Darren Ward's SUDDEN FURY kicks ass!
Produced, Directed and Written by Darren Ward
Editor and Director of Photography - Peter Dobson
Pike - David Warbeck
Walker - Nick Rendell
Randall - Paul Murphy
Jimmy - Andy Ranger
There's no way for me not to gush like a giddy fanboy when talking about this U.K. action production. Right up there with THE NEW CHAPTER and RAVAGE, two other exceptionally well made shot on video action thrillers, SUDDEN FURY just plain kicks ass with white-hot lightening intensity.
Walker is a hitman, the best in the business. He'd kill you just as soon as kiss you. When up and coming gangster Randall wants the current boss, Harris, out of the way, Randall brings in Walker to take care of the dirty work.
Working for Harris as muscle is Pike, THE BEYOND's David Warbeck, a horror icon if there ever was one, in one of his last movie roles. Skin and bones, the dying actor looks as if he's had one foot in the grave for years. Hardly the menacing enforcer that his character is supposed to be, Warbeck does all he can to breath and life and energy into Pike, and the extra effort visually takes the wind out of the poor man. With the knowledge that Warbeck died shortly after production, his scenes take on qualities and emotions they wouldn't normally possess. The hardened hitman becomes both sympathetic and revolting. You get the feeling he'd spend his last remaining breaths trying to kill his mark in hopes of one final pleasure rather than asking forgiveness for his misdeeds. This is never more evident than a nasty blowtorch-to-the-face torture scene that takes on an extra level of perversion as the feeble old man waves the torch from his victim's eyes to their mouths...so there'd be no way ANYONE can get the information he wasn't able to retrieve.
Warbeck's scenes are SUDDEN FURY's selling point...a name above the title and little else. As much as I liked his character, Warbeck's presence distracts from the real story - Walker's revenge after Randall double-crosses him. Once Walker obliterates Pike and his flunkies in a shotgun orgy, Randall decides there's little use for the man. The remaining movie is a cat and mouse game between the two underworldlings.
Ward keeps the chess match- plot moving at a pacing brisk. Once we move away from Warbeck, the movie flies forward in fifth gear without ever slowing down, perhaps a bit too fast. Hurtling head first from one blood-splattering shoot-out after another, I was quickly desensitized to the ultra-violence I found so jaw-dropping just minutes before...that is until Ward ups the ante. Once once level of violence becomes stale, Ward pushes things up to the next level. Towards the later half of the movie not a soul is safe from the rain-of-fire brutality, not even children.
The movie isn't without its faults, the primary being the cast. Outside of Warbeck, the actors all appear too young to have achieved the level of mob-turity and swagger that should have taken their characters years to accumulate. In early scenes some of the lead cast don't look comfortable in their roles, but they catch on quickly enough and find the rhythm and menace to make their roles believable.
The DVD from Sub Rosa studios seems bare compared to their earlier releases. There's an art gallery and production stills along with two deleted scenes and 10 minutes of out-takes and bloopers. For a movie this good one would hope the presentation would be better, but I can live with a few small sacrifices when it comes to a movie that kicks as much ass as SUDDEN FURY.