The morbid Catholic writer Gerard Reve who is bisexual, alcoholic and has frequent visions of death is invited to give a lecture in the literature club of Vlissingen. While in the railway station in Amsterdam, he feels attracted to a handsome man who embarks on another train. Gerard is introduced to the treasurer of the club and beautician Christine Halsslag, a wealthy widow who owns the Spider beauty shop, and they engage in a one night stand. On the next morning, Gerard sees the picture of Christine's boyfriend Herman and recognizes him as the man he saw in the train station. He urges her to bring Herman to her house to spend a couple of days together, but with the secret intention of seducing the man. Christine travels to Köln to bring her boyfriend and Gerard stays alone in her house. He drinks whiskey and snoops through her safe, finding three film reels with names of men; he decides to watch the footage and discovers that Christine had married each; all of whom died in tragic ...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil revised by S. Alan Fann, N. Decatur, GA USA
While Paul Verhoeven's previous work received a lot of criticism from movie critics, it was generally financially successful. This movie was a marked exception: while praised by critics and public alike, commercially, it became his least successful movie. See more »
At the beginning of the movie, as Gerard is getting out of bed, the boom mic is visible in a mirror behind him. See more »
In Holland a gay writer Gerard (Jeroen Krabbe) gives a lecture. He stays overnight with a beautiful woman Christine (Renee Soutendijk) and has sex with her (by imagining she's a boy). He plans to leave the next day, but gets a look at a picture of Christine's hunky boyfriend Herman (Thom Hoffman) and decides to stay to have a try at him. Then things get strange.
A big X-rated art house hit in the US in 1983. Why was it X rated? Let's see...there's strangulation, full frontal male and female nudity, castration, mutilation, simulated sex, a scene in a church with a cross that will shock most people, a gay sex scene in a crypt...and it's all a comedy!!!!! Paul Verhoeven made this after "Spetters". "Spetters" was attacked by the critics for it's extreme sexual sequences and denounced as trash. So, Verhoeven filled this film with very obvious symbolism thinking the critics would think it was art and praise it. He was right! Critics loved the film not realizing that Verhoeven was playing a big joke on them. Still, it's a great film.
It's beautifully shot by Jan de Bont (now a director himself) and there's so much symbolism and obvious "hidden" layers in the dialogue that you're never bored. All the acting is great--Krabbe plays a thoroughly despicable character but (somehow) has you rooting for him; Soutendijk is just stunning to look at and plays her part to perfection--the little smile she gives when Gerard agrees to stay with her is chilling; Hoffman is extremely handsome with a great body--he deserves credit for doing the church sequence and going at with Krabbe in the crypt.
This is not for people easily offended or the weak of heart, but if you like extreme movies that playfully challenge you (like me) this is for you! A 10 all the way.
38 of 53 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this