Sudden Death (1985)

Female vigilante…New York in the mid 80’s. This should have been so good. But, nope. They messed it up.

It’s a familiar set-up. Valerie Wells is a successful business women, who is just about to get married. One evening she’s is brutally attacked by two car thieves, raped and left for dead. She ditches her fiancee, buys a gun and goes on a mission to clean up the streets. So far so good. It has certainly been done before, but that’s not the point. I don’t mind repetition…and I like revenge thrillers. But, they need to be thrilling and/or at least have a bit of charm. Sudden Death has neither of those things. Valerie goes to one seedy New York neighbourhood/bar, seduces some scumbag, gets attacked, shoots him. Repeat. Next bar, next generic male asshole. Repeat. Anyway, in the end the main problem here is our lead “actress” Denise Coward. The winner of the Miss Australia 1978 title comes across as pretty cold and lifeless throughout the film, reading her lines in a businesslike and almost clinical manner. Her male love interest, Detective Marty Lowery is not much better. Played by Frank Runyeon, he reminded me a bit of John Stamos , but without any of his goofy 80s charm.

Normally I’m a sucker for anything set in New York and the cityscape (as a character) can sometimes carry an entire film itself. But in Sudden Death even The Big Apple looks dull and uninteresting. So, no. Not for me.

2 thoughts on “Sudden Death (1985)

  1. Really? I dunno, I loved this flick. I mean, I went in hoping for a good 80s B-movie, and that’s exactly what I got. The outrageously un-PC storyline, gritty NYC locations, & wonderful Arthur Baker produced soundtrack. That scene with the deranged cabby alone is worth the price of entry! Our heroine’s strangely reserved demeanor and deadpan delivery actually worked for the character, but let’s be honest… this wasn’t gonna be a heartfelt drama about a woman dealing with rape. We’re supposed to hate the villains and enjoy seeing them dispatched to another world. True, it does start to drag during the extended chase scene at the end, but still a satisfying thriller.

    • Thanks for your comment. To to be perfectly honest with you, I can’t remember much of this particular film…which is strange, cause the post isn’t that old. So, I’m a bit intrigued now…did I really get it that wrong? Maybe I watched it on a bad day. I’ll have to re-watch it one day 🙂

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