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Old 09-07-2012, 05:49 PM
The Lift (1983)

The Lift aka De Lift
Directed by Dick Maas

Looking at the title there should be no need to explain the plot of The Lift in great detail. Dutch director Dick Maas might ring a bell to some for the more well known Amsterdamed or the recent Saint Nick. Primary active in the TV field (in his homeland, naturaly) he scored a big hit with his outrageous comedy Flodder (if you think Al Bundy is below your intellectual level you wonīt like that film). The Lift is an early theatrical feature in his filmography and also one of his goes at scriptwriting. Compared to the seventies which saw the birth of the "Nature Runs Amok" movies spearheaded by Jaws, The Lift is an example of the succeeding "Urban Enviroment runs Amok" genre which includes movies like The Mangler, Final Destination or Maximum Overdrive.

The premise is simple enough - and for what itīs worth I had a good time rolling with this silly idea. There is some reasonably well done horror in here, one scene featuring the titular lift and someoneīs head had me fairly creeped out no matter how shoddy the special effects were. I also liked how the lift appears to have a disgusting sense of humour, teasing his lift-fodder by opening the door one more time before the final ride and stuff like that. The cast includes Huup Stapel, a frequent collaborator with the director and a good actor plus the female lead Willeke van Ammelrooy looked incredibly hot although well in her thirties. There is some inspired camera work, vaguely reminissant of Dario Argento (the way our heros meet up and the following car-ride is also very alike to a similar scene in Deep Red) greatly helping out the rather bland-looking sets.

This is a very low-budget production, not as low budget as some home-made zombie films from nowadays but pretty low. It also had itīs fair share of troubles on set with director Maas being fired and then re-hired during the filmīs production. Thereīs a lot of drawbacks in the script, of most annoyance is the sub-plot involving the heroīs family life. It takes up waaay too much time and is simple filler since it doesnīt go anywhere - his bitch of a wife never even gets close to the evil lift and the fact that he has a family is totally irrelevant. This is a one-hour movie bloated to 105 minutes.Worse yet, these parts sure donīt help the rocky structure of the plot, there are some humerous tones that donīt fit with the vibe at all. Also the "cause" behind the liftīs shennanigans is a big letdown. The scene where some scientist nutbag raves nonsense about microchips (some kind of personal satan to him obviously) is hilarious for all the wrong reasons. I know this is 1983 but still it sinks the movie to a deeper level, methaphoricaly speaking.

So, while thereīs a lot of glaring flaws to it, as I said I still had a good time. If youīre not the "Hollywood Only" type of horror film and like to give something different a chance, this is an interesting film and worthy of a wider audience. Too bad Dick Maas didnīt get to do more horror in his time, as it is heīs just a rather unsung talent in that field. I need to watch Saint Nick soon and also his own remake of this, called Down.

Last edited by Dehydrator; 09-07-2012 at 05:51 PM..
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