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Posts Tagged ‘Huub Stapel’

Saint Nick (Sint)

Thursday, December 3rd, 2020

I’ve got this problem that I always want some good Christmas horror movies I haven’t seen before, but also I assume any of them coming out this century are gonna be boring, cheap garbage. Yes, KRAMPUS (2015) is semi-recent and has become an annual tradition for me already, but does that mean I should give a shot to the unrelated KRAMPUS: THE CHRISTMAS DEVIL (2014), KRAMPUS: THE RECKONING (2015), KRAMPUS: THE DEVIL RETURNS (2016), KRAMPUS UNLEASHED (2016) or KRAMPUS: ORIGINS (2018)? So far I have assumed no. In this same spirit, I was curious, but didn’t make it a priority, to watch the 2010 Dutch killer Santa type movie SAINT NICK (also released here as SAINT, originally SINT).

And then this year happened! Not the bad stuff, but the stuff where I finally caught on to the Dutch writer/director/composer Dick Maas. I enjoyed his killer elevator movie DE LIFT/THE LIFT (1983), his scuba-action-slasher AMSTERDAMNED (1988), his killer elevator English-language remake DOWN (2001) and his killer lion loose in Amsterdam movie PROOIL/UNCAGED (2016). So, okay buddy, I trust you to make a Christmas horror movie now. I’m ready. (read the rest of this shit…)

Amsterdamned

Tuesday, October 6th, 2020

After watching THE LIFT as part of my hard hitting Summer of 1985 coverage I knew to pay more attention to this Dutch writer/director/composer Dick Maas. And some of you had already recommended his 1988 scuba-slasher epic AMSTERDAMNED.

As the miraculous once-in-a-lifetime perfect title indicates, it takes place in Amsterdam, and yes, it’s about a serial killer swimming around the canals and surfacing to murder people. I love that it opens with a HALLOWEEN style first-person stalking, because as is traditional you hear his heavy breathing, but this time it’s the sound of breathing in a scuba mask. When we do see him it’s a good slasher look because it’s functional but also creepy, fetishy, and all black.

The outsized scumminess of Maas’ Amsterdam is established by the cab driver who picks up a prostitute after a long day of work, first harasses and then tries to rape her before dumping her off far from home. And after being victimized by him the diver finds her. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Lift

Monday, July 6th, 2020

“I don’t much like the lift, I prefer to take the stairs, it’s much safer.”

July 3, 1985

THE LIFT (DE LIFT) is a 1983 Dutch horror film, the feature debut of music video, TV and short film director Dick Maas, who would later direct AMSTERDAMNED. According to The New York Times it played the Waverly starting July 3rd, but I don’t know if it played other cities on that day, or later, or what. It was not in the top 25 at the box office for that weekend, which means it made less than the $2,723 that MOVERS & SHAKERS starring Walter Matthau made on the one screen it had left in its tenth week. So, as with WARRIORS OF THE WIND and THE STUFF earlier in this series, I’m unsure about the exact time and size of the release, but there’s enough evidence to be convinced it was played on some screens in the Summer of 1985.

So this was a season when adventurous filmgoers in certain American cities might’ve been able to see horror movies about killer yogurt and a killer elevator. THE STUFF treated its concept with a straight face, but there were jokes, and some very clear satire. I will trust the various reviews of the time that THE LIFT is a black comedy, but to me it plays serious.

(read the rest of this shit…)