Produced by then Penguins owner Howard Baldwin (the same one that brought the flying pigeon and bankruptcy to the Pens so at least he did something right), Sudden Death will never be remembered as anything resembling a Hollywood classic but to us it'll always have a special place in our hearts.
For those of you who don't know (which shame on you), Sudden Death is a movie that takes place during Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Jean-Claude Van Damme is a former fire fighter in the city of Pittsburgh who, after witnessing the death of a child, is no longer on active duty. Instead he's the fire marshall of the wonderful Civic Arena in downtown Pittsburgh, PA.
For some reason he brought his son and daughter to work on the day of Game 7 and for some reason the Vice President is in attendance (Diamond Joe Biden, a PA native, never made it to a Cup Final game in Pittsburgh smh).
From there it's a typical cookie cutter early-90's action movie. Terrorists attempt to blow up the Civic Arena (something accomplished by politicians umpteen years later so they could have just waited) while trying to collect a bunch of money (Franco Harris probably took ideas from this film).
Van Damme acts as the hero of our tale, while still seeing a bunch of Van Dammage occur to the beloved Igloo.
Among the highlights of Sudden Death are some great shots of downtown Pittsburgh from the early-to-mid 90's (filmed in 1994, released in 1995):
Iceburgh getting the ever loving hell beaten out of him(her) by JCVD:
And well as Paul Steigerwald saying "Holy shit!"
Also be on the look out for cameos by a mulleted Luc Robitaille, a really jacked Jay Caufield, Jeff Jimmerson (also with a wicked mullet), Mike Lange, and future Penguin Great Ian Moran as one of the ECHL players pretending to be a current Pittsburgh Penguin.
|Look Lucky Luc's flow|
As the perfect addendum to the film, check out The Hockey News' great read- "Oral History: The making of hockey action movie 'Sudden Death'"
If you haven't had the pleasure of viewing Sudden Death, or simply want to relive the classic, sign up for a free trial of HBO Now here , or politely ask a friend to borrow a log in (NOT THAT WE CONDONE THAT SORT OF BEHAVIOR OR HAVE EVER DONE THAT SORT OF THING).
Come for the memories of the Igloo, stay for the pulse pounding action and adventure. Or just laugh at the overall outrageousness of the snappy retorts between the villains and their heroic counterparts. Or just pretend this post never happened.
Not like we're holding a gun to your head.