IT CAME FROM 1980x has returned after a brief hiatus due to a fairly naughty little hurrican named Sandy. For no other reason other than I see folks spewing some insatiable spooge for this Dutch treat we are going to tackle a movie that has one of the finest cover boxes in the history of the game… and disappoints me to no end. Welcome to The Lift… or as you call it… The Elevator. I can’t tell you just how overrated this frickin’ movie is. People seem to get off on raving about it from every angle. It has become synonymous with retro-sheik. And why? Is it that pulse pounding synth hit laden score that’s guaranteed to make you scream THE ENTITY? Is it the characteristic 1980’s cover at that has you thinking Max Headroom but feeling New Wave? I don’t know. I really can’t say. It’s not even so bad, that it’s good. It’s just so bad. Why even write it up? Because people are putting this fucker on a pedestal and it really just needs some Tux medicated pads for soothing relief and help in healing. That’s it.
Unsuspecting passengers meet an unfortunate fate when they take a ride in a demonic elevator in a highrise. Take the stairs! Take the stairs! For God’s sake, take the stairs!
First off, I have always been fascinated by VHS box art. I love the title. I have always been curious as to how one makes an elevator scary (fuck you M. Night Shamalamdingdong). Well, in 1983 Writer/Director Dick Mass (and no, Dickmaas is not the Christmas connection) made a go of it. It’s all suggestive lighting, musical scares and bad acting from there. What did you expect? The Exorcist with elevators? What does it say about a movie when all the actors can do their own stunts? Dick Maas is responsible for Amersterdamned which is a cult fan favorite. He is also responsible for the Golden Earing: Live from the Twilight Zone video… obviously! All the actors and actresses are from the Netherlands. I know nothing about the Netherlands or their actors. I give up there. The Dutch. Love their porn.
Best part of this movie by far is the synth score which is pure 1980’s gold. Dick Maas himself is responsible for that. Guess he got something right. The special effects work left a lot to be desired although I must admit that the lack of effect prowess did afford a few laughs. If you’re going to laugh at anything, might as well get your yucks in at the tag line: “Take the stairs., take the stairs. For God’s Sake take the Stairs!”.
Warner Brothers must have lost a bet to pick up this one. What may astound you more is that in 2001 the damn thing was remade, Down… guess who directed it? Dick Maas. Can’t make this shit up. I suppose in essence it’s just a man vs. machine picture or man vs. computer in this case or maybe even a traditional mad scientist picture. File it alongside Demon Seed without Julia Christie? Not quite. Sorry De Lift. Your cheese just didn’t grill me.
You can pick up The Lift through VHSPS (support the unsupportable and the format impaired films of yesteryear no matter how overhyped). You can also grab the VHS HERE. Who says MEDIA didn’t put out any stinkers!?