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Spetters (1980) Poster

(1980)

Trivia

Jump to: Director Trademark (1) | Spoilers (3)
The film was heavily criticized in Holland. Many critics accused the film of being anti-women, anti-gay, anti-invalid, and anti-Chistian. They also called it devoid of morals and needlessly decadent. This criticism was one of the contributing factors in Paul Verhoeven's decision to begin making films in America rather than his native land. In fact, on the film's commentary track Verhoeven states that the reason he was not fazed by the negative criticism of his film Showgirls (1995) was because he'd already been through it with Spetters (1980).
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In the beginning of the 1980s, Paul Verhoeven's Dutch movies had come to the attention of Kathleen Kennedy, who showed them to her business partner Steven Spielberg. Spielberg was hugely impressed with Soldier of Orange (1977) and even considered recommending Verhoeven to his friend George Lucas as a potential director for Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983). However, he changed his mind after seeing the sexually explicit Spetters (1980).
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The film's title comes from a now disused Dutch slang term meaning "hot shot" or "hunk".
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The first version of the screenplay was rejected by a Dutch movie foundation for being too vulgar. The script was re-written and funding was obtained, but in reality, Paul Verhoeven simply used the original screenplay as shooting script.
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Gerrit Witkamp (Rutger Hauer) was modeled after real-life Dutch motocross racing champion Gerrit Wolsink.
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This is the first film Paul Verhoeven made that was not an adaptation of a novel.
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Was originally titled "Buddies", before Paul Verhoeven's wife suggested the title change.
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The suits worn by the three protagonists during motocross racing reflect their nature: Rien, the most talented and valiant of the three, is dressed in white; Eef, the ambivalent one, is two-colored (red and black); and Hans, the fool and coward, wears yellow.
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The racing scene was Paul Verhoeven's homage to the chariot race from Ben-Hur (1959), and contains several direct references to this scene, such as the initial presentation of the contenders, and several accidents occurring during the race.
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The first movie by Paul Verhoeven and Gerard Soeteman that was not produced by Rob Houwer. They left Houwer over the many artistic and financial arguments they had had over the years, and went to Joop van den Ende, who was pretty much the only other large producer in the Netherlands who could secure the necessary budget at the time.
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Film debut of Hans van Tongeren.
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The pinball machine wrecked in the café is a "Dancing Lady" electro-mechanical machine made by D. Gottlieb & Co in 1966.
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Director Trademark 

Paul Verhoeven: [religious imagery] In one scene, a character is shot from a low angle, with a light bulb creating a halo around his head (c.f. Flesh+Blood (1985)).
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Actor Hans van Tongeren, who played Rien in the film, tragically committed suicide after the release of the film. This is a strange parallel to his character in the film, who commits suicide after becoming paralyzed.
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The subway tunnel where the rape of Eef was filmed was not a set, but a genuine tunnel under construction. The professional guards who protected the place had to be lured away in order to shoot the scene.
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Paul Verhoeven had originally intended to make Rien's death very gruesome. The scene would have gone as far as showing paramedics removing parts of his body from the truck's tires, but Verhoeven reconsidered after negative response from his crew.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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