Cinema Gadfly – Episode 21 – The Vanishing

My guest for this month is Herb van der Poll, and he’s joined me to discuss the film I chose for him, the 1988 Dutch–French film The Vanishing. You can follow the show on Twitter @cinemagadfly.

Show notes:

The director, George Sluizer, didn’t really direct much else besides this film and its remake The soundtrack definitely has a Tears for Fears vibe to it, which is 100% ok with me Herb checked with his Dutch parents to make sure we pronounced Spoorloos correctly Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu is basically perfect as the villain in this film If you enjoy this film, you’d probably also love Alfred Hitchock’s The Lady Vanishes The actress who plays the second girlfriend Lieneke, Gwen Eckhaus, was randomly in a television series in the Netherlands called Spoorloos verdwenen, which I assume is unrelated Getting a compliment on your film from Stanley Kubrick is a big
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120 Essential Horror Scenes Part 8: Reversals & Reveals

It’s the moment you wait for the entire horror film. It’s not just a plot twist or a payoff but a trigger to your deepest emotions. You want to be shocked and sickened and saddened when the killer is revealed, the hero suddenly dies, or the mystery is solved. Most of all, you want your jaw to be on the floor. **Spoilers obviously ahead**


The Brood (1979)- Mommy knows best

David Cronenberg’s third horror film is his first truly great movie and also his first superbly acted film. The Brood’s ensemble is solid but Oliver Reed and Samantha Eggar stand out as maverick doctor Hal Raglan and his disturbed patient Nola Carveth. Nola’s estranged husband Frank (played by Art Hindle) teams up with Dr. Raglan in the film’s suspenseful climax. He confronts Nola while Raglan attempts to rescue Frank’s young daughter from a group of murderous deformed children.
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Top 100 Horror Movies: How Truly Horrific Are They?

Top 100 horror movies of all time: Chicago Film Critics' choices (photo: Sigourney Weaver and Alien creature show us that life is less horrific if you don't hold grudges) See previous post: A look at the Chicago Film Critics Association's Scariest Movies Ever Made. Below is the list of the Chicago Film Critics's Top 100 Horror Movies of All Time, including their directors and key cast members. Note: this list was first published in October 2006. (See also: Fay Wray, Lee Patrick, and Mary Philbin among the "Top Ten Scream Queens.") 1. Psycho (1960) Alfred Hitchcock; with Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam. 2. The Exorcist (1973) William Friedkin; with Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Jason Miller, Max von Sydow (and the voice of Mercedes McCambridge). 3. Halloween (1978) John Carpenter; with Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Tony Moran. 4. Alien (1979) Ridley Scott; with Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt. 5. Night of the Living Dead (1968) George A. Romero; with Marilyn Eastman,
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The Definitive Scary Scenes from Non-Horror Movies: 10-1

10. Deliverance (1972)

Scene: Squeal Like a Piggy


Word to the wise: just because someone plays a mighty fine banjo, it doesn’t mean he or any of his kin should be invited to your family picnic. Based on the James Dickey novel of the same name, Deliverance follows four businessmen as they decide to spend a weekend canoeing down a fictional river before it needs to be flooded. Lewis (Burt Reynolds) leads the crew as the most experienced, followed closely by Ed (Jon Voight). The two novices Bobby and Drew (Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox) also join them. So, in remote Georgia, the four men set out to take in the beauty of nature. Before setting off, they come across a group of mountain men, all of which appear to be inbred. Drew engages in a banjo duet with one of the teenagers, but he doesn’t
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The supernatural need not apply: 5 great examples of existential horror

The supernatural need not apply: 5 great examples of existential horror
The 1988 Dutch thriller The Vanishing hit Blu-ray this week, thanks to the good folks at Criterion. Without a drop of gore, it’s the perfect centerpiece for an All Saints’ Eve frightfest that shivers the soul but doesn’t turn the stomach. And why not round out that scare-a-thon with four more examples of great, relatively bloodless movies that go for your soul instead of your jugular? Here's a list of suggestions. (And if you're looking for more traditional horror flicks, consider perusing our carefully-curated Horror Quintessentials lists.) The Vanishing (1988) The horror genre tends to be about as subtle as
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Criterion Collection: The Vanishing | Blu-ray Review

Remastered just in time for Halloween, Criterion dusts off George Sluizer’s classic psychological thriller The Vanishing for a Blu-ray release. The Dutch-French co-production stands as the filmmaker’s most internationally renowned and enduring work, its sterling reputation still managing to overshadow Sluizer’s own ill-conceived English language remake from 1992 with a cast headlined by Jeff Bridges, Kiefer Sutherland, and Sandra Bullock (plus a fresh faced Nancy Travis, a name that often gets neglected in flippant references to the production). With Sluizer’s passing in September of 2014, it’s an eerily timed re-release of his signature work.

A Dutch couple on a road trip, Rex (Gene Bervoets) and Saskia (Johanna ter Steege) run out of gasoline. A heated argument leads to reconciliation, and they properly refuel at a gas station rest stop packed with tourists due to the Tour de France. Saskia goes into the store to get drinks and never returns,
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Blu-ray, DVD Release: The Vanishing (1988)

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Oct. 28, 2014

Price: DVD $24.95, Blu-ray $39.95

Studio: Criterion

Johanna ter Steege and Gene Bervoets in The Vanishing.

Dutch filmmaker George Sluizer’s 1988 mystery-thriller The Vanishing is written by Tim Krabbe, who adapted his own novel.

The movie focuses on a young man (Gene Bervoets) who embarks on an obsessive search for the girlfriend who mysteriously disappeared while the couple were taking a sunny vacation trip. Now, his three-year investigation draws the attention of her abductor (Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu), a mild-mannered professor with a diabolically clinical mind.

An unorthodox love story and a truly unsettling thriller, The Vanishing unfolds with meticulous intensity, leading to an unforgettable finale that has unnerved audiences around the world.

Presented in Dutch and French with English subtitles, the Criterion Blu-ray and DVD editions contain the following features:

• New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray

• New interview with director George Sluizer

• New
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31 Days of Horror: 100 Greatest Horror Films: #10-1

Every year, we here at Sound On Sight celebrate the month of October with 31 Days of Horror; and every year, I update the list of my favourite horror films ever made. Last year, I released a list that included 150 picks. This year, I’ll be upgrading the list, making minor alterations, changing the rankings, adding new entries, and possibly removing a few titles. I’ve also decided to publish each post backwards this time around for one simple reason: that is, the new additions appear lower on my list, whereas my top 50 haven’t changed much, except for maybe in ranking. Enjoy!

Special Mention:

Un chien andalou

Directed by Luis Buñuel

Written by Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel

France, 1929

The dream – or nightmare – has been a staple of horror cinema for decades. In 1929, Luis Bunuel joined forces with Salvador Dali to create Un chien andalou, an experimental and unforgettable 17-minute surrealist masterpiece.
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The Vanishing Themes and Tone of Foreign Language Remakes

Last night I took little note of it being Halloween. My goal wasn't to watch a scary film or anything horrific, but it all began earlier that the morning. I had been thumbing through Hulu Plus, looking for something to watch for 30 minutes before getting to work and my queue had about 25 films and, in all honesty, I was hoping to watch something in English so I could do a little morning work, browse the net and scroll through Twitter at the same time. Well, that didn't work out... I decided on George Sluizer's 1988 thriller The Vanishing. I'd never seen it and knew nothing about it. Didn't even know it was in Dutch and French. Didn't matter, almost immediately I was hooked. The film begins with Rex and Saskia (Gene Bervoets and Johanna ter Steege), a young couple on a road trip in France. The first jolt of electricity
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100 + Greatest Horror Movies (pt.6) 25-1

Throughout the month of October, Editor-in-Chief and resident Horror expert Ricky D, will be posting a list of his favorite Horror films of all time. The list will be posted in six parts. Click here to see every entry.

As with all lists, this is personal and nobody will agree with every choice – and if you do, that would be incredibly disturbing. It was almost impossible for me to rank them in order, but I tried and eventually gave up.


Special Mention:

Shock Corridor

Directed by Samuel Fuller

Written by Samuel Fuller

1963, USA

Shock Corridor stars Peter Breck as Johnny Barrett, an ambitious reporter who wants to expose the killer at the local insane asylum. In order to solve the case, he must pretend to be insane so they have him committed. Once in the asylum, Barrett sets to work, interrogating the other patients and keeping a close eye on the staff.
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Greatest Horror Movies Ever Made Part 7: The 62 Greatest (# 31-1)

31 – Rosemary’s Baby

Directed by Roman Polanski

USA, 1968

Roman Polanski’s brilliant horror-thriller was nominated for two Oscars, winning Best Supporting Actress for Ruth Gordon. The director’s first American film, adapted from Ira Levin’s horror bestseller, is a spellbinding and twisted tale of Satanism and pregnancy. Supremely mounted, the film benefits from it’s strong atmosphere, apartment setting, eerie childlike score and polished production values by cinematographer William Fraker. The cast is brilliant, with Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes as the young couple playing opposite Ruth Gordon and Sidney Blackmer, the elderly neighbors. There is ominous tension in the film from first frame to last – the climax makes for one of the greatest endings of all time. Rarely has a film displayed such an uncompromising portrait of betrayal as this one. Career or marriage – which would you choose?

30 – Eraserhead

Directed by David Lynch

USA, 1977

Filmed intermittently over the course of a five-year period,
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Greatest Horror Movies Ever Made Part 7: 50 Greatest Horror Films (# 15-1)

25 – Halloween

Directed by John Carpenter

1978 – Us

A historical milestone that single-handedly shaped and altered the future of the entire genre. This seminal horror flick actually gets better with age; it’s downright transcendent and holds up with determination as an effective thriller that will always stand head and shoulders above the hundreds of imitators to come. Halloween had one hell of an influence on the entire film industry. You have to admire how Carpenter avoids explicit onscreen violence, and achieves a considerable power almost entirely through visual means, using its widescreen frame, expert hand-held camerawork, and terrifying foreground and background imagery.

24 – Black Christmas

Directed by Bob Clark

1974 – Canada

We never did find out who Billy was. Maybe it’s for the best, since they never made any sequels to Bob Clark’s seminal slasher film, a film which predates Carpenter’s Halloween by four years. Whereas Texas Chainsaw Massacre, released the same year,
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All French, No Noir

A shamelessly melodramatic series of romantic, financial and politi cal crises embroil a rundown music hall in "Paris 36," a gleaming hunk of French period schmaltz expertly rendered by director Christophe Barratier.

Will the heartbroken manager (Gerard Jugnot) attempting to reopen the theater finally reunite with the accordion-playing son whisked away by his ex-wife? Will the gorgeous young chanteuse (Nora Arnezeder) choose the leftist stagehand (Clovis Cornillac) or the venue's sleazy

middle-age owner (Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu) with criminal connections?

Will the bill-topping comedian (Kad Merad) regret embracing the landlord's anti-Semitic fascist pals?
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In Honor of Halloween: Most Underrated Villains Countdown #2

Raymond Lemorne (The Vanishing) The Vanishing has the dubious honor of being one of the most intelligent but least influential serial killer films ever made (The Silence of the Lambs was released only three years later, forever dooming nearly all villains to speak with that condescending intelligentsia tone). To quote Charlie Kaufman in Adaptation, “On top of that, you explore the notion that cop and criminal are really two aspects of the same person. See every cop movie ever made for other examples of this.” Truer words were never spoken, Charlie, but even with all of the cliches, there’s little to no denying (in my opinion) that The Vanishing presents the strongest example of the cop/criminal dynamic that has ever been put on screen(and that includes Heat). The fact that it makes this cliché so incredibly effective is due in great degree to its two lead actors,
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Tiff Review: Paris 36

Filed under: Comedy, Drama, Foreign Language, New Releases, Sony Classics, Theatrical Reviews, Festival Reports, Toronto International Film Festival, Cinematical Indie

Paris 36 tries to do a dozen different things, and does none of them well. But even that description may not be harsh enough, because it makes the film sound ambitious. It's not. Director Christophe Barratier, whose The Chorus was a quality rendition of an age-old formula, doesn't even pretend to give much thought to any of the disparate elements he assembles here. This is one of those middlebrow period-piece comedies that mistakes frenzy for energy and spotless soundstage gloss for visual style. It may play well with certain audiences for whom "arthouse" is synonymous with "no explosions," but there's really nothing to see here.

Well, in theory there's a lot to see, including but not limited to the following: a would-be portrait of the French Popular Front in the 1930's
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See also

Credited With | External Sites