Review: Was Clue better as a board game or a film?

Have you ever played Clue (or Cluedo for those playing at home in Australia)? Of course you have. We all have. You’re Colonel Mustard, or Wandsworth the Butler, or Miss Scarlett, and someone is dead at the hands of one of the players. The aim of the game is to figure out who the killer is and what their weapon of choice was.¬†Hilarious and fun, the game can last hours, and it’s pretty entertaining to play on a rainy night with the lights out.

Much the same can be said for Clue, the 1985 film based on the board game. Starring Tim Curry and Christopher Lloyd, this movie is awful and amazing all at once. The music is horrifying in some instances, and the mansion is creepy as hell, but the levels of cheese factor are so intense that you can’t ever be truly terrified.

The film starts with Wandsworth (Curry) welcoming the guests to dinner at the mansion of his former employer. Said employer is blackmailing the guests, and Wandsworth has brought all the victims together so they can turn the employer into the police. The tables turn when Employer implores the guests to kill Wandsworth and then they can all go free. I’m not actually sure how he figured that would happen since he was blackmailing people, but anyway… He switches the light off, in the hopes that someone will kill Wandsworth in the dark. What occurs is Employer being killed instead, and thus ensues the murder mystery.

More bodies pile up as the film goes on — a cook, a stranded driver, a cop, etc. — and it becomes less and less likely you’re able to guess who the killer is. What happens to be fucking awesome about the DVD of this film is that you have the option of watching it with one randomly selected ending, or all three alternate endings in one hit. To be honest, having chosen to get the full scope in one go, I have to say it’s seems like a total waste of time to have both options available, since having the three in one go turned out to be the greatest part of the film.

The review of the evening — when Wandsworth is explaining who he thinks the murderer is — is hysterical. Running to and from different rooms in the mansion, essentially replaying the movie thus far in triple time to get to the final reveal, whilst speaking so fast you can barely catch what he’s saying, is very reminiscent of the slapstick comedy of early television (I was reminded of Lucille Ball doing a Three Stooges routine to be honest). The brilliant 3-part ending threw me, because you think it’s all wrapped up but then BAM something new pops up and this movie becomes so so worth your time.

I’ll admit, I didn’t pick the killer, and I highly doubt you will either. But spend rainy evening curled up on the couch with this highly entertaining trash-fest, and you will absolutely be screaming with delight at the final reveal.


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