Originally produced as THE KIDNAP LOVER and also known as DATE WITH A KIDNAPPER, the film saw wide release under the more exploitative title KIDNAPPED COED. This new title was inserted into the original credits and as result credits the actual kidnapper as the titular victim! Nor does the victim being a coed really matter.
The story follows a desperate would-be kidnapper and the girl he snatches (played by Leslie Ann Rivers), and he ends up being better to her than the people they meet while waiting for her father to deliver a $3,000,000 ransom! Along their misadventures, the girl comes to love the kidnapper, though there are growing hints that she may be a little off in the head anyway. What really struck me was how much this film played like a newer film in it’s script, acting, and editing. If one didn’t know better, it would be easy to pass the film off as a period piece.
Filmed in North Carolina, the film even sports some occasionally beautiful cinematography. Though things drag at times, the character development is rich and the performances rather solid, some character moments being downright humorous. If the film falters in a major way, it’s the abrupt, though admittedly amusing, ending, which feels like the film comes short by a reel. This serves to undercut much of what the film had developed prior to that point, though if one wishes to see it as a sort of joke payoff, it’s fairly clever in that regard. Not one to repeat often, but surprisingly better than I expected when going in. No masterpiece, but not a total waste of time, either. Still, one wishes the more action-oriented adventure promised by the poster had been made into a movie itself.