Larry Peerce’s part-thriller, part-disaster movie evokes a certain nostalgia for its period, while containing some of the flaws characteristic of its time. The 1976 epic sees an unhinged sniper with a high powered rifle secret himself into a tower overlooking a major American football match, seeking to assassinate the President (it would have been Gerald Ford at the time – would anyone have noticed?). When the chief doesn’t show, he threatens an indiscriminate killing spree.
There’s a peculiar kind of detachment to this film’s presentation, leaving the film ambiguous about whether it’s a quietly subversive attack on the ineptitude of the authorities in charge of security or a right wing politics of fear piece. What it certainly is, is crowded with stars in that disaster movie kind of way – Charlton Heston, John Cassavetes, David Janssen and Walter Pidgeon are among many spotable faces. But there are perhaps too many incidental characters to allow one to identify with any particular story. Still, given the static nature of its premise, it remains pretty tense throughout. Not much in the way of extras.
(Nouveux DVD retail)