The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Hostage aka Colt: Flight 802 (1987)

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It's been a while since we'd had any Wings Hauser here at the DTVC, the last being January's Cold Fire, so when Ty at Comeuppancereviews.com stopped by and mentioned this gem, I knew I needed to make it happen.

Hostage has Wings as a former special forces guy living in Africa, I guess dating the chick who's the daughter of a rich businessman, played by the guy that ran the bad TV station on UHF. When her son gets sick and needs to fly to the States for an emergency kidney transplant (I know, what?), she and the boy have the misfortune of taking a plane hijacked by Arab terrorists. Because these black people don't know what they're doing, and these Arabs are a bunch of savages that have no regard for human life, it's up to Wings to rescue them-- which he does by hosing the cabin down with machine gun fire, killing half of the hostages at the same time.

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This movie has two ways to go. First, it takes that ridiculous Tea Bagger political stance that the world would be a much better place if everyone just listened to rich white men, and all the world's problems come from liberals and women and "colored" people trying to go it alone. The reality is, much of the world's problems come from the time when people only listened to rich white men, because no one else had the power to contradict them, and right now we're trying our best to repair all the damage they've done. That's not how this movie sees it. Arabs shouldn't be allowed to fly planes, and it's only because those liberals and their equal rights for all that let Arabs on planes so they can go on and hijacked them. And don't get them started on those Africans and their military. They couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag. Just get out of the way and let Wings and the Americans step in and show you how the real men do it.

We never like it when our movies get political here at the DTVC, but if this film had more moments like the last seven minutes, we'd accept the politicization of the film for it's sheer stupidity, and love it in spite of that for its silliness. That's the second way to go. The problem is, though it has its moments-- tons of great Adult Contempo for the soundtrack, and Wings is as ridiculous as ever-- overall it's a bunch of blah. Wings is hanging out with the UHF guy one minute, and the next he's scaling a skyscraper and attacking these guys with the top ten buttons of their shirts undone. Then he's bringing grapefruits packed with C-4 into the plane. And who knows what Karen Black was doing having sex with the mid-70s pornostash terrorist. This movie had an awesome last seven minutes, though, which made all the crap before it all the more frustrating. Had all of this weirdness been replaced with Wings throwing guys out of windows and setting them on fire, it could've been all time great. What I did do was make a clip of the last seven minutes which you can check out on the image page.

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Wings' character's name in Hostage was Striker. It's okay if you don't remember, the movie will let you know-- over and over. Because of the hostage situation, we get less Wings than we'd like. A good chunk of the film was spent on the plane, dealing with the plight of the passengers. There also wasn't enough of Wings as that off-beat hero, like we saw in No Safe Haven. That's what I mean about politics getting in the way. Here it prevented Wings from being Wings. Not just No Safe Haven, but also Art of Dying and The Killer's Edge showcase Wings as a former hippie or cop who plays by his own rules and sleeps with a lot of chicks and blows a lot of shit up, but in the end is doing it for the right reasons. The politics taints it here. I'm not sure when Wings will be back, but at the very least, Hostage reminded me of why he's in the DTVC Hall of Fame, and more importantly, reminded me why I did this blog in the first place, so we'll have more Wings sooner rather than later.

I'm gonna freak you out here a bit, but Karen Black, who was 48 when this film was made, was totally hot to me in a Sunset Boulevard kind of way. Don't do the math and consider that she just turned 71, or that I would've been 8 when Hostage was made, look at it strictly as me as a 31-year-old finding her as a 48-year-old in this film hot, and hot in a Sunset Boulevard kind of way. I know, you still think I'm nuts, or maybe even gross, but I'm sticking to my guns.

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I hadn't seen old school quicksand used in a movie in a while. Okay, that recent Indiana Jones movie, Indiana Jones and the Major Cash Grab, had quicksand, but that film was a joke. This one was using classic quicksand in its truest sense-- mud that people drown in. And it seems to come out of nowhere too. Like here's Hauser blowing up the bad chick, and the baddie's throwing the sick kid to the ground, and splash, the ground turns into quicksand. It's part of what made the last seven minutes good, and it also made me nostalgic for the old days when a simple walk in the woods could mean death at any moment.

If I were you, I'd just go to the image page and watch the 7 minutes I uploaded if you really have a hunkering to see this bad boy. Otherwise, it's not worth it. Also, it's only available on VHS, so you won't be renting it at Netflix or something either.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093213/

4 comments:

  1. Those fight sequences at the end are hilariously lame. Also the kid you can tell is clearly dubbed by an adult and why he keeps calling Wings "Da Da!" is ridiculous. The thing that surprises me that I've seen movies from the 50s and 60s with far more convincing punches and hits. I mean I just can't get over how lightly he taps the head against the tree.

    I actually saw this a long time ago but had no memory of such. I'm indifferent to poltics in my movies but I might check this one out again regardless of what you say. Just because it sounds like a hilarious rip off of Delta Force.

    Another thing, I gotta give Wings Hauser props, he was actually a decent actor (He was very good in Vice Squad as a psycho) but he is always game for such even if he knows it's crap.

    Wings Hauser though despite his charisma has probably made the most bad movies of any action star of any time. (Is he in the hall of fame? For sure he's made more than any other HOFer) Part of it is, is that his movies just didn't have the tools to succeed.

    Mutant is a prime example of exceedingly dullness, Street Asylum was extremely awful too, Beastmaster 2 was lame. You feel bad for the guy cause he is almost always the best thing about the movie and yet it just still stinks.

    I did like Dead Man Walking with him though, go figure.

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  2. Wings was an inaugural member of the DTVC Hall of Fame, and I think few people realize how big a part of my reasons for creating this site he was. Maybe second to Dolph in importance. For me, the Politics got in the way of what should've been the bomb. Delta Force had politics too, but it didn't get in the way (the boring TV-movie story at the bgeinning maybe).

    It would seem like Wings would have the all-time greatest DTV oeuvre, but after you sort out his TV movies, TV series cameos, and his big screen films, he's right in the ball park of a Lorenzo Lamas or even Gary Daniels. That's probably more because he's a better actor and gets more non-DTV roles than they do. Agreed completely on Vice Squad, and I may do that after the Hong Kong films are done.

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  3. I really enjoyed your review! you are absolutely right about the last 7 minutes!

    Thanks again for mentioning the site. When we review Street Asylum, you will also get a shout-out.

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  4. I'll be looking forward to it, and thanks again for stopping by with the Hauser suggestion. We can never have enough Hauser up here.

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