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Sudden Terror: The Hijacking of School Bus #17 (1996)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  13 October 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.5/10 from 342 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 1 critic

A crazed lunatic takes over a school bus filled with special needs children, threatening to blow it up if his demands are not met.


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Title: Sudden Terror: The Hijacking of School Bus #17 (TV Movie 1996)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marta Caldwell
Marcy Walker ...
Lt. Kathy Leone
Harry Kee
Frank Caldwell
Lt. Dominick Caroselli
Glenda Siles
Cristina Karman ...
Carlotta Arguello
Detective Grantham
Detective Sims
Sergeant Gentry
Officer Reynolds (as Jim Coleman)
John Archie ...
Eduardo Sanchez
Juanita Sanchez
Mark Conlon ...


A crazed lunatic takes over a school bus filled with special needs children, threatening to blow it up if his demands are not met.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Thriller


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Release Date:

13 October 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bombenterror - Todesangst im Schulbus  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Based on a true story. See more »

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User Reviews

Sudden Boredom: The need for a beer
17 September 1999 | by (England) – See all my reviews

Oh man. I've seen some half-cocked attempts at a TV movie before, but this really takes the biscuit, and anything else that happens to be around. I don't have the time or the space to list out all the faults with this, so I'll skip to the best/worst parts.

For a start, the title should be had up for flagrant mis-advertising. 'Sudden'- yeah right. This film accelerates to the action at the same speed as the bus. 'Terror'- where exactly? I've been more scared watching an ice cube melt. The terror of not knowing if that ice will drip on your clean jeans. The horror, the horror!

For 99% of the film's running time, nothing happens. Except it gets worse, of course. This film starts badly, and digs itself into a hole from then on. After this, instead of stopping digging, it takes a pneumatic jack-hammer and seems determined to dig itself right to the centre of the earth.

Acting. Acting. Yep, this film had it I'm sure, but not in the bits I saw. You could go see a group of 5 year olds do a play and be blown away by the acting after having watched this. The scripting flowed like set cement.

After having sat through most of the film, I then saw the SRT (Special Rescue Team) kick into action. Now we're getting somewhere I thought. But obviously it was the real SRT's day off, so instead we had the Sort-of Ready Team 'in charge'. You would think that they've never seen a gun before the way they acted. I'm just glad someone told them which end of the gun is the dangerous one, or we would have a very messy situation on our hands. They also seemed to lack any training in explosives. Having found out that there was C4 on board, the SRT thought they had a useful bit of info. But no, no-one around seemed to be trained properly in explosives. At one point, the bus was going down hill fast (much like the film itself) and over bumps. Seeing this, the SRT ran around for cover, thinking the bus would explode. So now I sat there, screaming at the screen, 'Fools! C4 needs an electrical charge to detonate! Going bumpy bump ain't gonna do it! Fools!'

Having lost faith in the SRT now, I wasn't that surprised when the commander didn't give the order to fire to the snipers when they had a clean shot. Typical. So what was her plan exactly? Ask him if he wanted to discuss this over coffee? I don't condone unnecessary killing, but for geezes sake, he had a bomb on a bus full of kids. This bomb was supposedly going to make Oklahoma look like a sneeze. In that case, why did they let the madman drive this bus through the centre of a massive city? Is it cheaper to blow up buildings (with people in) than knock them down? That must be it. The SRT were getting back-handers from a property developer. It all makes sense now.

So the end of the film came. The SRT snipers shot the bad guy. They were pretty lucky actually. You see, the bad guy got shot once, then twice more, but never showed any signs of bullet wounds, or any wounds at all. The shock must have killed him then. Bless.

Conclusion? You already know. I hope that they keep this film in an archive so that directors of the future have a way of making a good film. I can just picture the scene:

FILM ENDS: Media/Film Teacher: 'You see that film we just watched. What I want you to do when you make your film is to do exactly the opposite of everything you just saw. You'll thank me oneday.'

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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