The Curator of Schlock #227: Assassination Games

The Curator of Schlock #227 by Jeff Shuster

Assassination Games
Play this game and you might get burned.
(Nope. Let me try this again.)
In this game, the winners are the losers.
(Nope. That subhead doesn’t make any sense. Third time’s the charm.)
Check, mate!

The great Sidney Lumet once said that being a movie director is the greatest job in the world. I would challenge that assumption by making the claim that being an international assassin is the greatest job in the world.

Think about it. You get to kill people for big money. Many people kill other people free, so imagine getting paid for it. Heck, some people pay BIG money for the privilege of killing people for fun like in those Hostel movies. I always took pride in the fact that we Americans always fetched the highest bidding in those movies. USA! USA! USA!

Assassination Games

On that note, tonight’s feature is 2011’s Assassination Games from director Ernie Barbarash. It stars Jean-Claude Van Damme and Scott Adkins…I don’t know who that is. What are Scott’s screen credits? He was in Pit Fighter? They based a movie off of that old Atari arcade game?


Oh, looks like Scott’ll be in IP Man 4. Whaaat? IP Man 4 is coming out! I guess I should probably watch the first three. Oh, Scott was also in Doctor Strange and one of the Jason Bourne movies. He does get around. My apologies, Scott Adkins.

I guess this where I start talking about the movie.


Scott Adkins plays an assassin named Roland Flint who has a bit of a chip on shoulder because a Russian gangster named Polo Yakur (Ivan Kaye) tied him to a chair, forcing Roland to watch his wife get repeatedly raped and beaten until she ended up in a vegetative state.


Jean-Claude Van Damme plays Vincent Brazil, an assassin whose latest mark was the brother of Yakur. Brazil slit the man’s throat during a family wedding while disguised as a waiter. Yakur gets out of prison and wants the assassin who killed his brother eliminated. Brazil is offered a contract on Yakur. Flint wants to kill Yakur to avenge his wife. Flint and Brazil decide to team up to take out Yakur.


Vincent Brazil is an interesting character. He enters his apartment, a seedy-looking dump reminiscent of Jean Reno’s apartment in Léon: The Professional, but a false wall reveals a rather swanky music studio complete with a grand piano. Brazil spends his spare time playing the violin, no doubt prepping for an audition with the Boston Pops. While practicing one afternoon, he overhears his neighbor, a pimp, abusing one of his girls, October (Marija Karan). He beats up the pimp, let’s October stay with him when she shows him how to properly stroke his turtle to get it to come out of his shell.

That isn’t a sexual euphemism.

Brazil really does have a pet turtle.


Naturally, October gets brutally murdered by Yakur. There’s some kind of conspiracy involving the CIA, Interpol, and the British Parliament. Needless to say, there’s some nasty violence coming their way courtesy of these two assassins. Brazil even manages to slice the pimp’s head off with a samurai sword. Think about it. You’re getting a nice massage at a massage parlor and in walks Jean-Claude Van Damme brandishing a samurai sword. He slices into your neck. At that moment, you rethink your life choices, think about how you should have unleashed your anger on a game of Pit-Fighter rather than one of your employees.

Jeffrey Shuster 2
Photo by Leslie Salas.

Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124episode 131, and episode 284) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.

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