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Amsterdamned

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1988

‘…if you can handle the lurid subject, Amsterdamned is an 80’s movie that plays rather amusingly in 2021…’

My regular reader will know well that I’m constantly jaw-dropped by the more obscure choices that streaming networks make; Netflix are currently offering Dick Emery and Delroy Lindo in 1976’s Find the Lady, while Amazon Prime went for Mae West in Sextette. But credit should be given for Prime in the UK exhuming Amsterdamned, a 1988 thriller last seen on grainy VHS through the auspices of Vestron video. Widely forgotten, it appears in a sparklingly sharp print that reveals the amusing 80’s-ness of the film in granular detail.

Writer and director Dick Maas’s film is an ungainly hybrid; billed as a slasher movie, there’s not much slashing to behold. It’s not quite a monster-movie either, although a passing bag-lady describes the antagonist in these terms. It’s essentially a serial killer movie, but with all kinds of wacky trimmings. Hard-ass detective Eric Visser (Huub Stapel) is put in charge of tracking down a killer who emerges from the canals of Amsterdam to assault the unwary. Visser is paired with an expert diver (Wim Zomer) who is hopefully described here as Holland’s Sean Penn. With only fish for witnesses, as one cop oddly explains, the two men must identify the killer before he strikes again…

Amsterdamned isn’t the best film ever made, obviously, but it is racy, knuckleheaded stuff. The shooting on location is wildly outdoorsy, and Amsterdamned always looks slick AF, particularly in an elaborate speedboat chase that outclasses any Bond set piece from the 80’s; they even throw in a police car smashing through a mobile church organ just for gratuitous kicks. And the dubbing is memorable in terms of the nuances of English as she is spoke; two policeman flirt with a lady with the quotable line ‘Eyes on the sparrow, right?’ Fluent speakers will know that the correct response is for the lady to shout ‘Halleluiah!’ over her shoulder. And yet, when the journey finally ends, the pursuit leads to what does appear to be a proper monster after all; no human being can pull a trawler under the waterline with their bare hands, surely, and the final explanation is more sci-fi than horror, complete with an impressive make-up job.

Sometimes you just have to let art wash over you, and if you can handle the lurid subject, Amsterdamned is an 80’s movie that plays rather amusingly in 2021. The leather-jacketed hero in his mirrored MacGruber sunglasses, the psychic children who inform his police-work, the primary-coloured wet-suits, every madcap cliché that can be found is thrown into the mix. With over a century of films to choose from, it’s inexplicable why Amazon Prime picked a zesty little shocker like Amsterdamned to exhume, but if you’ve got a taste for cheesy 80’s police work, you’ll be glad they did…

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  1. I really wish we knew how movies were chosen to be streamed. Because it also seems like they just pull a name out of a hat and voila, that movie gets the treatment….

  2. How damned is this movie? Amsterdamned!

    I’ll definitely watch sometime. There’s a subtitled version on YouTube that may be better than the dubbed. The screaming cat in the trailer looks worth it.

    BTW, commenting is still not working here.

    • I’ll look into the commenting issues today, thanks for your patience.

      While there’s a number of nasty-ass, acceptable in the 80’s elements here, the whole film is a real hoot, and even describing Amsterdam as a cess-pit of murder somehow makes it look like a great destination for holidays. Should you watch? Well, you’re Amsterdamned if you do, Amsterdamned if you don’t…

        • The Dick Maas revival starts here! Awesome song and Video, good spot, now imagine an entire film from the sensibilities of Dick Maas. That’s what life is like ‘when the bullet hits the bone!”

          Help, I’m steppin’ into the Twilight Zone
          Place is a madhouse
          Feels like being cloned
          My beacons been moved
          Under moon and star
          Where am I to go Now that I’ve gone too far

            • Yeah, there’s a storm on the loose
              Sirens in my head
              Wrapped up in silence
              All circuits are dead
              Cannot decode
              My whole life spins into a frenzy

              • Feel like I’m falling through a spiral
                Destination unknown
                Double-crossed messenger all alone
                Can’t get no connection, can’t get through
                Except through WP Reader.

                • Well the night weighs heavy
                  On his guilty mind
                  This far from the Canadian border line
                  When the hit man comes
                  He knows damn well he has been cheated…

                    • Every time it feels like the earth is shakin’
                      It doesn’t matter, a glass is fallin’,
                      I hear it shatter, maybe its raining,
                      Faster and faster, shadow dancin’,
                      Together oh I, I’m a bettin’ on the game of love
                      Oh oh oh I, I’m bettin’ that love is gonna come out
                      When the walls no longer shout, back at me
                      And I’m feelin’ proud

                  • “Hillary Clinton used this song during her campaign for the US presidency of 2008, baffling the band given the song’s lyrics and controversial video.”

                    • Somewhere in a lonely hotel room
                      There’s a guy starting to realize
                      That he’s eternal fate has turn it’s back on him
                      It’s two A.M. and he has to do the bins.

                    • Ain’t got not time for Charlie Chan
                      He’s the GOAT, a true Canadian
                      Live for his bins, he calls all the shots,
                      Alex Good is the king of the screen-shots…

                    • I think we’ve stumbled upon something! I’m sending up a fraggle alert, if only to force her to read these comments…is this the missing link behind the decline in IS political discourse? I’ll let you know when the walls stop shouting…and the bullet hits the bone. Looking at Gosar ( are many politicians named after Ghostbusters monsters?), what punishment will Congress have for Clinton?

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