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Savage Attraction (1983)

Hostage (original title)
Horrific true tale set in late 1970s Australia and later West Germany about an abused wife who learns in horror that her sadistic German-born husband is actually a fanatical neo-Nazi.


Frank Shields


Frank Shields (screenplay), John Lind (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Kerry Mack Kerry Mack ... Christine Maresch
Ralph Schicha Ralph Schicha ... Walter Maresch
Gabriella Barraket Gabriella Barraket ... Mandy
Judy Nunn Judy Nunn ... Mrs. Lewis
Vic Robins Vic Robins ... Mr. Lewis
Doris Goddard ... Mrs. Hoffman
Michael Harrs Michael Harrs ... John Hoffman
Clare Binney Clare Binney ... Freda Hoffman
Henk Johannes Henk Johannes ... Wolfgang
Burt Cooper Burt Cooper ... Helmut
Ian Mortimer Ian Mortimer ... Gary
Moshe Kedem Moshe Kedem ... Zaiter
Ian Shrives Ian Shrives ... Pimp in Club
Tony Hughes Tony Hughes ... Pimp's Mate
Tony Blackett Tony Blackett ... Australian Surgeon


Horrific true tale set in the late 70's Australia about Christine Lewis, a naive 16 year old who in 1974 meets a handsome German immigrant called Walter Maresch working as a carny, and they quickly fall in love. However, his secret sadistic side quickly begins to reveal itself and he manages to strong-arm her into marriage. Things get progressively worse even after they have a baby, but her nightmare truly begins when he reveals to her that he is actually a fanatical member of the banned Nazi Party and forces her to move with him to West Germany, where the neo-Nazi group he belongs to operates. As his abusive behavior worsens and his neo-Nazi activities turn violent, she's forced to choose between her life - and his. Written by <tgard@genauto.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She was drugged, raped, blackmailed, kidnapped, shot and beaten . . . but the most amazing part of her story is that it's true. [Australia home video] See more »


R | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Broken Hill environs ''Afghan descendants were used as Arab extras'' for the Turkey scenes according to the film's director Frank Shields. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Australian 2020 DVD, VOD and Blu-Ray releases run about two minutes longer than the American 'Code Red' Blu-Ray release under the title of 'Savage Attraction' which was the name of the movie when first released in the USA during 1983. See more »


Featured in Hostage: Anatomy of an Action Scene (2020) See more »

User Reviews

(4K director's cut) Will either make you cringe or clap your hands
2 May 2020 | by eelen-sethSee all my reviews

Umbrella Entertainment is bringing back Frank Shields' (The Breaker) '80s cult classic 'Hostage'. Not only is this version restored so it can be viewed in glorious 4K, this is also a slightly longer director's cut of the film, based on the incredible, yet terrifying true story of Christine Maresch (Kerry Mack - The Lancaster Miller Affair).

Christine, a naive 16-year-old working at a carnival, meets the handsome German immigrant Walter Maresch (Ralph Schicha - Sturm der Liebe) and under weird circumstances feels forced to marry him, before she discovers he's a psychotic neo-Nazi, who'll stop at nothing to manipulate and control every move she makes, for the rest of her life. Now living in West-Germany, Walter gets to be closer to his circle of Nazi sympathizers, and Christine finds herself in a whirlwind filled with domestic violence, drugs and armed robbery. It's now up to Christine to save herself and her child, and safely get back to Australia.

Hostage couldn't be more of a B-film. Fans of the genre will appreciate this melodramatic "Ozploitation", which is based on true events - only slightly exaggerated. Lots of action, crazy fast editing and a score by Davood A. Tabrizi that probably went down in '80s Australian film history as one of its finest. The twists and turns get a bit repetitive at some point, especially when it becomes annoyingly clear Christine misses every opportunity she gets to escape her abusive husband.

Luckily Kerry Mack knows how to sell the part, even if it may be a bit silly and over-the-top at times. The styling, make up and hair are always on point, even after she wakes up from a drug induced fever dream in which we see her tossing and turning up against the walls of some sort of dollhouse inside her head - Dario Argento would've been proud. Schicha on the other hand, overdoes it as soon as he gets confident in the role of neo-Nazi. He's mostly here to shout, punch or grab Mack, while keeping it all very on the surface.

Sensational, suspenseful and overly violent, 'Hostage: The Story of Christine Maresch' ticks all the boxes of exploitation cinema which some cinephiles will definitely enjoy in their collection. Never dull, fast-paced and taking place on multiple continents, the sky is the limit with an explosive finale that'll either make you cringe or clap your hands.

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Australia | West Germany


English | German

Release Date:

5 May 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Savage Attraction See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Frontier Films, Klejazz See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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