SKY RIDERS glides in as an adventure if you need a quick fix of same. This slight, rather slapdash but offbeat 1976 second stringer has some diversion offered by way of lofty mountain scenery in Greece and by using hang gliding as the modus for much of the mayhem.
A businessman (Robert Culp) finds his wife kidnapped by terrorists and imprisoned atop a seemingly unassailable peak. He enlists daredevil James Coburn to effect a rescue. Unevenly written and poorly edited, it does showcase some nifty photography.
The acting is effortless, by the numbers. In staging the climactic sequence, where a few dozen guys atop the heights are stormed by few dozen more from below, director Douglas Hickok tries to disguise the budget and the scenario’s lack of credibility by getting the sound effects department to whip up more noise and spitting lead than was used in the battle of Stalingrad.
Filmed at Meteora, the stunning monolith monastery site in northern Greece, also featured in For Your Eyes Only (I’ve been there, it’s Way Cool). Harmless hoke runs 93 minutes, and works out Susannah York, Charles Aznavour,Harry Andrews, Zou Zou, John Beck, Werner Pochath, Kenneth Griffith. Lalo Schifrin handled the okay score.
The movie did get some unintended press when two of the producers were arrested and imprisoned for weeks by the Greek government after an on-set explosion killed an electrician. A settlement (see:bribe) of $250,000 was arranged and the ‘concerned’officials became unconcerned (see:money,helpful). Theater patrons laid out $4,900,000.