Tuesday, November 30, 2010

#116. Death of a Snowman (1978)

DVD Synopsis: Master criminals meet violent death in Johannesburg, South Africa, a city wrought with organized crime.  Steve Chaka (Ken Gampu), an ambitious news reporter, learns that these deaths are from the hands of an all-black vigilante group known only as "War on Crime".  Teaming up with Lt. Ben Deel (Nigel Davenport, Chariots of Fire, A Man For All Seasons) of the local police department, Chaka investigates anonymous tips regarding future "hits" and ends up fighting for his life to uncover the truth behind the vigilante killings!

Death of a Snowman is interesting in that it's an exploitation movie from South Africa, with enough action and violence to match it's American counterparts blow-for-blow. 

Now, from a technical standpoint, the film is a bit rough around the edges; the editing is choppy, sometimes jarringly so, and the musical score is occasionally laughable. But what Death of a Snowman lacks in the technical department, it more than makes up for with an entertaining tale of vigilante justice, punctuated by a handful of pretty nifty sequences. A shoot-out between some Asian drug-runners and the vigilantes, posing as policemen, is both graphic and exciting, and there's a tense scene in which Nigel Davenport is chasing down another vigilante thug, a chase that ends in gunfire in a family's back yard (and interrupts a young girl's tea party). There certainly are times when the film's deficiencies act as a hindrance (a gun battle between the two leads and some drug traffickers at a small airport is all but ruined by sloppy editing), but not enough of a hindrance to spoil the fun. 

Death of a Snowman is an exciting 70's action film, and is a movie that fans of “Grindhouse” cinema should certainly check out.

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Bushido1024 said...

I want to see this movie!

DVD Infatuation said...

Bushido1024: Thanks for the comment! It's an interesting film. Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but def. worth a watch.

Thanks again!