Sometimes an Outposter steps forward. Sometimes an Outposter makes a contribution. Sometimes, just sometimes, an Outposter effectively creates a new category on the site and then makes it their own. That Outposter is Leopardo and his International Retro Reviews are so prolific that we are literally running out of Dutch jokes and will soon have to revert to cheap “Finger In The Dyke” gags like the juveniles that we really are. Anyway, here is Leopardo with more from the Netherlands – Flodder In Amerika!.
Flodder In Amerika
Hi, and welcome back to another International Retro Review, the reviews that are skimmed and ignored by tens of people every time I find the time to write one!
I started with a review for Flodder a few months ago, and I mentioned the sequels. Having recently re-watched them, I decided to finish the trilogy. So, here is Flodder in Amerika! (AKA Flodder does Manhattan!, 1992). Flodder 3 (AKA Flodder Forever, 1995) will follow at a later date.
Here is the trailer:
In 1995, with the release of Flodder 3, the Netherlands had their first ever movie trilogy. These movies were very popular at home, and also in Germany. Germany is a country to our east, and the Dutch and the Germans are best friends since ancient times. There was some trouble in the early 1940s but nobody really talks about that anymore. They like our movies, we like their beer, and we don’t really complain about the state they leave our beaches in after a holiday anymore.
Great guys, those Germans. They can dig holes, but not fill them back in when they’re done apparently. And when they do it’s to bury empty Oettinger cans. Terrific… but, back to the movie.
Flodder in Amerika! is written and directed by Dick Maas, the creator of the original. Cast and crew are pretty much the same as well.
Johnny Flodder – Huub Stapel
Ma Flodder – Nelly Frijda
Kees Flodder (the son) – René van ‘t Hof
Kees Flodder (the daughter) – Tatjana Simic
Larry Rosenbaum – Jon Polito
I just realised Polito died in 2016 when researching this review. RIP Mr. Polito, you did your best.
The movie picks up about a year after the first one. As you may remember from having watched the original Flodder directly after reading my review (ha!), their mansion is destroyed and the family now lives in the rubble. Apparently, nobody told them about insurance. Johnny’s fiancée is conveniently ignored so he can get up to the same shenanigans.
The City Council has finally found a way to get rid of the Flodder Family. Their plan is to hijack an exchange program with the US, a pair of overtly bleeding heart Americans wants to set up a program where families from both countries trade places for a year to foster understanding and harmony between our two peoples. The Council decides to plant the Flodders in the program to ship them off.
The Flodders don’t really see the point but decide to go along for the free holiday. Arriving in New York, they immediately get separated from their handler, social worker Sjakie from the first movie. They get set up in the Plaza hotel after being mistaken for a Russian medical delegation, get kicked out again and finally befriend night club owner Larry Rosenbaum (John Polito) who takes them in and lets them work for him.
So, what do I think about this movie?
First of all, this is basically Ghostbusters 2. It suffers from the same problems and makes the same mistakes. Whole scenes and sequences from the first one are repeated, only changed around a little. And the change is almost the same one every time: Johnny gets involved with a married woman, only this time in the USA.
Kees is a pervert who peeps on girls, only this time in the USA. There is a high-speed chase in a crappy old convertible that ends in a crash, only this time in the USA. You get the picture. Some jokes are repeated literally, only the setting is different.
All the movie’s jokes revolve around easily avoidable mistakes. The taxi driver assumes the weird foreigners are Russian, so he just puts them in the hotel. But Johnny speaks English, why not exchange a few words before getting in the taxi? The whole movie is full of that kind of thing, it’s kind of frustrating.
Also, why does the council put the Flodders in the exchange program? It’s never clear WHY they want to get rid of them so bad, they didn’t want to get rid of them in the first movie, that was the neighbourhood’s inhabitants. This carries on to the TV series and part 3 too. All of a sudden the Flodders are a poor beset family and the City Council is their enemy. It makes no sense.
The humour is toned down considerably. It is much more family friendly. The nudity is still there, this is Dutch after all, but some of the darker stuff from the first one is referenced only, not shown. With one exception: the movie treats the character of Sjakie, the social worker, especially badly. It’s one spiral of bad luck that ends in an accidental sex-change operation. Its really stands out.
It’s not all bad though. The way the family brings over Dutch culture and sensibilities to the US is fun, albeit in a very stereotypical way. If you are the sort of person who likes watching young women take their clothes off to a musical number, this movie has something for you.
Some of the visual gags work, I believe this is the first movie I ever saw that has the Statue of Liberty get decapitated in it. Oh yeah, right… Spoilers. Sorry!
All in all, it’s a fun idea that wasn’t executed very well. There are too many similarities to the first one, and some of the cast are kind of phoning it in. Jon Polito is good though. He looks like he’s having fun, and his scenes are genuinely funny, especially his rampage through the nightclub at the end.
Apparently Flodder In Amerika! wasn’t dubbed for the English language release, but dialogue was recorded twice, once in Dutch and once in English. I have never seen the English version but I have seen it dubbed in German.
If you liked the first Flodder, you’ll like this one. If not, just leave it. Three bitterballs out of five.