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Sudden Death (1995)

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A former fireman takes on a group of terrorists holding the Vice President and others hostage during the seventh game of the NHL Stanley Cup finals.



(story) (as Karen Baldwin), (screenplay)



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Whittni Wright ...
Mrs. Ferrara
Steve Aronson ...
Michael R. Aubele ...
Ace (as Michael Aubele)
TV Director (as Karen Baldwin)
Jennifer D. Bowser ...
Pat Brisson ...
Player #2


Some terrorists kidnap the Vice President of the United States and threaten to blow up the entire stadium during the final game of the NHL Stanley Cup. There is only one way and one man to stop them... Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


This Christmas, action goes into overtime. See more »


Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a substantial amount of strong violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

22 December 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Muerte súbita  »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


A sequel to the film had been written and was planned for a Fall 1997 release. But after the film underperformed at the box office, the project was scrapped. See more »


The break before the start of overtime is shown as a brief intermission with the teams on the benches, which is correct for the regular NHL season. However, in a tied playoff game, the teams head to their locker rooms for a normal length intermission. The Penguins probably would have noticed that their locker room had been riddled with bullets and the bodies of a few bad guys on the floor. See more »


Play-by-Play Announcer: Oh, stop the press! Stop the press!
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Referenced in Diablo III: Reaper of Souls (2014) See more »


Arena Themes
Written and Performed by Sorcerer
Courtesy of Neenoon Tunes
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User Reviews

A fairly decent thriller that doesn't try to get cute.
24 January 2001 | by See all my reviews

I may be one of those movie buffs who's at least willing to confess that they're not a huge admirer or fan of a certain actor or director. Jean-Claude Van Damme would be near the top of my list of actors that I only admire although I've seen a few films where he has his name is on the poster.

"Sudden Death" is the second film that Van Damme has starred in with photographer/director Peter Hyams ("End of Days", "Timecop") is at the helm.

This film was based on an actual story by Karen Baldwin and is adapted into the story by Gene Quintano.

The movie takes place at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena in Pittsburgh where the Chicago Blackhawks and the Pittsburgh Penquins are about to take the ice for the last game of the Stanley Cup finals. Van Damme's character, Darren McCord, takes his son and daughter to the game. As usual, the arena is packed with fans and the Vice President of the U.S. has come to see the game as well. Unfortunately, Joshua Foss (Powers Boothe), a demented terrorist and a small band of terrorists take control of the Owner's box where the V.P. and several people. Foss demands that he wants a billion dollars and how he wants to use it puzzles me. However, at the end of each period, if his demand isn't met, Foss shoots someone and if the deal isn't done at the end of the game. The arena is blown sky high with several explosives that are set all over the arena.

Boothe is good here and he makes the threat very real, which is key to making any thriller. He also shows some wit and in one particular scene, the Vice President curiously asks Foss "What kind of lunatic are you?" Foss responds - "The best kind."

What draws McCord into the situation is when his daughter is taken up to the Owner's box. From there on, the movie manages to make the excitement to be interesting. One example would be the fight scenes that McCord has with a couple of thugs in the kitchen at two seperate times. Just about every prop is used from the meat slicer to the bone, which goes through one of the neck of a terrorist. Fun and yucky isn't it?

The last half of the film is just about entertaining as the first half is. I'm undecided if "Sudden Death" would make the best thriller that involves a sports event and terrorists since John Frankenheimer's "Black Sunday". Van Damme and Boothe are both good here.

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