Sudden Thunder (1990)


Sudden Thunder
(1990)- * * *

Directed by: David Hunt

Starring: Andrea Lamatsch, Corwin Sperry, Curtis Carter, and Mike Monty

Patricia Merrill (Lamatsch) is a Miami-based policewoman. When she gets the news that her father has died in a car crash, she travels to the small town of Wilbury, which is presumably in Florida, to settle his affairs. While there, she uncovers a small town conspiracy that involves new sheriff Mike Gray (Monty) (Patricia's father was the old sheriff). 

Apparently, most of the Wilbury police force is involved in drug running and Patricia stumbles on to that fact. Sensing that she needs help and that she can't face this threat alone, her buddies from Miami P.D. follow her to Wilbury. They also team up with friend of the Merrill family Jake Stokes (Carter) and they all band together to fight the corruption and baddies. Will they be hearing the SUDDEN THUNDER?

Sudden Thunder gets off to a great start with Andrea Lamatsch doing a full nightclub performance on stage with a band, then getting involved in a shootout with some baddies. After she shoots people wearing an evening dress, the musicians onstage continue playing the song, which is far louder than the dialogue people are then saying. They're almost drowned out completely. We knew then that we were going to like Sudden Thunder.

It was an inspired choice by the filmmakers to make Lamatsch the main star and heroine of the film. That's certainly what we would have done if we were in charge. To cast someone with an almost-impenetrable German accent who looks like a model as a Miami cop was an inspired casting choice. All the dialogue scenes with Lamatsch are gold. In the second half of the movie, when it's mainly her and her buddies running around dodging explosions, perhaps counterintuitively, things slow down for the viewer. Lamatsch carries the movie, so when she's not front and center, things suffer.

If other action stars with accents could make it big - everyone from Schwarzenegger to Van Damme - why not Lamatsch? That's what we always say. She's certainly easier to look at than they are. But it appears that's not the path she chose. Besides her, other people are in the cast as well, believe it or not. Mike Monty is here as the evil sheriff, and Curtis Carter stands out as Jake Stokes. He's the guy with the cabin in the woods where Patricia goes to recuperate. He's a charismatic guy that the audience really likes.

Of course, there's the time-honored barfight, and our heroes walk/run away from a grounded exploding airplane. The "corruption and drug running in a small town" plot has been seen many times before, notably in The Devastator (1986), among others. The second half of Sudden Thunder is notably blander than the first half. Director David Hunt (AKA David Hung) later went on to make Triple Impact (1992), and Lamatsch did Blood Ring (1991). But here they joined their forces and the results are generally good, especially in the earlier sections of the film.

Sudden Thunder was released by AIP on VHS and is typical of their releases in two ways: the people on the front of the box are not in the movie, and the tape is now rare. If you can find a copy for not a lot of money, which is not an easy thing to do these days, it's worth picking up. But it's not really worth high online prices. That being said, there is plenty to enjoy with Sudden Thunder. It's probably Andrea Lamatsch's finest hour, and for that alone, it's worth seeing.

Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty


Anonymous said...

No mention of Corwin "JUST FOLLOW MY FUCKIN ORDERS" Sperry? I looked for this at one point for no other reason than his presence in the film. Does he get to yell at people?

Ty said...

Probably! Almost 100 percent chance, but don't remember! Haha