Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 12th, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 2008
Director: Stephen Manuel
Writers: Sabine Leipert, Julia Neumann
Cast: Steve Guttenberg, Aislinn Sands, Dominic Rickhards, Nicolas Landman-Burghardt, Martin Höner, Florian Kriener, Maximilian Artajo, Anna Fin, Melissa Holroyd
DVD released: April 14th, 2009
Approximate running time: 89 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 English
DVD Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.98
Fatal Rescue was co-written and direct by Stephen Manuel whose other directing credits include the TV series “Lexx” and “Der Clown”. The plot for Fatal Rescue revolves around a young boy named Toby who falls into an abandon mine shaft. To add further tension to the plot other subplot’s include Toby’s parents who are going through a bitter divorce, a friend from Toby’s mother childhood who has secretly loved his mother from afar tries to woo her into his arms and the sinister woods that no one dares to go into since Toby’s uncle disappeared there several years back. While the main part of the story is about rescuing Toby, there are supernatural elements thrown into the mix that are not as frightening as they are made out to be. By far and away the most interesting part of this film is the circumstances behind the disappearance of Toby’s uncle Andy.
Steve Guttenberg is cast in one of the film’s leading roles as Toby’s father Jacob. In the 1980’s Steve Guttenberg was one of the more in demand actors in Hollywood appearing in films like Diner, Cocoon, Short Circuit, 3 Men and a Baby and the Police Academy films. Performance wise this role is in direct contrast with the performances in which his is most known for as his character in Fatal Rescue is intense and in your face. The only other performance of note is Dominic Rickhards performance as Mike Garner a childhood friend of Toby’s mother, the rest of the cast are adequate at best. Ultimately Fatal Rescue is a mediocre thriller that goes through the motions as the plot propels to its predictable conclusion.
Well Go USA presents Fatal Rescue in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. Colors, black levels, flesh tones fare well all around and the image look detailed throughout. This transfer is interlaced and not flagged for progressive playback. Even though the transfer is interlaced there are no excessive blurring / ghosting issues, as the image remains stable throughout.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in English. The audio sounds clear, evenly balanced and at times robust.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (2 minutes 20 seconds) and a photo gallery with twenty images. Overall Fatal Rescue gets an above average audio/video presentation from Well Go USA.