The Ultimate Thrill (1974)

PG   |    |  Crime, Thriller, Drama


The Ultimate Thrill (1974) Poster

At a Colorado ski resort, a jealous man's paranoia results in murder.

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6/10
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  • The Ultimate Thrill (1974)
  • The Ultimate Thrill (1974)
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  • The Ultimate Thrill (1974)
  • The Ultimate Thrill (1974)
  • The Ultimate Thrill (1974)

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12 December 2015 | lost-in-limbo
5
| "God I feel fantastic. A new kind of high. I wonder what will be next"?
With a title like this, sadly it's anything but the ultimate thrill… maybe a mild, predictably frosty one. A rock solid cast (Britt Ekland, Eric Braeden, Michael Blodgett and Barry Brown) and nice scenic location work of Vail, Colorado keeps you watching. There are a couple of dangerous looking stunt work involving cat and mouse chases scenes with a helicopter (my pick of the two) and the climatic final chase with a wind glider after some poor Joe on skies. Sadly they're not as suspenseful as they should have been, but for most part lackadaisical.

However the most intersecting facet is the lead up to them and that's the focus on the ruthless industrialist tycoon Roland Parley (a superbly intense performance by Braeden) and his twisted philosophy. "No man deserves the best unless he's willing to die for it". This sadistic guy is searching for simulation, and he gets it in a variant on the most dangerous game theme… firstly by accident (because of his wife's imagined infidelity), but because of the high he goes about setting up the situation that leads to a deadly game, where losing isn't an option. Britt Ekland's alluring, if fragile character becomes the unknowing pawn in his insane jealously. It all becomes a game… life, business and romance.

The story is simple minded and gradually builds upon the patchy circumstances, but the characters are somewhat complex in their shades of grey. Script-wise it can come over sounding clumsy and jarring in its shifting tones, but underneath there's certain uneasiness and the character motivations actually engage. Michael Blodgett and Barry Brown are fitting enough and are two different extremes in characteristics (one cocky and the other brooding) as the two unlucky Joes that get caught up with the Parleys.

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