Killer Force (1975)

Rating: **
Alternate Title: The Diamond Mercenaries
Review Date: 2/25/17
Cast: Telly Savalas, Peter Fonda, Christopher Lee, Hugh O'Brian, O.J. Simpson, Maud Adams

A band of mercenaries led by Hugh O'Brian are planning to pick up some diamonds at a high security facility, but a hard-ass security specialist played by Telly Savalas makes things increasingly difficult for them. Peter Fonda is an unfortunate pawn who is stuck in the middle and headed for disaster with his beautiful girlfriend (Maud Adams). The pacing is sluggish and the dialog is cringe-worthy, but the likable cast is fun to watch and the desert photography is gorgeous. The action scenes are enjoyable and the car chases are exciting and look dangerously out of control. There are also a number of nice explosions, including a helicopter that laughably bursts into flames after being shot with a rifle. Peter Fonda and O.J. Simpson are needlessly goofy and full of corny wisecracks, but their performances are solid and convincing. Christopher Lee makes a wonderful assassin and Hugh O'Brian is appropriately tough as a soldier of fortune. Telly Savalas is very intimidating and a total asshole, but he's also extremely good at his job. Until the very end of the film, that is, when he inexplicably lets the thieves get away. However, an alternate ending has him blowing them out of the sky with a shotgun. Sadly, neither ending is particularly satisfying and the film stops abruptly as if the filmmakers ran out of film or didn't know how to wrap it up.