Welcome back, Boils & Ghouls...
... to 'Day Five' of "Alucard's Bat-tastic Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku" and to the first instalment of "Macabre Movie Monday" where I will be recommending even more horror movies to send shivers down your spine all of which be streamed to your television sets via the magic of Roku player !!
So... if you're planning to while away the hours, during these dark autumnal evenings, by watching a succession of Hallowe'en / Horror-themed movies to get into the "spirit" of things, you should make a point of visiting this blog EVERY MONDAY between now and October 31st for even more creepy cinema classics to "get your fright on" in readiness for your own Hallowe'en celebrations !!
As a gesture to fans of 'World Cinema', I'm going to recommend an foreign language horror movie for you today. This time it's a Dutch-French film from 1988 that I'm putting forward for your daily film fix. I originally shared this movie as part of the "Countdown To Hallowe'en" last year, having read the sad news in the 'Hollywood Reporter', VIA THIS ARTICLE, that the director had passed away (aged 82) just prior to my post in 2014. As for the film... it's another of those psychological thriller / horror movies that relies more on atmosphere than out-and-out gore to provide the tension and instill terror in our hearts & minds! Even so, if you've an aversion to foreign films and/or subtitles, you might want to give this a miss. The same goes for claustrophobics - YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! ;-)
Anyway... assuming you're happy to go along with it, and (in memory of the director) I would urge you to do so, here's a brief introduction for you. Originally called "Spoorloos", when released in the Netherlands towards the end of 1988, it was then marketed for France as "L'homme Qui Voulait Savoir" in 1989, before being known as "The Vanishing" come the time of it's UK release on 1st June 1990. To whet your appetite further, here's the a quick look at the poster for the film:-
Directed by George Sluizer, and starring Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu, Gene Bervoets, and Johanna ter Steege plus Bernadette Le Saché (amongst others), it tells the story of a young couple, Rex & Saskia, who are very much in love but happen to stop at a busy service station, while on holiday, and Saskia gets abducted. After spending the next three years trying to find her, Rex suddenly starts to receive postcards from her abductor, who promises to reveal what happened to Saskia. Naturally, Rex is drawn-in by his intense desire to learn the truth behind the disappearance of his lover, but the reality is more sinister than he dared to imagine! For those of you that have yet to see this film adaptation of the novella, "The Golden Egg", by Tim Krabbé... here's a brief taster courtesy of the original trailer:-
PLEASE NOTE:- This trailer was intended for the 1989 release of "L'homme Qui Voulait Savoir", and (therefore) tailored to French audiences, although (thankfully) it is subtitled in 'English' for the benefit of those among us that are not fluent in either of the Dutch or French languages !!
If you'd like to know more there's a full list of the cast & credits on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) listing for "The Vanishing" (1988) [aka "Spoorloos"], FOUND HERE, which also includes a full storyline / plot summary as well as box office stats, technical specs & much more. For die-hard fans, there is even more information on the Wikipedia Page for "The Vanishing", VIA THIS LINK, which may help to fuel your appetite for another screening. Although, as with the other horror films that I've featured recently, if you're already a big fan, you may not take much persuading to watch it again !!
Anyway (once again) the best recommendation I can make, as to which of the available Roku channels you could use to watch this movie, is to suggest "YouTube" as your first port-of-call on account of the vast number of horror movies which, thanks to this channel and it's associated apps, are now readily available to stream via your Roku player(s) whenever you choose.
If you haven't already got it in your channel selection, you can easily add it to your Roku player(s) using the recently introduced Roku 'Search' feature. Just start typing "YouTube" into the text entry box within Roku 'Search' and it will soon appear in the results column on the right. In fact, you will (most likely) only have to enter the letter "y" before it pops up in the list of results! For those who prefer to look it up the old-fashioned way, you'll find "YouTube" listed among the "Internet TV" channels in the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store - itself, found by navigating to 'Streaming Channels' from the home screen and scrolling through the options - then click "OK" to access the list of "Internet TV" channels and scroll up (or down) until you see the channel icon (as per image above). The good news is... that it's completely FREE-TO-ADD as well as being FREE-TO-VIEW so, once you've located it in the list of channels, just click the "OK" button on your Roku remote to select it and then click "OK" again where it says 'Add channel' to install it on your Roku player(s). Having done that, launch the channel via the 'Go to channel' option and navigate the on-screen menu to play "The Vanishing" on your Roku which, for the record, runs to 1h 47mins and can be found via the following link:-
PLEASE NOTE:- That you should ignore the wording in the title which states, "Thriller 2013 France", as this is most definitely incorrect! Rest assured, however, that the video linked-to above is indeed the 1988 film, "The Vanishing" [aka "Spoorloos"] and is complete WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES, as in the trailer featured earlier in the post. As such, any errors are exclusive to the 'YouTube' title given to this video and should not affect your enjoyment of the film. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused you, in the first instance, but these factors are completely beyond my control, and I respectfully ask that you please take up any issues with the original uploader. THANK YOU.
Meanwhile, for anyone interested, here are a few more posters that movie-goers may have encountered at cinemas & movie theatres worldwide, dependent on their precise location around the globe:-
THE CRITERION COLLECTION POSTER................IMAGE SOURCE: SubScene.com
Before I sign-off... A WORD TO THE WISE: there was an English-language remake of this movie, which (rather confusingly) was also directed by George Sluizer (R.I.P.), made in 1993 - and starring such big names as Jeff Bridges, Kiefer Sutherland and Sandra Bullock - that (unfortunately) lacks the spark of the original and (for me) adds nothing to it. My advice, to those that have NOT yet watched the remake is to AVOID IT AT ALL COSTS since, aside from the overall inferior "feel" of the project, like a lot of "Hollywood" remakes it loses a lot of the panache of the foreign-language original !! Also, if you have seen the remake, and (perhaps) didn't like it (or, even if you did), then don't let that put you off watching the original because (IMHO) it's far, FAR SUPERIOR in just about every way !!
Lastly, to round-off this first "Macabre Movie Monday" on 'Day Five' of the ever-popular 'Countdown To Halloween' for 2015, comes a couple more FRIGHTENINGLY FUN FILM FACTS for you... for example, did you know that the film was submitted to the Academy Awards panel in 1988, as the official Dutch entry for "Best Foreign Language Film"? However, it was disqualified for having too much French dialogue to warrant it being a Dutch candidate and when they (i.e. the Dutch) declined to send-in another film, it left them unrepresented for the first time since 1972 !! Or, that Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu used fairly unorthodox methods to interact with his colleagues... such as deliberately picking an argument with Gene Bervoets, prior to their fight scene, so that Bervoets' rage would look more genuine on film - which sounds like some kind of subliminal "method" acting !!
Fangs (as always) for reading !!