Turkish Delight (1973)


And a more uninspired poster have I never seen...
And a more uninspired poster have I never seen...

Genre: Romance Drama (Netherlands)

Starring: Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner • Sin City), Monique van de Ven

Directed By: Paul Verhoeven (Flesh + BloodRobocop)

Overview: This is the story of a Dutch sculptor and the steamy romance he has with a young redhead, Olga. A more uninspired overview for a film have I never writ.

When I was young, about 14 or so, I remember going to the snack cupboard and seeing that my mother had bought not one but an entire box of chocolate bars. Imagine that. It was like frikken Christmas. THIRTY-SIX chocolate bars just sitting there, staring at me. The bars themselves were Nestle's Big Turk, a candy I had never had before. I opened the box, took one out, unwrapped it, took a bite, and what did I find inside the chocolatey coating? A gross pink mush. I had no idea what was in my mouth, but I knew I was revolted. I never finished it and never went near that crappy grandma-candy box ever again.

Verhoeven's Turkish Delight left in me that same feeling of odious revulsion yet added a bonus of 112 minutes of boredom. Thanks.

The story begins with Eric Vonk (Rutger Hauer) clubbing a man to death and shooting a woman in the forehead. From there we flash back to Eric's trashed studio, and realize it was all a dream. Next, after seeing way too much of Rutger's Hauer, we follow him as he picks up / sexes / objectifies women then kicks them out. What has made our passionate sculptor, Eric Vonk, so callous, you may ask? That question is answered ad nauseum when the film goes back two years to Eric's encounter with Olga, a young, beautiful, sensual twit of a redhead, and they have a whirlwind love affair. They get married, they have adventures and we eventually learn what caused Eric's grief. The film has an overall theme of sexual revolution with storylines revolving around happy moments of love and family drama – you know, real exciting stuff.

"But Squish! Why go so far as to say odious revulsion?" I hear you asking. Well, for as much I like foreign films, even ones with penises in every fourth shot like this one, I draw the line after:

"I gotta pee."
"Pee in my mouth, I’ll lick it up."

  • Watching Rutger Hauer pick up Olga’s bloody feces out of the toilet, snickering, putting it back, followed by a close-up of said blood-soaked excrement being flushed down the toilet.

"I'm wiping."
"No! Don’t! Let me lick your ass for you."

  • Random shot of a dog shitting in the street.
  • Rutger Hauer, in a car, with his dick caught in his fly. In the foreground, Rutger's uncut dork, hanging out of his pants as he converses with Olga about getting a pair of pliers.
    • A close up of those pliers with his dick blood on them.

"I’ve slept with someone else!"
"I’m going to suck his semen out of you and eat it."

So yeah, 'love story'. I’m real moved, in that Last Tango In Paris way, which was also an offensive-on-purpose callous love affair film that sucked ass.

Monique van de Ven made her film debut with this film, and this role was certainly an early one in Rutger Hauer's career, and for as much as I may find this film tedious and rude, the performances of the actors most certainly deserves appropriate praise, even though the characters themselves weren’t worthy of study. Add terrible music and shots without inspiration that make you focus evermore on a boring story, and I really have to crack open 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die to figure out why this was ever on the list.

One of the few screencaps in the universe where one or both of them isn't NAKED.
One of the few screencaps in the universe where one or both of them isn't NAKED.

Performance: 8 Cinematography: 4 Script: 6 Plot: 5 Mood: 4

Overall Rating: 54% (In The Way A Turkish Prison Is Delightful)

According to Wikipedia, "in 1999 [Turkish Delight] received the award for Best Dutch Film of the Century." This leads me to believe that the Dutch love seeing dogs shit, close-ups of vomit, and constant references to eating all manners of bodily fluids. All I have to say about that is, 'Guys, stick to your cheese and leave the filmmaking to Hollywood'.

Getting back to disgusting chocolate bars, what the hell is up with Cadbury's Crunchie? Vile. Seriously. Just gross.

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Nice review. Actually I'm Dutch and I don't like to see dogs shit. I'm not too fond of this film either. The seventies were a rough period in Holland, the favourite motto was 'Alles Mag', which translates as, 'Everything's Allowed'. Most Dutchmen will have read the book by Jan Wolkers this movie is based upon. The book is, admittedly, far superior. Your appeal to the Dutch to leave film making to Hollywood, didn't help much. Mr. Verhoeven went to Hollywood and became one of the most notorious directors of his time.

But Robocop!

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