24 August 2015 | Michael_Elliott
A Few Worthy Moments
Conspiracy of Terror (1975)
** 1/2 (out of 4)
Made-for-TV thriller has husband and wife detectives Jacob (Michael Constantine) and Helen (Barbara Rhoades) trying to solve a bizarre death of a realtor whose body was found in a strange position. Pretty soon Jacob begins to wonder about a certain neighborhood where all the dogs have gone missing and soon he realizes that there's a bizarre cult worker there.
CONSPIRACY OF TERROR has some good moments scattered throughout but there are way too many problems with the screenplay for it to be a complete success. This really plays out more like an unsold television pilot than an actual movie because so much time is spent developing the main character of Jacob. We get several scenes where the before-the-commercial cliffhanger has him telling a joke or going after someone with a one-liner. I was surprised to see how funny many of these jokes were.
The biggest problem with the film is the fact that there's no terror to be found. The lack of any suspense or drama really kills the film and the entire plot dealing with the cult is introduced so late that it was hard to really get to know anything about them. They pretty much show up and disappear. Constantine is certainly the highlight of the picture as he makes his character quite likable. Rhoades is also good in her role. The subplot dealing with Jacob's father being upset he married a non-Jew was pretty stupid all around.
Still, the performances and the humor help make CONSPIRACY OF TERROR worth watching if you enjoy these made-for-TV films.