At various points over the years, I’ve seen and heard references to the film Amsterdamned, a 1988 Dutch horror film focused on the canals of Amsterdam. The reason why I’ve heard about the film is because of a famous boat chase. Two speed boats — one with the masked killer and the other with the investigating police officer — race through the city’s many canals, doing their best to avoid numerous obstacles. At one point, a tour boat is blocking the whole canal and the boats veer onto the wharf in order to avoid the tour boat, scattering people sitting at tables next to the canal.
*sound of record scratching*
Wait a minute! Amsterdam canals don’t have those kind of wharves! Although the boat chase does go on for quite a while, it doesn’t go on long enough for them to have suddenly appeared in Utrecht’s Oudegracht! Yet that’s exactly where they are! Then, just a few moments later, they’re back in Amsterdam.
You see, the Oudegracht and Nieuwegracht canals here in Utrecht, with their water-side wharves below the regular street level, are pretty much unique to Utrecht. Amsterdam has nothing like them, despite the many canals. In order to create an eye-catching stunt for the boat race, they decided to make use of Utrecht’s canal, location be damned!
This is why I’ve come to know of this film. This 30-second location blip is fairly well-known to Utrechters. Despite knowing about it, I had yet to see the film or even the boat race, until yesterday. I came across a video about the filming of the stunt in Utrecht, and then finally found a video of the boat race itself. You can see it for yourself. Utrecht shows up at about the 5:30 mark and is gone again by about the 6 minute mark, so keep your eyes open!