Amsterdamned (1988-02-11)

Action | Horror | Thriller |


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  • Status: Released
  • Runtime: 114m
  • Popularity: 8.282
  • Language: nl
  • Budget: $98,003
  • Revenue: $0
  • Vote Average: 6.278
  • Vote Count: 158

  • John Chard

    Revenge on society. Innocent people had to be slaughtered. Amsterdamned is written and directed by Dick Maas (also providing the musical score). It stars Huub Stapel, Monique van de Ven, Serge-Henri Valcke, Hidde Maas, Wim Zomer and Tanneke Hartzuiker. Cinematography is by Marc Felperlaan. Hard-boiled police detective Eric Visser (Stapel) sets out to capture a gruesome serial killer who is terrorizing the canals of Amsterdam - apparently from the water itself... If you was to list the genres this film homages you could be here for some time, while any attempt to pigeon hole it as one specific genre piece is pure folly. The strength in Mass' movie is that it successfully blends a number of filmic strands to great effect, even serving up some deliciously humorous dialogue in amongst the suspense and murderous shenanigans. Working off from a unique standpoint of having a serial killer operating from beneath the waters of Amsterdam's canal system, this gives the pic its own identity. Sure some of the sequences have been tried and tested elsewhere - notably a superb homage to "A Nightmare On Elm Street" - but Maas stitches it together with a thrilling panache that's aided by Felperlaan's atmospherically piercing colour lenses. The characters are neatly etched in a matter of fact way, giving them an earthy and vulnerable realism that's refreshing. While some scenes are suspenseful/frightening because it's left purely to suggestion over blood inducing show and tell. It's a bold choice from Mass not to go overtly Giallo Slasher on his audience, but by choosing to tantalise in the name of keeping the mystery aspect alive proves to be a good decision. There's some truly great scenes to hold attention here. A bloody victim's body literally paraded aboard a sightseeing tourist boat, an extended speedboat pursuit that's fit for a Bond film, and Visser's trawling through Amsterdam's murky underground waterway tunnels is quality horror staging. There's proof positive here that the director knows his genre tropes. Acting is a mixed bag, but there's no faulting Stapel as our main man. He instils Detective Visser with a steely film noir resolve that's most engaging, even, as it happens, looking into the bargain like a future Vincent Cassell. As the main female draw card, Monique van de Ven is sensual without being overt, and she makes a smart accompaniment to Stapel's more rugged edges. Sadly the finale is something of a let down, not so much in the reveal, but in the quickness of it all, it feels rushed and ill thought out, especially given the pic runs at just shy of 2 hours in length. There's also the issue of the heavy synth score, which while a staple of many an 80s production, was even by 1988 feeling very old hat. Personally I kept drifting off into Harold Faltermeyer 's score for "The Running Man", only this was the one note version. Small complaints, though, for this is a very smart and well thought out Dutch thriller. 7.5/10