With the release date of Catching Fire now only weeks away, fans don’t have too long to wait to see the heroics of Katniss Everdeen back on the big screen. But for those struggling to contain their excitement, here’s a look at five other contemporary fight-to-the-death movies that might just help to fill the Hunger Games-sized hole between now and November 22.
The final film directed by the innovative Kinji Fukusaku, Battle Royale sees a group of classmates drugged and taken to a mysterious island where they are forced to compete in a sadistic game of survival. Incredibly violent and regularly shocking, but not without traces of pitch-black humor, it’s like The Hunger Games cranked up to 100.
Series 7: The Contenders
A darkly comic satire on the rise of reality television at the beginning of the new millennium, Series 7: The Contenders may have had about a hundredth of The Hunger Games‘ budget. But it’s no less thrilling as a group of people, selected at random by a national lottery, are paid to hunt and kill each other entirely for the satisfaction of the voyeuristic viewing public.
Another reflection on the ‘ratings at all costs’ nature of the TV industry, Live! stars Eva Mendes as a ruthless executive who develops the ‘ultimate game show,’ a twisted version of Russian Roulette which offers six willing participants five million dollars for potentially blasting their own brains out in front of the nation.
In a surprisingly decent remake of the 1975 pedal-to-the-metal thriller Death Race 2000, Jason Statham continued to cement his status as the ’00s finest action hero as a wrongly convicted criminal forced to take part in a three-part race that would either secure his freedom or lead to his death.
Unfairly overlooked on its 2009 release, The Tournament sees the world’s richest businessmen devise a brutal “last man standing” game which gathers thirty deadly assassins in one unsuspecting small town for the chance to win ten million dollars. Like The Hunger Games, if it was set in suburban Northern England rather than post-apocalyptic America.