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Several Dutch teenagers realize cruel difference between dreams and reality.


Paul Verhoeven


Gerard Soeteman (scenario)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hans van Tongeren Hans van Tongeren ... Rien
Renée Soutendijk ... Fientje
Toon Agterberg Toon Agterberg ... Eef
Maarten Spanjer Maarten Spanjer ... Hans
Marianne Boyer Marianne Boyer ... Maya
Peter Tuinman Peter Tuinman ... Jaap
Saskia van Basten-Batenburg Saskia van Basten-Batenburg ... Truus (as Saskia Ten Batenburg)
Yvonne Valkenburg Yvonne Valkenburg ... Annette
Ab Abspoel Ab Abspoel ... Rien's vader (as Albert Abspoel)
Rudi Falkenhagen Rudi Falkenhagen ... Hans' Vader
Hans Veerman ... Eef's vader
Ben Aerden Ben Aerden ... Oude Homosexueel
Kitty Courbois Kitty Courbois ... Doctor
Margot Keune Margot Keune ... Meisje op bromfiets
Jonna Koster Jonna Koster ... Gerrit's vrouw


Three young Dutch amateur dirt bike motorcycle racers each fall in love with a young woman who, with her brother, works at a concession stand at the races. Everyone is looking for a better life. The young woman wants out of the business and away from her brother. The motocross racers want to make their marks as professional racers, like their hero, played by Rutger Hauer. Written by Mark Logan <marklo@west.sun.com>

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Drama | Romance | Sport


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

28 February 1980 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Descontrol See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

VSE Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


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). See more »


In the scene where Eef's father beats him after he reveals his sexuality, at one point his father strikes him with his right hand, which should have sent him to the right, however, he falls to the ground to his left. See more »

Alternate Versions

Passed uncut by the BBFC in 2004 See more »


Featured in You Don't Nomi (2019) See more »


Written by Björn Ulvaeus & Benny Andersson
Performed by ABBA
Courtesy of Polar Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Surprise, YOU'RE GAY!!!!
31 July 2005 | by bbraatSee all my reviews

Let me insert a positive comment prior to my trashing one of the plots of the film: I thought it was great the way the filmmakers handled the nudity and sex. I wasn't shocked by it but rather I found it to be natural and expected when it was shown. often I find that movies that shy away from showing sex use its absence to titillate, for example, the well placed prop or hand that blocks the view of genitals. such practices only serve to draw MORE attention to those body parts. In this film, the casual nudity and sex only served to demystify themselves. It was no porno, the point of the film was not sex. Sex was merely one of the vehicles from point A to B. Good work. I'll have to raise my rating to commend the makers for the groundbreaking WAY they told the story. Many films have offensive plots that never make this much of an impact.

Now to my complaint about one of the film's plots: A badly written movie that reminded me of "Valet Girls" and "Angel" ('High school honor student by day, Hollywood hooker by night' not the Buffy spin-off) without their humor. The writing was on level with the porn movies made at the time. (Yes, the porn writing at that time was in it's heyday but it was still bad writing.) To focus on one of the most egregious part of the plot: Even listening to the director's commentary didn't help explain the whole ridiculous and insulting gay-subplot. Ah, so getting gang-raped by a bunch of guys late one night will make you gay the next day. (i wonder if that would work with lesbians?) So maybe sexually repressed heterosexual women could be helped by gang-rape? Once they get banged they'll realize that they like it, will become sexually liberated, and will show up at the rapist's house the next day for some snuggling as Eef did. A component of good writing is that, even if the revelation about a character is surprising, a viewer should be able to go back in the film and realize that it was foreseeable. In this movie there is nothing that Eef did that showed him to be gay any more than were his friends or the viewers. 1. the measurement scene: it wasn't his idea, it's not uncommon, and if that means he's gay, then his two friends are even more gay. 2. The gay-bashing scene: even if it was his idea, his friends and their girlfriends were at least if not more brutal than he was. 3. Failing to get erect for his girlfriend: as he said he was drunk, I'm sure this has affected most of the film's viewers at one time or another, and from the dialog it seemed as if it had never been a problem before. In fact the other couple also had a problem that prevented them from having sex. 4. Watching the gay sex scene: yes, he watched it briefly but immediately his idea was not to relieve himself sexually. Instead his immediate idea was to use it to make money to win the favor of the girl. If watching three seconds of that scene makes him gay it makes everyone of the viewers who watched it gay as well. 5. Does a twenty year old really living in Rotterdam in the 80s need to be reminded that homosexuality is an option? There is porn of every variety on every newsstand in that country. Legalized prostitutes have delineated districts. If he wanted to have gay sex he probably would have by this point.

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