Directed by Pim de la Parra
Distributed by Cult Epics / CAV Distributing
I haven't done a review for a Cult Epics release in a while, so I was glad to get the chance to review one of their latest releases, OBSESSIONS. This is a very interesting crime/thriller from director Pim de la Parra and was co-written by Martin Scorsese! I had never heard of this film before, but I really enjoyed this one. Here is some more info about the film from the Cult Epics website:
The obscure film OBSESSIONS (aka HOLE IN THE WALL) was directed by Dutch artsploitation auteur Pim de la Parra and co-produced by longtime collaborator Wim Verstappen (BLUE MOVIE). This gritty, psychedelic Hitchcockian mystery, which is notable for being the first Dutch film shot in English-language, starts in a savagely brutal fashion. When a bloody painting of Vincent van Gogh falls from a wall and exposes a makeshift peephole, student protagonist Nils Janssen (played by the film’s German co-producer Dieter Geissler) becomes an unwitting witness to a gruesome sex crime next door. When his young fiancée Marina (Alexandra Stewart of Truffaut’s DAY FOR NIGHT), an enterprising journalist, tells him about a report of a murder that she is writing, he naturally wonders if it’s the very same killing.
This classic exploitation film was the birth of auteur cinema in Holland, and inspired legendary filmmakers such as Paul Verhoeven to make their start in the industry. Originally distributed in over 100 countries, the film remained unreleased in the U. S. (and France) – until now. Perhaps most notably, the film was co-written by a young Martin Scorsese, who shot the legendary erotic dream sequence for his first feature WHO’S THAT KNOCKING AT MY DOOR (1968) in Amsterdam, that same year. Additionally, the film also stars legendary Dutch filmmaker Fons Rademakers (MIRA, THE ASSAULT), is edited by Henry Rust (CHILDREN OF PARADISE) and scored by Hitchcock composer Bernard Herrmann (TAXI DRIVER, SISTERS, VERTIGO). OBSESSIONS is a curious cultural hybrid where late-1960s Dutch exploitation and classic Hollywood Hitchcock collide in a provocative and revolutionary fashion. Blu-ray/DVD Combo.
This was a very interesting film, not horror so much, more of just a dark mystery/thriller. It reminded me of the early Giallo films of Dario Argento, although this is not a true Giallo film by any means. The movie was very well made and was different in that a lot of the key action takes place in the apartment next to our main character, Nils, with the camera looking through the peephole in the wall. This was a unique way to witness key scenes and made you feel like you were a part of the action!
The film was very suspenseful throughout, but especially so in one scene where Nils breaks into the neighbor's apartment and gets trapped there as the man comes back before he has a chance to get out. Nils hides under the bed hoping to not get caught, while his girlfriend makes a distraction and gets the man to leave his apartment so Nils can finally escape. I was on the edge of my seat during the scene, nervous that Nils was going to get caught!
While OBSESSIONS is pretty tame by today's standards, it has a good story and keeps you entertained the entire running time, or at least it did me anyway. I would definitely recommend this one!
OBESSIONS will be available May 30th on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack and will contain the following special features:
. New HD Transfer (from original 35mm film)
. Introduction by director Pim de La Parra (HD, 2017)
. Introduction by actor/producer Dieter Geissler (HD, 2016)
. Interview with Pim de La Parra (HD, 2017)
. Interview with Dieter Geissler (HD, 2016)
. Interview with Martin Scorsese (Volkskrant, 2017)
. Scorpio Films (Excerpt from Parradox documentary, HD 2010)
. Original Dutch Theatrical Trailer (HD)
. Script notes by Martin Scorsese
. Obsessions photo video gallery
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer (**NSFW**)
CLICK HERE to purchase the Blu-ray/DVD combo