In the genre of the cop-buddy picture, several teams come to my mind, such as Danny Glover, Mel Gibson, and Joe Pesci in the "Lethal Weapon" series and Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte in the "48 HRS" films. Then there's the lesser-known pairing of Fred Williamson and Bo Svenson, who worked together on a number of low-budget films from the seventies through the nineties. In 1984, they starred in their own take on "48 HRS" entitled "Deadly Impact" (released in Italy as "Impatto Mortale"). George (Svenson) and Lou (Williamson) are two old war buddies who are now on opposite sides of the law. George is a Phoenix police detective, and Lou is a helicopter pilot who promises his passengers a tour of the Grand Canyon, but always cites mechanical or weather conditions as a reason to never fully deliver on his promise.
Recommend this product?
One day, after George (once again) pretends to arrest Lou for his scam, he gets a call about a homicide and shots fired. George gives chase, with an unwilling Lou in tow. The victim was a computer programmer who had tapped into the computer security of the Las Vegas casinos to know when the slot machines were about to deliver their jackpots. Every weekend, he and his girlfriend (Marcia Clingan) went to Vegas and quietly won. However, the Vegas mob (both of them!) got wise to the couple's winnings, and followed them back to Phoenix to get the cash and the software. When the man won't tell where the cash or the software can be found, the mobsters (Vincent Conte and Giovanni Radice) drown him in his sink. Meanwhile, the girlfriend goes into hiding while George and Lou try and put together the pieces of the homicide before the mob can get to the woman.
"Deadly Impact" is a very poor imitation of "48 HRS," where aspects of the film story are found all over the place. George, for example, has a long-suffering girlfriend (just like Annette O'Toole) who wonders why she stays with him, and a lieutenant who's always yelling at him. Lou, much like Murphy's Reggie Hammond character, pretends to be a cop to get information about the mobsters from a hotel desk clerk. He has plans for the money that don't involve turning it into the police, but George insists on playing by the book in that regard. "Deadly Impact," which was co-written by the film's director, Fabrizio De Angelis (aka Larry Ludman), seems to have been created while filming, with an emphasis on crashes and explosions.
In the beginning, George is called upon to investigate a fraud perpetrated by his friend Lou. When he gets the call about the homicide, he decides to become his own version of Jack Cates (Nolte's character in "48 HRS"). When George springs into action, it's clear why his lieutenant has issues. Not only does George have Lou with him, but when the bad guys fire on his car, George returns fire. He also manages to run a couple of other drivers off the road during the pursuit. Their crashes, which involve flipping and flying, seem to have been inspired by a demolition derby. In a later chase scene, George obliterates a fruit stand, prompting the owner to shout an obscenity at George. He later crashes into a fire hydrant and angers the Salvation Army band he drenches. The film's final crash, which involves George, a helicopter, and one of the bad guys, has to be seen to be believed. Clearly, nothing is sacred to George - or anybody else involved with this movie.
Svenson and Williamson do credible jobs in their roles, but originality and logic are found in very minute qualities in "Deadly Impact." Williamson has appeared in a number of Italian-made films that are just as inspired by American films, such as his three "Black Cobra" films, whose title is borrowed from one of Sylvester Stallone's cop pictures. Anyone who's looking for a seriously good piece of entertainment should avoid most of Williamson's work at all costs. This is the sort of movie that would be the butt of a joke on a show like "The Simpsons," where Homer and his family would never be mistaken for a family that watches quality TV. Fortunately for me, I found the DVD of "Deadly Impact" at Walgreen's for $4. For that price, I consider "Deadly Impact" a sound and campy investment.
This has been an entry in the "Stinky Movie Write-Off," which host scotte1218 promises to make an annual event. To see who has participated in this, his inaugural SMWO, please follow this link:
Thank you Scott.
Read all comments (2)