Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Reviewed by Kris Gilpin

Great schlocky title, and the film’s directed accordingly by Dick Maas, who made the similarly fun killer elevator movie THE LIFT a few years ago. In this dub job there’s a killer radioactive waste-face swimming around the canals of Amsterdam at night, hacking up folks with diving knives. The flick starts out pretty well as a bloody dead body hanging from a bridge is discovered by a boat tour of kids and nuns. The corpse is dragged along the glass roof of the vessel as it passes underneath the deceased, its blood smearing the glass. Maas directs this to come across as more funny than disgusting.

Eric (Huub Stapel), the cop on the case, lives with his bitchy young daughter, who answers phone calls for him with, “He’s in the john – I expect he’s masturbating.” There are other funny moments, as when Eric apprehends a knife-wielding kid in a bakery and smashes the punk’s face into a cake, as the storeowner chides him “You used excessive force and ruined my cake! We use the best ingredients only!” (Meanwhile, the kid’s eating the frosting). After one victim loses his head, Maas cuts from the morgue to a close-up of eggs, over which a hand squirts some ketchup.

Eric gets involved with Laura (Monique va de Ven), a pretty blonde with great lungs, while the killer finds more victims. One hot blonde lies in a clear plastic dinghy with her legs spread when a knife slices up into the raft between her thighs then, from a crotch point-of-view, zooms toward the camera. I did hate to see the old drunk lose his nice houseboat, though -- that was kinda mean – and there’s an off-screen suicide by harpoon (that’s a first!). Also, it looks like it would be neat to have a boat in water at the bottom of my garage.

The film is well photographed and shows off the water-logged city to good advantage. There’s a long, exciting chase in speedboats while cars drive over the ramps overhead, and I let out one satisfied yell when the underwater slasher took one in the face. The film seems to go on and on, though, and has a couple of false endings. One gets the idea that, should Maas ever take his tongue out of his cheek, he could make quite a slick thriller one day, as he is very proficient technically. Like THE LIFT, AMSTERDAMNED is an enjoyable foreign horror flick – not a great one – that’s worth a rental.

(Originally published in Temple of Schlock #18, June 1989)

No comments: