VHS Verdict: ‘The Johnsons’ is Early 90’s Oddball Dutch Horror at it’s Finest!
‘The Johnsons’ is a damn weird ass Dutch horror flick from 1992 that I’ve been curious about for years. Well to my surprise, while out combing the thrift shops, I came across this one on VHS and could’t wait to see what it was really all about. ‘The Johnsons’ first off has a really weird name for a horror movie, it sounds like it might be some sort of 80’s comedy, but alas, this one’s truly an oddity with it’s bizarre plot that I’m fairly certain might offend a some folks especially in the year 2018. It’s also got a reputation as one of the best Dutch horror films of all time. That being said, it should be noted that Holland hasn’t exactly pumped out a lot of horror movies through the years. So the competition ain’t exactly all that fierce!
The Johnson’s has one crazy story to tell, that’s for certain, we’ve basically got a 14 year old girl who was conceived from a test tube and her seven completely bald, weird ass brothers who break out of an insane asylum (where they’ve lived most their lives after they killed 16 kids when they were seven years old ) to hunt her down while out on a camping trip. Their intention isn’t to kill her but to supposedly impregnate her so she’ll give birth to some weird demonic fetus who’s destined to fully fuck up the Earth. Got that? Yeah it’s quite an odd premise but it’s actually a pretty damn interesting, well executed little tale and the imagery involving her mute bald psycho killer brothers when they’re children is actually worth the price of admission alone. The scenes of the kids smearing blood on the walls and sticking razor blades between their teeth (& that boink, boink, boink sound he makes with it) are quite chilling. It’s also cool to see a horror movie in the early 90’s with it’s main characters being a black professor who’s trying to solve the mystery along with a mother and daughter duo trying to escape the bad siblings.
This one’s got some good scares too while neatly tying up up all the odd plot lines by the end in a nice bloody bow tie. The final 30 minutes or so are pretty great as the seven freaky brothers chase the mother and daughter through the backwoods on to the foggy city streets and apartment buildings. They all get some pretty gruesome death scenes as well. The septuplets are especially sinister in the dreamy flashbacks as kids an and as adults their final showdown is a load of bizarre fun. There’s also some weird ass uncomfortable dream sequences with a bunch of fully naked dudes in masks chasing down the young girl whom we must assume are her masked older brothers. We’ve got great creepy atmosphere throughout in this one and the movie succeeds plenty of times delivering some pretty frightening moments. Oh yeah and you gotta love the lil’ creepy monster fetus puppet dude I wish was in it more!
All in all I enjoyed ‘The Johnsons’ a lot, it’s a solid early 90’s dutch creeper with a genuinely twisted supernatural plot that’s part slasher, part mystery, part cult and some voodoo thrown in for good measure. It’s got cool characters too as well as some very odd moments that are sure to make you feel slightly uncomfortable. Perhaps some of it is cultural differences? I’m not sure…Interestingly enough the movie actually has a documentary that was made about it called ‘Xangadix Lives’ that was released in 2017 about the production of the movie, the controversy and how hard it was to get the thing made.
It seems this one’s got as decent rising online cult following and I expect soon there’ll likely be a cleaned up blu-ray combo with ‘Xangadix Lives’, at least I think that’d be cool. Hunt these both down if you’re a fan of all things weird!!
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Oh yeah, I definitely want to see the documentary!