There is nothing more exciting than finding new slasher films from the golden era of horror. The 80’s saw releases of some of the greatest horror films of all time. Among them are slasher greats like Intruder, Maniac, and The Burning. Now, I have another to add to the ever-growing list with Dick Maas’ Amsterdamned.
A deranged killer is murdering people throughout Amsterdam. He is able to avoid capture, however, by using the city’s canal system to make his getaway. It is up to Detective Eric Visser (Huub Stapel, The Lift) to catch this psycho diver before his body count increases any further.
Like many other films I’ve reviewed over the years, I was totally unaware of the existence of Amsterdamned. How has a fun slasher flick like this eluded me all this time? I’ll never know the answer to this question, but the saying “better late than never” certainly applies here.
Amsterdamned is not your run-of-the-mill hack and slash film; It has a much larger feel to it with tons of action, including intense car and speedboat chase sequences, which are topped off with a massive explosion. The closest thing I can think of that would even remotely compare is Maniac Cop 2. The film contains some beautiful cinematography with aerial shots of the city, showing off the waterways and canal systems and allowing viewers to really see what the killer is working with in terms of escape routes. Additionally, Dick Maas and his team were able to utilize the watery setting by including some underwater Jaws-like shots, adding to the fun of the film.
While the action and fast-paced nature of the film is a welcomed feature, fans of slasher films are only really interested in one thing — how were the kill scenes!? Amsterdamned contains a pretty high body-count, but sadly none of the kills were really shown up close and in much detail. The kills were plentiful, but usually off in the distance or not on screen at all. With that being said, the bloody carnage shown afterwards always looked impressive. I have to say that severed heads and chopped up bodies look as amazing as I’ve ever seen. The special effects team did a wonderful job and I’m sure all slasher fans will be satiated.
With a runtime of 1 hour and 53 minutes, Maas’ film is quite a bit longer than most slasher fare from this era. Because of this, there is much more time for character development and subplot. It was nice to be introduced to characters with substance, instead of just sitting through another typical slasher with cookie-cutter characters. I enjoyed watching Detective Visser’s relationship with the lovely Laura (Monique van de Ven) blossom on screen, even amongst the grisly deaths involved in his ongoing case. It provided a nice balance of the macabre and the beautiful sides of life.
Amsterdamned is a great entry in the slasher sub-genre and certainly worth your time. It contains a great script with small hints of comedy, usually at the expense of officer Vermeer (Serge-Henri Valcke), a unique antagonist, and an overall entertaining story. A brand new home release is available now from Blue Underground. As always, Blue Underground has done a remarkable job with the release, which includes a complete 2K restoration of the feature film on Blu-ray and DVD, tons of behind-the-scenes features, reversible artwork, and more, so be sure to snag a copy of your own today!
I give this long-lost gem 4 traumatized school kids out of 5.