Monday, November 10, 2008

Lift, De (1983)

...aka: Goin' Up
...aka: Lift, The

Directed by:
Dick Maas

Up until the time of its release, this was one of the highest grossing horror films released in Europe. Hard to believe, I know. A possessed, killer "lift" (elevator) is making life hell for workers and customers at a new office building/high rise... so it's up to an elevator repairman (Huub Stapel) and a female reporter (Willeke Van Ammelrooy) to get to the bottom of things. A guy is decapitated, drunken young women suffocate and steam until they're forced to lose their tops and a blind man falls down the elevator shaft. Despite an admittedly silly premise, it's fairly slick and surprisingly well made, colorfully photographed, witty and creatively directed, helping to partially make up for the the lack of reasoning or explanation behind the lethal lift and the atrocious English-language dubbing (in the Media video release I own, anyway). The VHS version released by Ingram International Films is subtitled, though there is currently no R1 DVD as of this writing. The director (who did the serial killer horror AMSTERDAMNED after this one) also scripted and did the score. In 2001, he remade this for American audiences as THE SHAFT, which starred Naomi Watts right before she became famous and is so self-aware and absurdly over-the-top it almost plays like a parody of this one.


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