang has moved into the basement of a crumbling apartment block in one of the more dangerous neighborhoods in the Bronx. The squatters routinely abuse drugs, fight one another and kill rats for sport until the building's superintendent decides to call the police and the criminals are rounded up and arrested. The residents -- ranging from elderly couples and single parents to bohemians struggling to make ends meet -- are overjoyed until the police are forced to release the gang later the same day due to a lack of evidence. The gang returns to the tenement to get revenge on the people who informed on them, forcing the peaceful tenants to respond with violence in order to protect their homes and loved ones. Released unrated after the MPAA threatened to give the film an X rating for violence, Tenement was also released under the titles Game of Survival and Slaughter In The South Bronx. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Drama , Horror , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:


Joe Linn
as Sam Washington
Paul Calderon
as Hector
Paul Caldron
as Hector
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Tenement (Game of Survival) (Slaughter in the South Bronx)

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Audience Reviews for Tenement (Game of Survival) (Slaughter in the South Bronx)

Roberta Findlay directs a rather watchable little revenge flick that sees the residents of a building forced to fight for their lives when the gang living in their basement turns on them. It's a pretty nasty little low-budget flick and well worth a rental if you're in the mood for some sleaze.

Bill Bryant
Bill Bryant

I will state right up front I like violent urban action films. Everything from Hollywood productions like Death Wish to the down and dirty underbelly grindhouse flicks like The Exterminator and Savage Streets. However the film Tenement is the bits of food left over in the garbage disposal after you grind those other films up and take a piss in the sink. It's a film that's so pointless, so tasteless, and so poorly made this cult movie fanatic had trouble finding anything good to review on this sludge. Our film opens (with the title Game of Survival on the title card) with a gang being forcefully removed from the basement of a seedy apartment building in the Bronx. After being released, our gang leader has some cheesy epiphany from what seems to be God to "have a good time" so the gang heads back to the apartment building and decides to torture and kill all the residents. That's the plot, no nutshell included. Since the film has NO plot to speak of, the filmmakers decide to load the film up with "shocking" violence. We get a graphic rape scene of woman with a broom handle, a junkie throwing up blood, a man being stabbed in his junk, and a couple making love after killing a tenant complete with the man rubbing blood all over her breasts. This is only the stuff off the top of my head! I will admit that I've seen it all when it comes to violence and gore in movies so nothing really shocks me anymore and the violent sequences in this film just felt like the filmmakers were trying too hard to make up for the lack of plot and shitty filmmaking. Oh god.. where do I start with the filmmaking! Tenement is director Roberta Findlay's first legitimate film after making a slew of pornos. Guess what? Tenement looks like a fucking porno as the directing, lighting, and cinematography are just horrid. Do I even need to go into the bad acting and non-existent character development? The director has admitted she was proud her first legitimate film got an X rating. How about next time being proud for making a good or even entertaining movie on limited resources? I understand the film had a low budget but the result on screen looked like the filmmakers didn't give a shit and wanted to make a quick buck by making a crude urban action film with no entertainment value. In the words of Frank Drebin of Police Squad, Tenement is like drinking Draino. It just leaves you hallow inside. I felt hallow after viewing the film as I went into it expecting a crude, entertaining violent urban action flick. What I got was a pile of shit that The Exterminator left after eating a thanksgiving dinner. You want a crude entertaining urban violence flick? Then go watch Savage Streets, Death Wish 3, or anything starring the late Robert Ginty. Skip Tenement and let the film rot in the weathered, run down sewers where it belongs. Bonus Rant: I got Tenement in a box set entitled "Grindhouse Psychos" from Shriek Show Entertainment about 2 years ago. I watched about half of the film before turning the damn thing off. I recently decided to give it another whirl to watch the whole thing and guess what... the damn thing is defective! About an hour and eighteen minutes into the film the DVD began to skip and then froze. It did this on all three of my DVD players and computer. In order to finish the film I had to chapter skip past the defect and then rewind back to after it occurred. This isn't the first time I've been fucked over by Shriek Show and their glitchy reputation. I believe this is defective DVD number 12 from the company for me. If you take a look at my DVD collection you will see I own a very large number of their releases. Why you are asking? Well because they are one of the few companies to actually release cult material and it's just a fucking shame every time purchase a disc from them I have to do extensive research to see if there are any defects. Their discs are like ticking time bombs! It pissed me off at first but shame on me for not watching the disc sooner. However if any film deserves a defective disc, it's fucking Tenement!

Eric Reifschneider
Eric Reifschneider

One of those genuine true-blood grindhouse films. Made with exploitable elements, directed with a vicious appetite for violence and darkness, cathartic finale where average citizens do over the top things to the villians, and of course - 80s music! Woo!

Christopher Jayawardena
Christopher Jayawardena

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