Before reaching the latter day career heights of Charlie’s Angels and Dynasty, John Forsythe found some fiery latitude in the 1974 television flick Terror on the 40th Floor. Surely a small screen copy cat of that year’s disaster blockbuster The Towering Inferno, TOT40F finds Forsythe’s Don Overland, a successful businessman, trapped with some co-workers during an after-hours Christmas Eve party after a raging fire breaks out.
While a hysterical female co-worker is injured here and Joseph Campenella’s insecure Howard meets a freefalling death via elevator shaft, most of the action is dedicated to the endangered employees’ flashback reminiscences about thwarted love, crumbling marriages and corporate schemes gone wrong. It’s all standard fare, enlivened a bit by the fact that a young Tracie Savage makes an appearance as part of the storyline of Lee Parker, played by Deathdream’s Lynn Carlin. As an adult, Savage’s last screen appearance (for many years) was as the saucy, pregnant Debbie in Friday the 13th, Part 3, endearing her to terror lovers, worldwide. Thus, it is fun to see her in an earlier role.
Meanwhile, the other women, including the regal Pippa Scott and the voluptuous Anjanette Comer look pretty soap opera spectacular here. Acting wise, Scott makes the most of her brief appearance as Overland’s estranged yet concerned wife. Thankfully, Comer, who gave an exquisite showing in the cult horror film The Baby that same year, is given more to do. She seduces Forsythe with a silky nonchalance, but, naturally, regrets her actions as the dawn reveals a more forgiving Christmas Day.
As snow flickers, lightly, around the reconnected team Overland, Comer’s Darlene, with frivolous boredom curtailed, looks forward to the beginning of a new year – and, possibly, the pursuit of more upstanding adventures.
Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!