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Spetters (1980) - Blu-ray

4 beersPaul Verhoeven does not make bad films. Argue with me all you want to about the massive raspberry that you claim is Showgirls and I will defend it to my last breath. It is everything that it is BY DESIGN. Verhoeven, the Dutch filmmaker that gave us RoboCop, Total Recall, Starship Troopers, and Basic Instinct (plus Elle, the neo-noirish thriller from 2016), has always been pushing topical boundaries in his films. He makes uncomfortable movies. Always. 

While often violent and of a sexually explicit nature, Verhoeven creates unmistakable textures and atmospheres that compliment those edgy tones; his work largely mesmerizes.  And he did it from the very beginning.

Spetters, his last Dutch-made flick, is a dirt-bike racing flick that follows the friendship of three bikers. It finally arrives on blu-ray this week thanks to Kino Lorber. For years, the film was only available as DVD bootleg with no English subtitles. Thankfully, that has been fixed thanks to this fine release.

"All it takes to make or break a fella is one girl. Spetters, in between all the motorcross racing, explains why."

Once seen, Spetters, with its mad racing scenes and explicit content, might just change your perception of Verhoeven. It certainly is eye-opening to see just what wonders Verhoeven creates with his lens because the film you might be expecting from the cover art is DEFINITELY not the film you are going to get.

This is a movie about three friends who love their good, good times together. These three friends – Rien (Hans van Tongeren), Hans (Maarten Spanjer), and mechanic, Eef (Toon Agterberg) – dream of escape. They do NOT want the dead-end life of their parents. Working for a living is not for them. They want out of Rotterdam and it is through racing that they believe their dreams of escape will be achieved.

Only one obstacle, motocross champion Gerrit Witkamp (Rutger Hauer), stands in their way. At least that’s what they initially think. But, with a father who tries to beat Satan out of his son, hundreds of homosexual jabs and attacks (including a rape that awakens the true sexuality of one of the friends), and a gung-ho punk attitude toward damn near everything, there are many unforeseen situations that must be overcome.

Spetters (1980) - Blu-ray

Truly, though, it turns out that they should have been paying closer attention to Fientje (Renée Soutendijk), the local hottie selling hot dogs at the races. She’s going to blow through all of them, leave her mark, and change everything within the boys. Nothing will be the same when she’s through with them. She’s a badass, though. With an introduction that includes dumping hot oil on a biker punk’s chest, she’s one hot love interest that even the illustration and poster art of Patrick Nagel couldn’t pin down.

Spetters, while low in budget and filled with a NICE 1975 Honda CB750 SOHC cafe racer, is a film that is certain to continue to spark some major controversy with its social implications. The dirtbike races are gritty and visually striking, considering they look to be around a major landfill, and Verhoeven, naming the movie after the sort of splattering effect the dirt bike races kick up in mud and dirt, puts these guys through the ringer. This is a summer of big, big change. One will be paralyzed. One will be gay. And another, well, just watch the movie…

All it takes to make or break a fella is one girl. Spetters, in between all the motorcross racing, explains why.


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Spetters (1980) - Blu-ray

MPAA Rating: Not rated.
120 mins
: Paul Verhoeven
Gerard Soeteman
Hans van Tongeren, Renée Soutendijk, Toon Agterberg
: Drama | Romance
A paul Verhoeven/Gerard Soeteman Film
Memorable Movie Quote:
Theatrical Distributor:

Official Site:
Release Date:

DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
June 13, 2018
Synopsis: Rien, Eef and Hans are three young guys stuck in an industrial town on the outskirts of Rotterdam. They couldn't be more different except for one thing: their shared passion for motorcycle racing, which each sees as his ticket to a better life. But a deeper passion will soon rule each of their lives, when a sexy, ambitious blonde (Renée Soutendijk, The 4th Man) comes between them and provokes unforeseen events that will rock their worlds.


[tab title="Blu-ray Review"]

Spetters (1980) - Blu-ray


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Kino Lorber
Available on Blu-ray
- June 12, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: English
Dutch: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Released on 1080p (with an aspect ratio of 1.66:1) by Kino Lorber, Spetters isn’t exactly the best looking upgrade to grace your television sets. I bet you won’t mind either. There is, in some certain location shoots, a heavy layer of grain. Now, this doesn’t bother me. I like grain. Grain works, but if you are expecting a low budget knockoff to look better some number of years AFTER its release date, then you will be disappointed. This isn’t a restoration. It simply is what it is. Interiors are good, but details aren’t as graphic as they could be. Black levels are good, but never impressive. Some of the effects shots, while dated, are pretty solid with good execution. The sound and its AWESOME soundtrack is supplied with a rather basic LPCM 2.0, but it does have English subtitles.



  • Verhoeven sits in for a very nice commentary concerning the making of the overall effect of Spetters.

Special Features:

Kino Lorber gives fans the commentary from Verhoeven and the original trailer.

  • Theatrical Trailer


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Spetters (1980) - Blu-ray