Fresh off his touching portrayal of the Strongest Man in the World in THE STRONGEST MAN IN THE WORLD, Kurt Russell takes a dark turn in this made-for-television version of Charles Whitman's August 1, 1966 shooting rampage here in Austin where he got his blast on and killed 16 people and wounded 32.
Kurt plays a satisfying Whitman, but as with a lot of these 70's TV movies THE DEADLY TOWER is very straightforward. Also it's too tame for the subject matter. The film opens with Kurt reading a book about guns and looking very troubled. Afterwards he kills his mother and his wife (both offscreen). Then it's on to the gun store and finally the tower where he quickly sets up shop and starts blasting. Eventually the pigs make their way to the top and kill him. The End.
It was an entertaining watch, but I would never want to see it again. The main reason I rented it was to see Kurt Russell play a bad guy, but 95% of the time he never spoke or even showed any emotion. Skip it.
Fun Fact: I live in Austin and I have no fucking clue where this building is.