Sudden Fury

Sudden Fury

I'm a big fan of Independent filmmaking, the cool thing about it is that when you're checking out a new indie feature you're walking into an unknown zone. If I were to be honest, more often than not most low budget features are undeniable dross but the fun is coming across the occasional feature that truly shines above the rest and not only getting the thrill of watching a cool new movie but potentially checking out the next big thing in the genre movie scene. As I say though, for every budding Raimi or Soavi there's a hundred backyard wannabes, thankfully Darren Ward falls comes under the former and 'Sudden Fury' is his ideal calling card for future productions.

The film is a story of drugs, gangs and bloody mayhem with a pinch of black humour thrown in. As the film opens we meet upcoming drugs kingpin Randell and his lackey Jimmy who are pummelling the living daylights out of two minor hoods who have failed in their mission to steal a rival gangs drugs supply, which they done but failed to get rid of any evidence to connect them (well, they blew the rivals heads off!) Realising that there could be gang war problems ahead, Randell arranges for lone hitman Walker (played in an entertainingly over the top manner by deserving newcomer Nick Rendell) to go wipe his rivals out. Being a bit of a ultra-violent wildcard Walker takes up the offer gladly (with the offer of a million pounds to whet his appetite) but doesn't realise that Randell plans to knock off our hit man hero as soon as his job is done. Things get even more complicated for Walker when he comes up against psychotic gangster Pike (played with insane aplomb by the late great David Warbeck) and he soon ends up in bother from everyone around!

'Sudden Fury' is a thoroughly enjoyable Independent exploitationer that should please any fan of low budget movies. Darren Ward does a fantastic job all round, which is vastly impressive when you consider that he both scripted and directed the movie and manages to deliver such a fun movie (more so when you think that it was mostly self financed and produced over a number of years) - dedication that deserves recognition. But I digress, the film has much of the ingredients that genre fans will enjoy - there's a welcome overindulgence in violence (with plenty of blood and some cool gory moments), the key to the actors performances seems to have been 'ham it up' to the hilt (with everyone cussing like they depend on it in the style of old cop shows like 'The Sweeney') and whilst the film moves along at a great pace you can feel the pleasure that all involved had in making this wee gem of a production.

Director Ward is keen on the discs liner notes (and commentary) to point out his love for the camera styles of the Italian masters and it shows in his directing style, nice one. The lead hero/hit man Walker will have you chuckling merrily at times with a performance that comes across like one big rip at the whole macho hero clichés (hey, he must get hit by about forty bullets throughout the film and just keeps getting back up and wait till you here some of his cornball dialogue lines!) And lest we forget David Warbeck who gives a splendidly overzealous psycho performance that is only marred by his lack of screen time, which is a shame. So, can you tell I enjoyed this film? Ha, sure did!

But what of its debut onto the shiny disc format? Well, Dragon have probably acted above and beyond the call of duty with this very 'special edition' release. The film itself is presented in a matted widescreen format and the image and audio is strong throughout, though some will likely pick up on the fact that the master isn't that much improved from its video format origins (some fancy cleaning up would have been nice but are we asking too much?) The extras included take this release that extra mile on the impressive front with just about everything you would ever need to accompany this movie. First off there's a candid and honest audio commentary by director Ward and lead Rendell that is both informative (on the makings of a low budget production) and amusing which UK readers of SGM will most likely connect with. Next up there's a sizeable collection of out-takes, bloopers and deleted scenes - some of which will be of interest to Warbeck fetishists and there's some funny moments too (including a ropy gangster Mars Bar advert and the failing performance in a bedroom scene with lead Rendell blamed seemingly by 'too much speed'!) There's also a lengthy trailer for the movie (of course), an extensive still gallery and for completists the inclusion of the films entire soundtrack! There's stacks on here in this definitive package and it's not even promoted as a special edition! Go figure?!

If you've an interest in low budget genre movies then you really should be pleased with 'Sudden Fury' and as a package Dragon have delivered a first rate all round release that I thoroughly enjoyed. Let's hope we get more of the same in the future and see more companies getting behind the independent scene like this. 'Get yer kit on' and check it out!

Review by Alan Simpson

Released by Dragon
Not Rated - Region 0 (PAL)
Ratio - Widescreen
Audio - Dolby digital
Extras :
Trailer, Out-takes, Deleted scenes, Audio commentary (with Darren Ward & Nick Rendell), Complete Soundtrack, Stills Gallery.