175. Spetters (Netherlands 1980)

Three motorcycling friends find sex, death, paralysis and chips on the outskirts of Rotterdam.

d. Paul Verhoeven

Starring: Hans Van Tongeren, Toon Agterberg, Martin Spanjer, Renee Soutendijk

Bit part: Rutger Hauer

Moderately Interesting Fact: the title of the film is never explained for an English audience although various interpretations are 'mud splashed', 'oil splashed' or even 'spunk splashed'.

Verhoeven's first film is like a profane, Dutch Quadrophenia. Ostensibly set in the world of moto-cross, Spetters opens out into a hybrid of Dickensian melodrama, graphic sex and the meaning of life.

Ginger broken nosed Rien (Van Tongeren) hopes to emulate his hero Gerrit Witkens (Hauer) as world motor cross champion and lives a fulfilled life with friends Hans and Eef until sultry chip van minx* (Soutendijk ; very sexy in an early eighties Top Shop/Paula Ann Bland sort of way) comes along and shags all of them. Well, not mechanic Eef whose strict Calvinist upbringing appears to:

A savage, revenge bum raping shows Eef the error of his ways and he ends up sharing a caravan with one of the bum rapists (who happens to be Soutendijk's chip frying brother).

There's lots of filth in this film (wanking, finger dipstick testing to show that a woman is not faking a period and graphic willy measuring to see who's most worthy of shagging 'chip bird' [as she's referred to in the subtitles) and it's filled with authentic Dutch meffs and bad music. The coincidences in the film suggest that Verhoeven's taking the piss as well as doing his best to shock (which he's been doing ever since).

Well worth a watch, though. But not with your ma.


*Chip Van Minx: Eindhoven's answer to Buck's Fizz's Bobby Gubby.