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Hostage (1983) - Film Review

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Published May 2nd 2020
A cult favourite of a nightmare that becomes a living hell
hostage (1983) film review 2020, community event, cinema, fun things to do, movie buff, actors, actresses, movie buffs, date night, night out, true story, kerry mack, ralph schicha, gabriella barraket, judy nunn, entertainment
Image Frontier Films, Klejazz

Hostage was originally released in 1983 and meticulously 4K restored by Umbrella. It's set in Australia and Germany and is based on a true story set in 1974 of 16-year-old Christine Lewis aka Christine Maresch, played by Kerry Mack.

M Rated with a run time of 93 minutes, it'll be available for On-Demand viewing from 6 May via Google Play, Fetch TV & Umbrella Entertainment. The extended Director's Cut will be releasing for the first time on Blu-Ray and DVD on 6 May as well.


Christine is a young runaway working at the sideshow alley of a Carnival. Young, free, and flirty, she innocently ends up with fellow Carnival worker Walter Maresch, a young and handsome German man, never dreaming she'd become his hostage. His sadistic side slowly reveals itself and Christine is strong-armed into marriage.

She's enticed to accompany him to West Germany where Walter rejoins his circle of Nazi sympathisers. Life becomes a living hell for Christine with her psychotic neo-Nazi husband who controls her every move. Her only hope to survive is to get back home to Australia.


A cult favourite, this is one of the biggest Ozploitation films in Australian movie history and still captures enough of your attention as it did when it was first released 37 years ago. Kerry Mack is a natural in her role as Christine, while Ralph Schicha is easy on the eye but a little wooden in his performance. Judy Nunn was a bit of a surprise in the role of Mrs Lewis, Christine's mum, in no less than her best in her performance. She at least injected some life into the film.

A sign of its times perhaps, with shades of being a B grade movie, in spite of the nightmare Christine went through, the film does not abound with intensity or excitement in the way it's filmed and is pretty laid back. However, one has to enjoy it for the era it was filmed in, much like you wouldn't want to change a silent movie or a Charlie Chaplin film. Its true story makes it one of the most enduring and significant films of Australian cinema in the 80s and is still very watchable.

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Why? Hostage (1983) Film Review - 2020
Your Comment
I was a young extra in this film and at that time was not aware that I was a part of a true story and not a depiction of histirical events. It was ironic that this film got shot in our little town where Turkish Nationals had attacked a picnic train during the First World War and now this conflicted war criminal and cultist would on the big screen, visit his violence. It was the first film too, that got me interested in acting and filmmaking. After spending days on that set I knew
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by fabfl (score: 0|5) 585 days ago
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