DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

TERROR SQUAD (director: Peter Maris; screenwriters: Chuck Rose/story by Mark Verheiden; cinematographers: Jeff Johnson/Peter Jensen; editor: Jack Tucker; music:  Chuck Cirino; cast: Chuck Conners (Police Chief Rawlings), Brodie Greer (Captain Steiner), Bill Calvert  (Johnny Dylan), Kavi Raz (Yassir), Kerry Brennan (Jennifer), Joseph Nasser (Gamel), Dennis Moynihan (Norman), Budge Threlkeld (Mr. Nero), Ken Foree (Deputy Brown), Lisa Beth Ross (Larissa); Runtime: 95; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Peter Maris; Forum Home Video; 1988)

"Clumsily made action drama about Middle-East terrorists."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Peter Maris ("Viper"/"Alien Species"/"Hangfire") directs this clumsily made action drama about Middle-East terrorists. It's based on a story by Mark Verheiden. It was shot mostly in Kokomo, Indiana.

Four Libyan terrorists cross the Canadian border to enter the United States and attempt to explode a car bomb on the Blackriver Nuclear Power Plant in Kokomo, Indiana. The attack fails, but two escape. Chief Rawlings (Chuck Connors), the hard-nosed Kokomo Police Department head, takes charge of the investigation. In the pursuing chase, the two surviving terrorists are spotted by the police at the local high school. They have taken hostage a teacher (Budge Threlkeld) and a group of detention students. The SWAT team attempts to negotiate a release of the hostages, but the heavily armed terrorists kill a few of the students. The Chief thereby agrees to their demand of a school bus to take them to the airport, whereby a coed cheerleader, Jennifer (Kerry Brennan), is taken hostage. In the high-speed chase, she is daringly rescued by classmate Johnny Dylan (Bill Calvert), who entered the bus by hurling himself onto its roof before it took off. The police then eliminate the terrorists. 

The terrorism story, set unfathomably on American soil, is of course still topical, but the poor production values for the B-film should give it a report card grade of D and the one-dimensional characters would also make me give it a D grade. Nevertheless I'll rate the film a gentleman's C because I have a thing for ex-ballplayers from the Dodgers who go on to become successful actors and I like cheerleaders who know how to yell, even more.

REVIEWED ON 3/3/2015       GRADE: C

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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