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.