After the death of her abusive father, the lonely librarian Martha marries an equally vile businessman - Helmut. The cruel and torturous nature of their relationship leads Martha to believe Helmut might be trying to kill her.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
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Edward T. McDougal
Louis Gossett Jr.,
Tony Vorno gruffly plays Sgt. Robert Walsh, a bigoted, surly vice detective who professes to despise "freaks" of all kinds, especially as he's obliged to dress in drag in the opening sequence to snare some white collar deviates. His attitude seems to change when he is touched by a young prostitute, "Angel" (Sharon Matt) working for a smiling, crazed pimp named Pyrano (Peter Balakoff). Walsh and Angel enter into an affair that leads to the grumpy middle aged fart being stuck in a compromising position.
"The Hang Up" is good enough entertainment for lovers of adult-oriented fare. Written and directed by John Hayes ("Dream No Evil", "Grave of the Vampire"), it does offer a stinging commentary on hypocrisy in the law enforcement community. It's reasonably sleazy - if maybe not sleazy enough for some tastes - and there's a steady supply of very lovely young ladies on hand who show quite a bit of flesh without going full frontal. The decadence on display is still pretty amusing. The lounge style music score by Mario Toscano is enjoyable, as is the crisp cinematography by veteran B movie D.P. Paul Hipp and camera-work by Henning Schellerup. And while the movie is certainly sexy, it's never very violent. It runs a fairly trim 76 minutes, with a very sobering wrap-up.
The performances are all generally good. Vorno is convincing in the lead, and the gorgeous Matt is appealing as his love interest. Appearing uncredited are Bambi Allen as a performer named Suzette, and Erik Stern ("The Love Butcher") as Walsh's by-the-book, quick tempered partner.
Overall, an agreeable mix of exploitation, crime, and melodrama.
Seven out of 10.
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