Sudden Terror

1970

Crime / Drama / Thriller

98
IMDb Rating 6.1 10 487

Synopsis


Downloaded times
February 12, 2021

Director

Cast

Lionel Jeffries as Grandpa
Mark Lester as Ziggy
Peter Vaughan as Paul Grazzini
Susan George as Pippa
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
844.22 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
92 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.53 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
92 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by lost-in-limbo 7 / 10 / 10

Go on, tell us another one.

This had all the trademark features to turn out be a first rate thriller in the frame of Hitchcock, but something just comes off short. Maybe because we already know how the story will play out, but director John Hough's confident, stylistic verve in his set-pieces shows how talent can transcend basic material into something better then it should. Well lets not forget the other aspects that seem to draw you in too. A beautifully picturesque Mediterranean backdrop is easy on the eyes. David Holmes' fancily off-kilter camera-work maintains a smooth flow, despite its constant imaginative changes (reflections, tilts) in positioning to invoke intrigue and tension. The music engraved in the feature by composers' Fairfield Parlour and David Whitaker has a real cheeky twinge, and very edgy awe that peppers the on screen action. It was only Hough's second feature, but definitely one of his sleepers. Some of the exciting acts (of destruction), could go on to cement themselves in his bang-bang, gust buster film "Dirt Mary Crazy Larry (1974)", which also starred Susan George. She co-stars here, but the ravishing starlet seems underdone. However Lionel Jeffries is appealingly amusing whenever in shot and Mark Lester ably does the job. There are good turns by Peter Vaughan, Tony Boner and Jeremy Kemp. The plot is straight-forward, but held together by its "The boy cried wolf" theme interwoven into a cat and mouse thriller with cracking suspense and startling jolts. Some plot devices are too convenient, but it throws up some little gloomy and lethal surprises along the way. An acceptable thriller done with enough panache.

Reviewed by Bunuel1976 6 / 10 / 10

EYEWITNESS (John Hough, 1970) **1/2

I had long wanted to watch this British thriller because it was entirely filmed in Malta; now, it followed on the heels of two other films shot over here – THE LAST SHARK (1981) and the somewhat similar TRENCHCOAT (1983). Naturally, all three were proudly shown on local TV when I was a kid but, back then, I had only caught Enzo G. Castellari’s notorious JAWS (1975) rip-off. The plot of EYEWITNESS (released in the U.S. as SUDDEN TERROR) is inspired by the classic low-budget noir THE WINDOW (1949), which I only watched for the first time some three months ago – that of a boy with a very vivid imagination who’s not believed by his family when he tells them he had witnessed a murder but, of course, the villain can’t leave anything to chance and decides to eliminate him. While the earlier film worked because of its intimate nature – it was set in an apartment building – this one (adapted for the screen by future Oscar winner Ronald Harwood) involves a more elaborate set-up, since the murder (of a visiting African leader) was committed in broad daylight and in plain sight of the authorities! Actually, the perpetrator is immediately revealed to be none other than a policeman – which takes the whole clearly into Hitchcock territory; while there are plenty of suspense sequences typical of the Master, director Hough put his own stamp on the material by a surprisingly flashy style (all zooms and odd angles) as well as a rather vicious streak (no one, not even a little girl and a priest, who’s unlucky enough to get in the way of the killer’s ultimate intent is spared!). This, however, is the film’s main flaw (though it’s equally hampered by gaudy 1970s fashions – especially the oversize dark glasses and tacky clothes sported by an associate of the murderer who comes himself to a sticky end at the latter’s hands): too many turn-of-events feel decidedly implausible, not least police chief Jeremy Kemp’s all-too-sudden realization that the real target of the assassination was himself – which brings him to narrow the search for the assassin down to dissidents within his own ranks…and, just as quickly, is willing to take the young boy’s tale at face value when no one else does (which, naturally, puts him on the trail of the killer and is thus able to save the kid and his family in the nick of time)! Incidentally, my father (who is a film buff himself and used to work as postman) once told us that he had personally handed a letter to the craggy-faced English actor and, I presume, that occurred sometime during the shooting of this film! The casting, apart from that of blond-haired adult hero Peter Bonner (as a character named Tom Jones!), is quite effective: Mark Lester – riding high on the success of the multi Oscar-winning musical OLIVER! (1968) – is the boy, Lionel Jeffries his typically eccentric grand-father (a former General who has taken to living inside a light-house!), Susan George as Lester’s elder sister (looking lovely as always, though her trademark earthiness is bafflingly – and disappointingly – kept under wraps) and Peter Vaughan as the dogged and sinister killer cop (he and George would be reteamed not long after for Sam Peckinpah’s controversial STRAW DOGS [1971]). By the way, John Hough kept the Maltese connection going for his subsequent effort – since the TWINS OF EVIL (1971) of his notable Hammer outing, Madeleine and Mary Collinson, were of Maltese origin! Incidentally, of the myriad films shot in my country over the years, this is surely among the ones to make the most judicious use of our locations – the sea-shore (with prominent salt-flats set against an amazing sunset: indeed, cinematographer David Holmes is to be congratulated for his sterling work throughout), old expansive buildings turned into offices, public gardens (a notable chase on foot just after the initial assassination was filmed at the Upper Barrakka Gardens in our city of Valletta, which is where the Bank I work for holds its yearly Summer cocktail party for staff members!) catacombs, military forts (for the scene in which the villains are kept at bay via a flurry of Molotov cocktails) and cliffs (to where the exciting climactic car chase leads for the grand finale). Typical of the era, too, the film is given a pop/rock soundtrack – with the result (despite the involvement of cult band Van Der Graaf Generator) being pleasant yet unremarkable.

Reviewed by The_Void 6 / 10 / 10

Well made, but disappointing thriller

"Pins you to the edge of your seat" is the tagline for this film, and while that could be aptly applied to many thrillers; it certainly doesn't suit this one! John Hough's Eyewitness has the basis for a decent story (even if it's not all that original) but it's never capitalised on properly and, for the first two thirds at least, the film is slow, largely uninteresting and lacks tension and suspense; thus not providing what you want or expect from a film that calls itself thriller (much less, one that proudly proclaims that you will be on the edge of your seat). The plot takes obvious influence from the common thriller idea of having somebody witness a crime and then having the perpetrators go after that person; here, we also have a bit of 'the boy who cried wolf' thrown in too for good measure. The eyewitness of the title is a boy named Ziggy who goes to watch a parade and ends up witnessing an assassination. It's not long before the assassins are on his tail, but naturally considering the boy's track record for lying, his family don't believe him... The film is rather well produced; it looks nice, is well directed and mostly features good acting from the ensemble cast. Lionel Jeffries is my pick of the performers and he does well as the eccentric grandfather and head of the family. He gets good support from Tony Bonner as a young stranger who ends up with the family due to a care few and the beautiful Susan George as his granddaughter. The film also features a performance from Mark Lester and this is where the film falls down. The child actor will always be famous for his role as Oliver Twist in the 1968 film (I'm not a fan), but here he is completely irritating and doesn't do much than run around looking scared for the ninety minute duration. The first two thirds of the film are very slow and dull and that's a shame because the film really opens in the final half hour and is actually quite good; but by then I was too bored to care as much as I could have done were it not for the disappointing opening. The climax to the film is quite good and on the whole, while I wouldn't say this is a bad film; it's not a particularly good one either.

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