IMDb Rating 6 10 91


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September 3, 2019



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770.87 MB
23.976 fps
93 min
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1.39 GB
23.976 fps
93 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by atmvawser 6 / 10 / 10

Above-average 'true-life' exploitation

Well, this one's certainly disappeared almost without trace (my local rental outlet appears to be preparing to box or dump its huge collection of VHS, this one presumably among them, and I'd say it's not bloody likely to ever see the light of day again on a DVD release), and although it's nothing like a masterpiece, 'Hostage' is an intriguing and gripping example of the 'woman-in-peril' genre, this time based on an allegedly true story of the young Australian Christine Maresch and her immigrant husband Walter. When we first meet her, she's hitching down the highway, apparently having fled a violent home life. Ending up a carnival worker, she meets a German man who would probably make a great husband - if only Christine actually wanted to have a family...but Walter knows just what to do to trap his object of desire! Even if it's all true as told, it's still exploitation (the abundance of bare-breasted moments from lovely lead Kerry Mack, a real Michelle Williams look-alike, give the game away), and Leonard Maltin's complaint of it being 'disjointed' and 'repetitive'? Guilty as charged - but it's also stylish enough to be eye-catching, yet straightforward enough to be powerful. Frank Shields, the director and co-writer, knows what will hit an audience on a gut level and seize their attention: domestic abuse and terror, children caught in the middle, Nazis (!) and more - but he lets the film go almost totally off-the-rails during an inexplicable scene in the middle section, one which not only trades in offensive depictions of vicious and depraved Turks, but sends a geyser of blood from a villain's slashed throat raining down on our put-upon heroine and her daughter (as if everything else she had to deal with wasn't enough!) It's so excessive and unnecessary I didn't really know whether I wanted to laugh, cry or throw up...but the biggest problem is a vague feeling of emptiness that creeps in as the film's action just stops, and we are filled in as to the fate of this tragic family (accompanied by photos of the real Christine and daughter). It's an appropriately chilling curtain call (especially with that 80s score; I'm a sucker for a sequencer, sue me!) but has the film, messy and slightly sleazy yet ambitious and brave/foolish, really earned the respect of its audience that the true-life association seems to demand? I'm not entirely sure, and I'm probably not going to watch it again in an attempt to find out - but I give it the mark of an effective and above-average film of its type. See it before all copies are locked away and left to rot!

Reviewed by videorama-759-859391 4 / 10 / 10

Real life Hell trip

Sadly, or tragically this was a real life tale, that paints a horrifying picture of what a young girl, endured when meeting a seemingly polite and handsome carnival worker, Walter Maresch (Ralph Schicha). He turns out to be an all Hitler brainwashed psychopath, and at the end while being a disturbed witness, and feeling so much sympathy for the poor suffering real life victim, played very well by hottie Kerry Mack, the actress much better looking than the real Christine (they always are) in it's 92 minute duration. Like her, we really feel like we've been put through the ringer. Hostage is a very tightly written real life tale. From it's opening, where Christine is being belted supposedly by her stepfather, she takes to the road, and that's where, the opening of her soon to endure begins. I found Schicha, a little stiff in his performance, but he is quite threatening and has his moments. We see where the forced marriage led to, then her pregnancy, then the entrapment over in Germany. The movie doesn't hold back on shock, including some pretty bloody moments, and you can call it's exploitation, but this is marvelously entertaining and important film, where the story really honed in on what this poor lass endured, a lot of physical beating, while also, near the end, getting speared in the back. It's a tightly told tale, and that's what I loved about this. The movie uses all the important parts of this real life horror, and we get through a lot in those 92 minutes. It's a very cut to the chase movie, but of course the real horror, is it's a factual told hell. Obviously an underrated movie too. Judy Nunn aka: Home and Away's Isla, is fantastic, a real hoot Christine's Mum, where you savor her scenes. Unmissable, the real hostage, will be you, the viewer when you watch this.

Reviewed by ofumalow 4 / 10 / 10

Nazis, carnies and babies in an Aussie oddity

Never mind the ridiculous cover (at least of my old VHS tape) showing the heroine simpering like baby-doll jailbait on a bed in lingerie--this is an at least somewhat serious attempt to dramatize a purportedly true story, however loosely based it may be. Yet it does occasionally lurch into cheesy sexploitation, just one among many ways it can't seem to maintain any tone or focus at all. Kerry Mack's heroine starts out kinda white-trashy, and one feels for her callous dismissal of carny co-worker Ralph Schicha's earnest marriage proposal. Then suddenly she's the poor victim, pregnant and into marriage against her will--his life in danger, he refuses surgery unless she gets consents--and he's acting like an obsessed stalker in a horror movie. They move to his native Germany, where he reveals himself as a Nazi fanatic and forces her to perform a bank robbery with wig and machine gun like Patty Hearst. That's hardly the end of the extreme globe-trotting melodramatics, either. Mack is made to jump through too many emotional hoops, and the very handsome Schicha can't make sense of a character who's sweet and loyal one minute, then psycho and abusive the next. (On the plus side, the kid who plays their toddler daughter is adorable, and seems very relaxed around her "parents.") The movie just doesn't have the finesse to pull off such a complicated relationship in psychological terms, and stylistically it reels from sober drama to broad, lurid, sometimes choppily edited sequences. Despite its alleged factual basis in the experiences of a woman who endured some years tied to a delusional Nazi husband, the film's progress is too erratic to be credible. It awkwardly lands between drive-in fare and something more respectable. Still, it's too hectic to be dull.

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