King Olaf of Haland is an albino who lives in a gloomy castle. Abraham Mogèn, an alchemist, wants to aid the king. But on his way to the castle he is murdered by the highwayman Wogram and ...
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King Olaf of Haland is an albino who lives in a gloomy castle. Abraham Mogèn, an alchemist, wants to aid the king. But on his way to the castle he is murdered by the highwayman Wogram and his servant Onorg. Wogram disguises himself as the alchemist and wins the favor of the king.
A complicated fairytale and amazingly good considering the budget
Herman van Veen has become an international celebrity and with good reason. He is musician, comic and storyteller all in one. 'Nachtvlinder' (lit. night butterfly) was written because a friend of his died and Herman had some issues to resolve.
Considering the budget of Dfl 2.000.000 (approx. $ 960.000) this movie turned out very well. It is set in the middle ages, in a country that could well be Holland. (Well, they speak Dutch anyway.) King Olaf is allergic to sunlight and when a doctor finds a blue shell that might be useful as a pair of sunglasses, he travels to the palace. That is, he intends to but he is killed by two highwaymen. One of them (van Veen) unscrupulously takes on the role of the doctor, proceeds to the palace and, following the instructions in the doctor's notes, helps the King overcome his disease. This gives him an important position in the Royal Court. Then a series of horrible murders occurs...
People get murdered left and right (although without any visible bloodshed, which is nice for the kiddies) and sometimes the story is difficult to follow. I was glad I had read the press-kit beforehand. Also, some corners were cut to save on budget. Example: we hear about a shipwreck but we don't get to see the ship sink. Nonetheless the movie has a very intense atmosphere and as far as I know, the story is an original. Don't expect Hollywood production values, but this is a decent movie. One final remark: the acting is sometimes a bit iffy: those fairytale dialogues just don't sound genuine. Only actor Ramses Shaffy can pull that off, which is quite an accomplishment. It didn't spoil the movie for me, though. And a dubbed version (if they do one, that is) may not have that problem anyway.
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