|Terror Stalks The Class Reunion, 1992|
Based on a short story of the same name by Mary Higgins Clark and directed by Clive Donner (who has done better work), the 1992 made-for-tv movie Terror Stalks the Class Reunion is every bit as dreadful as the title suggests, and a terrible waste of good actors. It stars Kate Nelligan, Geraint Wyn-Davies (of Forever Knight and Highlander fame), and Jennifer Beals (Flashdance), as well as Werner Stocker. But the absurd plot, dull screenplay, overwrought soundtrack, and crude direction gives the actors little chance to shine.
Wyn-Davies plays a psychopathic stalker in blue sunglasses who has an obsession with his former high-school teacher (Nelligan), and is determined to wed her no matter who has to die. Werner Stocker is cast as Franz, a workaholic German cop on the trail of an escaped prisoner, who becomes involved in the stalker case by chance when he stays at the same hotel as the victim, who is in town for a high-school reunion. Beals, his former girlfriend, just happens to be the security officer at the U.S. Army base in Germany where the above-mentioned high-school happens to be located (what a coincidence!) Franz manages to catch the escapee and the stalker while making the local police look stupid, and also gets the pretty girl in the end.
To give the actors credit, they struggle admirably with the poor material they are given to work with, but the plot is so clichéd that I found it impossible to do anything but laugh, or groan, at the pathetic stalker and his desperate prey. Werner Stocker and Beals, as the young couple trying to decide whether to renew their relationship while saving the day, play off each other well and provide a bit of much-needed relief from the ridiculous melodrama of the main plot. Werner especially manages to give warmth, humor, and charm to the driven Franz, and Beals' Virginia, while not exactly believable as a security officer, comes across as intelligent and independent. And it is worth every penny of the 99 cents I spent to rent this B-movie just for the pleasure of seeing Werner with gloriously wind-blown hair tooling around in a red convertible, and using his incredibly intense gaze to mesmerize Beals prior to bestowing an impetuous kiss.
That is really about all there is worth seeing in this movie, except perhaps for a little ironic detail near the end. Far be it from me to give anything away, but I just about died laughing when I saw what Werner was wearing when he went in to the stalker's lair to rescue Kate Nelligan. (Maybe that's where the Highlander casting director got the idea he might be good in the role of Darius... who knows?)
I can't in all conscience recommend the film as entertainment, and I suggest renting it only because it is one of the very few of Werner's films available on video in this country. I managed to find a copy of this to rent at Blockbuster Video, but the last time I checked, they no longer had it. It can be bought online at Amazon.com and other places, but the price is way too high considering how bad this film is. New and used copies sometimes show up on E-bay for a lot less.
|The Book of Darius
(This page last updated 05/15/2004)