|Index||4 reviews in total|
I found this film on VHS tape yesterday from a flea market. I had never
heard of this before. I watched it today and liked it very much! The
film is located in the Philippines, which I found very interesting.
Usually these kind of movies take place in the east coast (New York) or
west coast (San Francisco or Los Angeles) in the USA. This film is a
rare exception of this.
The movie begins with some gangsters killing a family, a scene which reminds me of similar scene in Once Upon A Time In The West. The father of the family survives. After a while two long-time friends got to fight against the bad guys in many ways and several different places. The story is very confusing, mainly because the characters got very little introducing. But that's not so important in action movies...
The fighting and shooting scenes are very cool with a lot of shot-gun action and slow-motion camera. The actors are good, the dialogue is wonderfully explicit, editing works fine and the scenes are set up almost perfectly. I really enjoyed this and recommend it to anyone interested of good old action, instead of wire tricks and computer effects in modern actionfilms. The music made a great atmosphere with all those wah-wah guitar and minimoog sounds.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Some movies bowl you over with an unusually complex and gripping story.
Other movies knock you flat on your keister because they are
exceptionally well made. Still other films grab you by the scruff of
the neck and squeeze until you're gasping for air due to a seriously
smoking cast. This terrifically twisty and twisted 70's conspiracy
action thriller scores strongly in all three areas, taking the viewer
on the kind of wonderfully wicked descent into total nihilism and
anti-heroism which could have only been done in a raw, skull-shredding,
no-holds-barred in-your-face fashion back in the glorious 70's. Yep,
this one's the authentic gnarly article -- and pretty brutal, too.
The always great Robert Conrad rules the day as a gruff, rough'n'tumble soldier of fortune who, assisted by his groovy soul bro partner Felton Perry, winds up knee deep in some heavy, highly illegal and extremely convoluted big business s**t when he decides to investigate a series of murders committed by a shady group of greedy, immoral, anything-for-the-money millionaires who include a disgusting, overweight homosexual pedophile and John Ashley (who also co-produced the film) as an untrustworthy undercover government agent. Conrad, Perry and Ashley all turn in top-notch work, but the guy who easily makes off with the entire picture is consummate celluloid creepo specialist Don Stroud, who gives a sterling performance as a ruthless, long-haired, ice cold professional hit-man who's first seen tossing a cat into the air, has an old score to settle with Conrad, and desperately longs to make a pile of cash so he can successfully bury his embarrassing past as a dirt poor slob kid from the slums.
Director Eddie Romero really lets 'er rip with this fast-paced, darkly amoral, and frequently very violent tale which starts out nasty (a family are graphically blown away while frolicking in a pool!) and gets even nastier as the whole intricate story unfolds, concluding with a devastatingly grim surprise ending that hits the unsuspecting viewer with all the ferocity of a sucker punch to the solar plexus. Further enhanced by Johnny Pate's brassy, funky, wah-wah guitar driven score, uniformly cool'n'cruel characters, a fiercely protracted knock-down, drag-out barroom brawl, several unflinchingly vicious chopsocky fights (Conrad hits countless guys in the groin and engages in an intensely cooking climactic slow motion martial arts face-off with Stroud), splashy, generously squibbed gun shots, and a nice cameo by an uncredited Vic Diaz as a carnival barker, "Sudden Death" hits hard and takes no prisoners, thereby rating highly as a definite must-see 70's Filipino exploitation gem.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Robert Conrad looks just as fit as he ever did in "The Wild, Wild West" in director Eddie Romero's "Sudden Death." Basically, murder and revenge lay at the heart of this contemporary melodrama about a man whose family is massacred on an island paradise. Miraculously, the father of the family, John Shaw (John Ashley of "Young Dillinger") convinces a former U.S. government agent who participated in the incursion in Cuba to step in to help him. Initially, Duke (Robert Conrad of "Wrong Is Right") is reluctant, because he lives like a beach bum with his daughter and his girlfriend. Nevertheless, Duke's best friend on the island, Buffalo (contacts one of Duke's closest friends stateside, Wyatt Spain (Felton Perry of "Magnum Force"), to come to the island and back him up. A cabal of conspirators is responsible for the death of the family at the outset of the action. Like one other commentator has observed, the opening scene where a peaceful family, husband, wife, and sons are gunned down, is reminiscent of Sergio Leone's "Once Upon A Time in the West." After Duke decides that he wants to step in and change the fortune of the villains, the villains hire a Mafia executioner, Dominic Digaldo (Don Stroud of "Joe Kidd"), to terminate Duke with extreme prejudice. The violence is frank and brutal, and the ending is a complete surprise. Thayer David plays a lusty homosexual who sleeps with young boys. Essentially, "Sudden Death" would be just another bloody revenge thriller if it weren't for its unconventional action. You've never heard Robert Conrad curse until you see "Sudden Death." The fight between Duke and Dominic is short and sweet. Director Eddie Romero doesn't let anything bog down this nuts and bolts actioneer, and Robert Conrad is fascinating to watch as the hero. He doesn't pull his shots when he is facing another man. "Sudden Death" deserved the R-rating that it received for all its blood and violence.
Although made in 1977, this turgid mess of a film has the look and feel of a cheap, Golan Globus or Cannon movie from the cheesy 80's. We get a tired revenge tale, that is mind-numbingly boring and convoluted, and it seems like whoever made this thing was aware of that..so they added a lot of cheap, bloody violence in an effort to keep up interest. The look of "Sudden Death" is ugly and amateurish as well, and time has not been kind to this deservedly forgotten drivel. But I must give it credit for featuring the absolute WORST acting i have EVER seen in a movie before, and that includes the indie Blaxploitation movie "The Man From Harlem," which is honestly a MUCH better film than this one. At least that movie is fun to watch. Everyone involved in this mess looked absolutely mortified to be in it. I don't usually trash movies, but when i saw all the people actually PRAISING this crap, i had to even out the scales a bit. If you want to see a GOOD revenge thriller, skip "Sudden Death" and search out "Get Carter" starring Michael Caine; trust me, your brain will thank you for it...
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