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THE LIFT - 1 Slime
Rated R
Copyright 1983 Sigma Films
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Felix Adelaar - Elevator technician who is a workaholic.
  • Mieke - Horny female reporter, I could do without her making sexual references.
  • Saskia Adelaar - Felix's jealous wife, she freaks out and leaves him. Typical.
  • Mr. Ravenstein - Building manager who's been doing his partner's wife; likes black lingerie.
  • Bernie (Birdy?) and Karen - The two Adelaar rug rats.
  • Mr. Chrome - Head of the Rising Sun research team who created the lift. Strangled by his creation.
  • Mr. Fink - Old blind guy who should've learned to use his cane correctly by now. Falls down the elevator shaft.
  • Two Drunk Middle Aged Couples - Annoying, but the lift turns off the air conditioning and tries to choke them.
  • The Lift - An elevator with an experimental control chip, it hates people. Shot by Mr. Chrome.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Here it is folks, the killer elevator movie. I know you've been wandering through the video store looking for it, because somewhere (probably Europe), someone (who might be a tad claustrophobic) had written the script for this movie. Amazingly you were right, but I'm not certain it's a good thing.

Felix answers a maintenance call when the lift "malfunctions" and nearly suffocates four people. Considering they were the braying-laugh-when-drunk sort, it would not have been a serious loss. Everything checks out fine, but soon two more people are dead. The visually challenged Mr. Fink presses the open button then steps through into an empty shaft, there's a short shriek, the sounds of a body hitting things on the way down, then a good solid thump. Hey, if a blind man falls down an elevator shaft and no one is around - does he make a sound? Anyway... ...pretty soon after this we are rewarded with the real reason to watch this movie, a decapitation. One of the security guards pokes his head into the open shaft, the doors close on his neck and his partner watches in horror as the lift decapitates a mannequin. (Ahem.)

After the prior events, you're going to be bored for about oh, forty minutes while Felix and Mieke run around learning the truth. It turns out that Mr. Chrome put an experimental control chip in the elevator, one which can reproduce even! (This is signified by it dripping gelatin.) Good old Felix climbs into the shaft and starts beating on the chip with a wrench; it responds by trying to smash him. Unattractive slut reporter woman comes to the rescue, dragging the wounded man out of harm's way. What happens next should leave you scratching your head, or whatever body part it causes to itch. Mr. Chrome shows up with a semiautomatic pistol, unloads an entire clip into the control panel, then turns around and enigmatically states, "It was very sick." (I'm never going to a hospital again.)

Our two protagonists decide to use the stairs on their way out...

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Elevators are airtight.
  • Kids like to play with toupees.
  • Blind people just carry canes as a fashion statement. They don't really use them.
  • Elevators make handy guillotines.
  • The standards for "hot" women are lower in Europe.
  • Kids love playing peek a boo with lifts.
  • Jazz music, raspberry syrup, and prozac don't mix.
  • Dead computers are buried, literally, under dirt.
  • They shoot sick elevators too.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 3 mins - Arggh, shut up!
  • 18 mins - It's one elevator out of three, why would you have to take the stairs?
  • 23 mins - Um, blind guy, the lift isn't there - it's just an open shaft. Maybe if you used that cane...
  • 28 mins - Head stuck in the elevator doors, not good!
  • 61 mins - Way to freak out Saskia.
  • 65 mins - A computer committed suicide?
  • 72 mins - Bad continuity, he started that sentence inside and finished outside?

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note thelift1.wav Mr. Ravenstein: "This is strange, but there are four people in the hospital who nearly suffocated in here. There has to be a reason for this. What do you think?
Felix: "I'll run tests on all the main electrical circuits. There may be something there."
Green Music Note thelift2.wav Mieke: "Something is going on here. No one gets beheaded on a lift."
Green Music Note thelift3.wav Mr. Ravenstein: "You're wearing black underwear!"
Green Music Note thelift4.wav Felix: "This lift does things it shouldn't."
Mieke: "I've done things I shouldn't."
Felix: "Nyu, but you're not a machine."

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 



 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipthelift1.mpg - 2.6m
Off with his head!

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 2 [3] 4 5
The Lift
Reply #17. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Oscar
In the Netherlands it seems like there is a death penalty on making good movies. But what will the Swedish cinema be without Bergman, and the Danish cinema without von Trier?
The last 5 years U.S.A.-movies(Hollywood)get better, but still most of them got good special effects, good camerawork, mediocre acting, bad scenario, bad story, predictable story, alreadydone story, b-story. It's a relief(het is een verademing)to see a Dutch movie which is filmed novel, or a camp-cult-horror like "De Lift", after having seen another release of the trashcompany called Hollywood.
The Lift
Reply #18. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by j
I actullay have a copy of "The Lift"! I work in a pawnshop and have been cracking up for years just by reading this movie's description to people. I've never been bored enough to watch it, but that it's dubbed so adds to the hilarity of it all.
The Lift
Reply #19. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Wim
A nice movie, although there are some strange things in it.
Like the scene where Felix brings Mieke to her work, when the car stops you see a soundtechnician in the back of the car (Maas said it during the commentary on the dvd, otherwise I wouldn't have noticed). And the name Deta Liften is a bit strange too (you see a Delta-sign), but Delta was a registered trade mark (they found out at the day they started shooting the movie) so they quickly changed it to Deta Liften.

Some things are just brilliant. For instance the scene at the bowling alley, they made a special camera-dolly and the sound from the bowlingball is made by a small ball rolling over a desk (only then played a halfspeed). The sound from the decapitation is made with a cabbage. They put it in the freezer and then when it was frozen they slowly pulled it in two.

And then the soundtrack, most of the sounds like background music, the moving sound of the elevator, the clicking of the cables and the heartbeat during the fight-with-the-elevator-scene where made on 2 synthesizers (Roland Juno 60/Jupiter 8). It's a mono-soundtrack (stereo was introduced in 1986) but it's the best mono soundtrack in Holland.

With a budget of 750.000 Dutch guilders (That's about 340.000 Euro) it's a nice movie. It would have been better if they'd taken their time then (it took approx. 32 days).

Like I said, a nice movie, one to watch over and over again.
The Lift
Reply #20. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by adam
I just purchased this flick off the net.
First thing I noticed : 3 lifts with the middle one
evil. Why didn't any of the cast think of using the 2
elevators on either side of the middle one!!!???

How does the guard get decapitated anyway??
The lift is closing in on his head- yet a fake
head is chopped off!!! How did the real guard
escape such a narrow death???

Noticed all the actors are totally not in-synch with their lines!!!  We all know it was dubbed tho.!!!
The Lift
Reply #21. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Trudo
I think this is a great movie for its time.
10 times better + scarier than the remake "Down !"
See it !
The Lift
Reply #22. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Ria
I saw the original Dutch (subtitled) version of the movie today (Mar 24, 2003) for the first time. Although it is extremely cheesy, it is so cool!
I really liked this movie, but that being said I'm the type who also enjoys watching such offerings as the Aussie "Dead Alive".
Although low-budget and dated, it made me jump when it was supposed to, and the gory bits made me cringe. I'd give it my vote.
Does anyone know what the US remake is called?
The Lift
Reply #23. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Serter
I laughed my ass off when I read that in the English version, Mr. Chrome said 'It was sick'. In the original ( Dutch ) version, ( which was on yesterday :D ) he says something more like 'there was something very wrong with it'.

Also, for people wondering about the sex scene, it's not that uncommon for sex scenes to appear in Dutch movies. The rules are way less strict here, and the director of the Lift ( Dick Maas ) has a sex scene in about every movie he makes.

anyway, this is one of the more stylish 'freaky experiment to benefit mankind goes haywire' movies. A true classic
The Lift
Reply #24. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Shank
The remake is coming to video in a matter of days, and is now titled "The Shaft." The video package swipes from Naomi Watts' "The Ring," and other pics, while suggesting a supernatural element that isn't there. Go to or the IMDB listing to see the trailer, which is overflowing with bad CGI and scenes you'll recognize from "The Lift." Both films directed by the same guy.
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