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Screen » Film

Must-View Verhoeven: Painting the Dutch director by numbers

A few must-see classics directed by the one and only, Paul Verhoeven.



1) When Verhoeven was still Dutch and still good:

The Fourth Man,

This crazy, surreal, very cool movie is about life, death and sex. Jeroen Krabbé plays a man who has visions of impending danger and begins an affair with a mysterious woman, (Renée Soutendijk) who may lead him to his doom.

Soldier of Orange

Offering the first glimpse of a young Rutger Hauer, this is an excellent film about the horrors of war. A character-driven story about Germans invading the Netherlands and a group of six university friends caught up in the events that follow. Also starring Jeroen Krabbé.

2) Absolute classics:


This overtly sadistic robotic, ¾ robot ¼ cop, action flick doesn’t skimp on the high octane chase scenes, coke snorting, and sex scenes, not to mention bullets flying, guts spewing, blood spraying and slime oozing.  Kurtwood Smith goes directly to best brutal villain of the year (perhaps ever). My first reaction was, “How are they going to top this?”

Total Recall

Arnold goes to Mars…or does he? This sci-fi mind-bender pulls out all the stops and delivers the goods in a hectic race against time. This neat little twist and turns of events and its crazy-ass vivid colors and over-the-top state of the arts (for the time) special effects are superb. This movie will make you laugh again and again, providing that you watch it more than once. And you should.

3) So bad they’re good enough to have cult followings:

Basic Instinct

Famous for the Sharon Stone leg-crossing scene, this movie is so lame it boggles the mind. This insipid, badly envisioned thriller careens through sex and whodunit ice pick murders while Michael Douglas acts all flustered and bothered and Stone sucks the air out of every room by being vampish. Teaming with screenwriter Joe Eszterhas (who had his heyday in the 90) contributed to the beginning of Verhoeven’s decline.


Speaking of sex, Verhoeven/ Eszterhas pull out all the stops in this soap-style nudie fest that boasted perhaps the most topless women in any move at one time. I liked this movie from the very start due to its blatant campiness and moronic drama. I was laughing at this atrocity immediately. It took the cult worshipping public forever to catch up.

4) Franchised:

Starship Troopers

Hey you cannot go wrong with demolishing cockroaches from space in this super gory shoot ‘em up interspersed with a super sappy love story.

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