Face of Terror (2003)

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A wholly believable plot in which an American police officer travels to Barcelona looking for his lost sister, who may have become a victim of a terrorist cell using girls as bombs. 

The film is another collaboration between a Catalan producer (Drimtim) and American actors, using the streets and monuments of Barcelona as a backdrop.

At various stages the scenes are separated by views of the city, the first one including the Sagrada Familia Cathedral and La Rambla. After a brief interlude in Los Angeles to meet our star, we are back to aerial views of the port and our hero checking into the Hotel Colon. He visits his missing sister’s flat, which we are supposed to believe is in Gaudí’s famous Pedrera building.

There are really two sets of villains, or rather one group and one lone wolf terrorist, who likes to enjoy his villainy at Montjuic Castle overlooking the city. 

After enjoying the view and the artillery, the lone wolf shoots two thugs to emphasise his disagreement with their deal, and then follows their boss into the castle moat to discuss terms of disagreement with a further bullet.

For the second visit, after a spectacularly unbelievable car chase, we return, by cable car this time, to Montjuic Castle for another meeting between villains, where agreement is reached; the usual thing, plastic explosives in exchange for “taking care of the girl”.

The climax takes place in front of and around a seaside hotel, the Gran Melia, at the nearby tourist resort of Sitges just south of Barcelona; a point that is made clear when the ambulance drives away with the town’s name on the back.

It is on the steps of the hotel that the villain (who has his misunderstood side), is foiled in his plan to blow up the hotel using a suitcase bomb, before being pursued and vanquished down at the beach.

It is appropriate that the hotel should appear in a film, because it is here that the Sitges International Film Festival is held every year in October, and here that you can bump into the likes of Quentin Tarantino and other famous people if you are lucky.

If you are not so lucky, you might be bumped into by a zombie, as one of the highlights of the festival is the Zombie Walk, which actually starts at the hotel before moving off into town to scare the locals.