Amsterdamned and Utrecht Blessed

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.
Dinner Destination

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!

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14 thoughts on “Amsterdamned and Utrecht Blessed

  1. I totally forgot about that film, used to think it was really scary as a kid, but now it’s probably very dated. Forgot about that race scene too, it’s so obviously Utrecht! Amsterdam, eat your pretty heart out 🙂

    • Despite some of the silly bits, I’m sure it probably was kind of creepy, especially if you’re younger. I’m pretty sure I would have been watching half of it behind my hands when I was younger!

  2. btw the guy playing the detective is Huub Stapel, a still very well-known Dutch actor. He became famout through this film, and the much-loved series Flodder.

  3. Oh my goodness!!! I need to get my hands on this movie!!! ;D

    The change in venue is really quite a jolt when you know the area. But I foind it wonderful that I knew most of the locations! 🙂

    Thank you!

  4. LOL, as a resident of Los Angeles, I get that *sound of record scratching* a lot. The movie Speed (Nod to NL director Jan de Bont) drives me nuts (pun intended) cause what appears to be lots of miles driven on one road is in fact one short section of a freeway.

    I remember another movie where Gary Coleman is being chased. It appears that he is merely crossing a street. It was edited in such a way, that one side of the street is actually two cities away from the other side of the street. You’d only know that if you knew the area.

    • LA films must be a constant source of “that’s not right”. (The Gary Coleman one is hilarious!) I’ve had it happen a few times with New Orleans and New York films, as well. It’s fun to spot, but it can also take you out of the movie for a moment.

    • There are tons of restaurants, representing all sorts of cuisines along the central section of the Oudegracht. One of the many reasons to visit the city!

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