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Erik Lanshof takes a look at Paul Verhoeven's HOLLOW MAN

Well folks, Last night it seems they held a test screening for HOLLOW MAN, the Paul Verhoeven film that... well I'm pretty darn jazzed to see. You know what I love about this review? The part where the viewer feels odd for rooting for Kevin Bacon to do the sick as hell things he does in the movie. Yeah, it's sick stuff, but Verhoeven never sides with NORMAL people. Think about it. When you see the behind the scenes footage on STARSHIP TROOPERS, he's acting the part of the bugs terrorizing his actors. I'm sure in ROBOCOP he acted out the ED-209 parts as well. I believe that it's not a sickness in Verhoeve, but rather a very very intensely smart manuveur to make the audience understand and even condone the actions that they condemn ordinarily. He makes the audience consider the flip side, possibly agree with it, then... forces them to come to their senses. This and CHICKEN RUN are now the two summer movies that I haven't seen, that I most want to see. Here's Erik Lanshof and his review of the EXTREMELY ROUGH PRINT of HOLLOW MAN. From what I hear, most of the effects and digital removal of Kevin Bacon are still a month or so away from completion, so in this print they were seeing Kevin Bacon in his blue smurf out fit, his green giant outfit and his black ninja assassin outfit which they used to isolate bacon in different sequences. Why black? Because in an underwater scene, neither blue or green worked in isolating him for removal.

Hey Harry what's up,

I can't believe i'm writing this to you. You always read those reviews on your site from so called test screenings, and you always think - 'yeah right'. What are test screenings? Why don't i ever get to go to them? Well yesterday, shock horror at the ABC cinema here in San Ohio, they held a screening for Hollow Man.

And guess what? The producer was there, Douglas Wick, who introduced himself, and said if anyone wrote into that 'Harry guy' or those other sites on the 'bloody internet', he will personally take some formulae, get invisible and hurt them (he was joking).

The film itself, seemed like a major rough cut. It wasn't edited properly at all, and there were sometimes huge gaps between scenes of just darkness. We were warned of this from the start, but still it didn't bode too well with the audience.

The running time of the film was also kind of long - almost 3 hours. This will be cut down to 2 hours, apparently according to Mr. Wick. This film, was simply the scariest, heart pumping thrill ride of a movie i have seen. Absolutely so cool. And when i say Scary, i mean CREEPY SCARY.


The film is about Kevin Bacon and a bunch of scientists, including the crap Elizabeth Shue, who discover a formulae to make you invisible. However, they get a conscience and realize the implications of what they are going to unleash on the world, and decide not to give it to the government, until they 'test it more'. Bacon undergoes the test. He becomes invisible, and then everything changes. He gets off on the power. And then you have all hell break loose. He goes around raping people, stalking on Elizabeth Shue ... totally messed up.

The worst thing about it, and where Verhoeven has got it wrong. Is that even though Bacon does all these horrible things, you still root for him, to get away with it all. Mainly due to an annoying performance from Shue, and the other scientists. Maybe Verhoeven in his sick twisted way wanted this. Then there are the effects. Truely on a whole 'nother level. Especially at the end, where an invisible Bacon well let's say i don't want to spoil a scene involving the women being raped - you have to see it to be believed.

You have to see this film this summer. Erik Lanshof, who now lives in CA.

Readers Talkback
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  • May 5, 2000, 4:35 a.m. CST


    by sinople

    Sounds interesting.

  • May 5, 2000, 5:40 a.m. CST

    Paul Verhoeven-an acquired taste

    by gg

    This will rule! Flame all you want, but this one is a winner. Me disliking this movie, seems as unlikely as this talkback continuing much further, without some selrighteous hypocritical wanker entering, screaming bloody murder about the evils of this flick. We all know that after delivering a condemnation of something like this movie, you dig out your greasy cardboard box from under your bed, filled to the brim with rape-tapes. So don

  • May 5, 2000, 5:58 a.m. CST

    sick bastards

    by Reg

    "The scene in which a woman is raped by an invisible Kevin Bacon has to be seen to be believed"???? Sounds like a barrel of laughs.

  • May 5, 2000, 6:49 a.m. CST

    I hope harry doesn't delete the article like last time.

    by Jon L. Ander

    Sick or not i'm going to see this. By the way, i was reading an article in brit movie mag Total Film, and they say verhoeven is going to do a "witchy porno take on babes in the wood" it was alongside news that sarah michelle gellar is going to do a red riding hood film. If only that was a verhoeven witchy porn version as well...

  • May 5, 2000, 7:10 a.m. CST

    Sick and Twisted

    by richardstern_200

    Originally I was happy that HM was putting a dark spin on the whole invisibility trip... but the rape sequence sounds like a cop out. Paul Verhoven has a nasty habit of allowing violence in his films to grow more grossly shocking as his storyline weakens. TELL ME A GOOD STORY, PAUL, DON'T JUST USE RAW VIOLENCE TO SHOCK ME INTO SUBMISSION! Hope this one doesn't suck.

  • May 5, 2000, 7:28 a.m. CST

    What's so sick about rooting for the bugs?

    by Owatonna

    I was.

  • May 5, 2000, 7:44 a.m. CST

    rapes bad, mmmkay....

    by Jon L. Ander

    remember in the last review where the guy was "really rooting" for kevin the rape scene, but criticised the bits where you see animals get killed. Shows you where peoples priorities are doesn't it?

  • May 5, 2000, 7:49 a.m. CST

    Verhoeven is a freaking God!

    by Lance Rock

    'nuff said.

  • May 5, 2000, 8:05 a.m. CST

    This movie looks f'n awesome!

    by ODELAY

    I'm convinced that Paul V. is one of the coolest filmmakers of today. Almost all his films are really fun to watch. From Flesh+Blood to Basic Instinct to Starship Troopers. I saw the preview of The Hollow Man last night on ET and it looks great! Kevin Bacon is always cool in his films and plays a great bad guy (Remember the River Wild, Sleepers and White Water Summer?). This movies gonna kick ass!

  • May 5, 2000, 8:09 a.m. CST

    the last talk back

    by ed321

    So Harry, if people start raising concerns against this movie in this talk back , will you delelete this article too? This movie sounds sick, Verhoeven sucks.

  • May 5, 2000, 8:41 a.m. CST

    And the winner for the most overly cliched statement is.....

    by Iceberg Slim

    'nuff said' IMO, this movie is going to be a 'love it or hate it' type film. You're either going to be totally enthralled, or utterly disgusted.

  • May 5, 2000, 9:29 a.m. CST

    Verhoeven always messes with your morality.

    by LSHB

    Take, for example, Starship Troopers, which starts with insane images of humans being slaughtered, and then later when they drop a cow into a feeding pen with a bug warrior, they censor the COW getting killed. Either he likes to tweak the Hollywood (and viewer) mentality that killing 500 people on screen is fine but shooting a dog isn't, or he's just not a well man. Or both.

  • May 5, 2000, 10:14 a.m. CST

    Tell me more of the rape-tapes GG, you filthy goddamned frog

    by Sweet Johnny V

    Comic Violence=good Dramatic Violence=thought provoking rape=bad Verhoven=fun GG=stupid

  • May 5, 2000, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Like I said before....

    by Terry_1978

    the fact that the main character does things that people find deplorable and what not is what makes him interesting. People do these things in real life, and the reasons why are not always clear. I'm not saying the characters have to be like completely devoid of morals and whatever, but it makes them more complex.

  • May 5, 2000, 10:28 a.m. CST

    rape scene cut from "Dude, Where`s My Car?"

    by Elgyn6655321

    Any word on the MPAA`s trimming of the controversal rape scene in the upcoming "Dude, Where`s My Car?" movie? Any info would be appreciated.

  • May 5, 2000, 10:28 a.m. CST

    If I were INVISIBLE...I'D

    by VUZZ

    Go into the next test screening of lets say the next Sandra Bullok movie and pee into the popcorn and then I rape myself and make a sequal to CHICKEN RUN! VERHOEVEN rules!!He is more interrested of the dark side of the FORCE.Bring on Crusade!!

  • May 5, 2000, 11:50 a.m. CST

    sick and wrong

    by Mike the Bill

    Why do we need a rape sceen? I did want to see the movie... but not now. Doesn't anyone else think the idea of "positive" rape sceen in a movie is SICK and WRONG???? for that matter...why do you need a rape sceen at all???? Do you realize that this movie will make rape look "cool", do you want you wife/daughter/mother/sister/... to go through rape? do you want rape to become socially acceptable???? SICK and WRONG!!!! Again, I DID want to see the it is on my "never even rent" list.

  • May 5, 2000, 12:09 p.m. CST

    Verhoeven's attitude towards rape is one thing...I'm more worrie

    by twindaggerturkey

  • May 5, 2000, 12:59 p.m. CST

    rape scenes

    by LK

    this is unbelievable. I can't believe they're trying to make this look cool. What the hell?? all the people who are getting off on this are seriously screwed in the head, they need a psychiatrist. Rape is pretty serious business, and the minute you make it into a splashy FX extravaganza you cross the line. flame away, but i'm not going to apologize for what i think. this is wrong.

  • May 5, 2000, 1:07 p.m. CST

    Hmm, well

    by mephisto666

    I think Verhoven is going to be be treading on very thin ice with these rape scenes. It's a sensitive subject matter for most people, and I think if he makes the mistake of being too graphic, or tries to glamourise it in some way, he is going to get a lot of critisism, which will damage the critics reviews and the earnings. Personally, I'm not as sure as I was that I want to see it.

  • May 5, 2000, 1:18 p.m. CST

    SHUE!?! ANNOYING!!!! We have finally entered hell...

    by Murraypalooza

    ...CAUSE SHE IS HOT!<p> *bad Ric Flair imitation*<p> WHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!<p> they gave her a bad haircut in this flick, she's gonna be good hopefully. Either way, she doesn't have to act good to look good :)<p> This flick should be good anyway...<p> Later,<br> Ryan<br> -Elisabeth Shue defense club

  • May 5, 2000, 1:22 p.m. CST

    PAUL and his RAPE SCENES!

    by GEEKBASHER 3.0

    You know, I must admit, I am a big big fan of Paul's cinematic turd, SHOWGIRLS, I loved that movie, but I could have done without the graphic rape scene he threw in there, alot of people could have done without it! What is up with him and rape scenes? This movie is suppose to be creepy? Has anyone seen the Entity with barbra hershey? That movie also had a invisible freak raping her! I just hope Paul did not steal the cool scenes from that movie and Honey Someone needs to rape Elizabeth Shue, cuz she is getting cobwebs up her coochie! Just kidding, but really I think Paul Verhoven has a rape fetish!

  • May 5, 2000, 2:48 p.m. CST

    sick bastards

    by vince69

    How how you condone rooting for a rapist? Verhoevan is a hack, he makes shitty films that have no social meaning. He claims that since he lived in Nazi occupied Holland that he knows what pain is and that he has the right to show ottrocities on film. Know what? He glorifies them. He takes glee in having bugs rip folks in 2. He takes glee in showing women get raped. Any Harry, if you're sick enough to condone rooting for a rapist, then I hope you get %$@#ed in the ass and then take your rapist out for dinner to tell him you 'were rooting for him'. Verhoeven thought Showgirls was brilliant. It was utter shite. The acting, the script, the all sucked. Same with Troopers. Noone remembers the skillful meaning and direction behind any of his films, they only remember Sharron Stone's twat. If Paul really wanted to make a socially responsible GOOD movie, he'd look at Kubrick films. Stanley never had shitty scripts or BAD acting. He made interesting movies that shocked you and made you think. Clockwork Orange is a great example. BTW, Harry, rub on some Vaseline on that raped ass of'll feel better.

  • May 5, 2000, 4:14 p.m. CST

    If I were invisible...

    by EL Duderino

    I'd crap into all of the slurpee cups (assuming my shit was invisible too) at a 7-11 and stay around grinning as customers unknowingly drank a mixture of FANTA (C) MANGO and invisible shit! Oh man, think of all the stuff you could do (most of it involving deficating into various things).

  • May 5, 2000, 5:33 p.m. CST

    Whether you like Verhoeven's films or not...

    by Toe Jam

    you have to admit that he arguably the ballsiest director out there. When boycotts and public outrage appear, he still doesn't back down. That said...Eternal, I am a believer in instant kharma. The fact that you lick your lips at rape will come back to fuck you in the ass...literally. Just wait. If you think an invisible rape is cool, then you'll truly appreciate recieving it in the ass after you're thrown in jail for one of the sick little offenses you will undoubtedly pull in the future. And guess what? Just like Kevin Bacon in the Hollow Man, you won't be able to see the rapist...that's because he'll be behind you, turning your ass into a bloody mass of tissue (sorry for the graphic description all of you non-sickos). The same to all you other dickless fuckheads.

  • May 5, 2000, 5:35 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah...Eternal, I almost forgot...

    by Toe Jam

    I guess you could be called the Hollow Man after the aforementioned fate that awaits you...because you'll have the shit fucked out of you!

  • May 5, 2000, 10:32 p.m. CST


    by Nutcase

  • May 5, 2000, 10:38 p.m. CST


    by Nutcase

    To all the sick fucks out there condoning rape...I HOPE you MOTHERFUCKERS(literally considering your views) get castrated with a chainsaw and get raped with a baseball bat shoved up your motherfuckin ass you sick bitches!!!( Oh and by the way, has Paul Verhoeven thrown in these rape scenes to scare people or to excite the sick bastards out there? )

  • May 5, 2000, 11 p.m. CST

    Elisabeth Shue is beautiful beautiful beautiful

    by Samthelion

    SOOOO BEAUTIFUL! Granted, she hasn't done anything since Leaving Las Vegas though . . .

  • May 6, 2000, 7:44 a.m. CST

    You people are so fucking stupid...

    by BobBarker

    Repressed bullshit. My god. "It's just sick! It's wrong!" I've never heard such horseshit in my life. Anyone who has ever seen a schlocky horror film and is still spouting this shite is a complete fucking hypocrite. You're telling me you don't root for the killer snowman, or the rampaging leprechaun? Please. Oh, wait, rape is worse, you say? Give me the choice between some dick and a noose, and I'll bend over, buddy. Settle down. You people and your puritanical shite really rile me up. I think you only say these things because you think you should, not because you believe them. Besides, he's fucking prediction is yes, it's technically a "rape" since she didn't really consent, per se, but it's nothing traumatic. I mean, christ, how many of you guys would be emotionally scarred if you were laying in bed and somehow, inexplicably, it felt like you were getting head? Remember Ghostbusters? And like Harry said, (my god, I'm agreeing with Harry,) there's nothing wrong with someone coaxing you to the "dark side." Ever seen American History X? The reason some of that white supremacist propaganda was so scary, is because some of it was right on. There was enough truth hidden in the bullshit that it helped you see how someone can be lured into such a lifestyle. I mean, come on, if you guys were invisible, how many can honestly say they'd be a good little soldier? Please. You'd watch that chick you have a thing for in the shower, you'd sneak into the girls locker room after the cheerleaders leave the field, something. Any ladies on this talkback would do things too, so they'd better not play innocent. You may not lose all control as the character in Hollow Man does...but that's the point, this cat gets this power, and goes nuts. "But why show the rape scene?" Well, why show any scene? Why show a murder scene? Why not? - You folks need to stop talking out of your asses. Elizabeth Shue is a fox, and I'm there when this comes out. Peace.

  • May 6, 2000, 8:20 a.m. CST

    Sweet Johnny: Thanks for proving my point!

    by gg

    Rape=bad, but violence can be fun!?!?!! *You* are one twisted fuck! Why the hell is one form of violence all bad, while another not? I

  • May 6, 2000, 4:30 p.m. CST

    I don't think so...

    by Verbal102

    It really cracks me up how people justify mental illness and sadism by claiming similar repressed beliefs exist in society at large. Verhoeven loves hyperbole. He uses it well. He makes a point, but his films do not constitute a moral carte blanche. This is the way science fiction is supposed to work. You never read about any straight utopias. Utopia always turns out to be a dystopia. Verhoeven will make a proposal that may seem appealing at first, but in the end we are supposed to realize it has gone to far. The perfect cop, the perfect military state with no ugly people seems appealing, but in the end we have to reject them.

  • May 6, 2000, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Rape & death

    by Mace

    Maybe it's just my English sensibilities, but how many films featured on this site actually involve the DEATH of another human being? One rape scene seems to have triggered a strange morality where death isn't as bad as rape! Are we so used to seeing people ripped limb-from-limb that we consider it an 'acceptable' thing to watch? All of these things are wrong, but how can rape be worse than murder? I'm confused.

  • May 7, 2000, 9:58 a.m. CST


    by mephisto666

    After having given your comment serious thought, I have two answers....1. Some violence is too cartoonish to be taken seriously. I'm assuming you are refering to films with aliens and suchlike, which are not really situated in reality....2. Violence can be acceptable if it is a part of the plot ie showing someones character, or if it shows the negative consequences of such actions, and doesn't attempt to glamourise it......just thought of a third point...could you possibly argue that rape is worse than murder? After all, once you're dead that's it, yes? But a rape victim has to accept what happened, worry about it happening again, affecting future relationships...OK, this is starting to depress me now. I'm off.

  • May 7, 2000, 11 a.m. CST

    Deja Vu?

    by FlickChick

    Ummm...Where have I seen this review before??...seemingly around 4 weeks ago?? I really hope this is "Anon", the reviewer from Dark Horizons, otherwise, "Anon" should sue you for plagiarizing his/her work.

  • May 8, 2000, 4:41 a.m. CST

    For mephisto666

    by gg

    Your statement on whether it is worse to be raped than killed, is correct for the individual victim. But you forgot that someone who is murdered very well might have next of kin etc, who

  • May 8, 2000, 7:03 a.m. CST

    He is cool with sci-fi

    by jak flash 2000

    HA HA HA HA. Now thats a funny thought. I remember Verhonen acting out the Bug chasing people with his German accent. "Ze bug iz going to keel you. Run bitches". The thought of him as ED-209. "Run! Run from me! I am ED-209! I will take your fucking head off like a water meeelon". HO HO HO. What a jolly joke. Hes good when doing sci-fi. Robocop, starship troopers and Total Recall were all great films. When he does stuff like Basic Instinct though he tends to go at an all time low. I eagerly await this film it will be brilliant. "He iz going inveesible scream your heaad off". Though I dought it will scare me I am invinsible!

  • May 9, 2000, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Oh my god, you people are so stupid

    by Sodomy Redux

    BEING KILLED is not 'better' than being raped, dumbasses! Fuck, how stupid can you be? When you kill some one, you take away ALL the happiness they have had and ever would have! Christ, I assure you people CAN and DO recover from rape and live normal, happy lives afterwards. It's a terrible heinous crime but it's no worse then seeing your buddy's head taken off by a bullet or getting your ass kicked every day for a year in high school. Shit, every man who has ever been to prison for anything more than public drunkeness has probably been raped - do you think they would rather be dead? Use your fucking brains, or I'll melt them with my psychic mindfire.

  • May 9, 2000, 3 p.m. CST

    "Disturbed" lives up to his name.

    by filmnerd

    I've heard some cool, twisted shit on this site, but to approbate rape to be in any way "cool" is just mental. It goes without saying that that sick fuck Verhoeven has a rape fetish in his movies, but does that give everyone else the green light to praise it's usage? Rape in movies can be powerful and heart-rending, but I won't watch it for fun. Verhoeven likes to unhinge us by bringing the fun out of warped behavior. The preview looked real cool, but I pause about this psychotic-male-bonding pathos crap before getting excited about seeing it. Whatever happened to the guy who directed Soldier of Orange? And why celebrate this smut?

  • May 9, 2000, 4:03 p.m. CST


    by Seabird

    Verhoeven's a hack! I don't know if he has a rape fetish or not, but I DO think he is a lazy-ass film maker. He uses cheap cop-out "what-if" devices to end his movies (Total Recall, Basic Instict) because he's too much of a MOE-RON to come up with any real twists. He certainly raped Starship Troopers- I waited for almost 20 years (since I first read the book)for that movie to be made just to see how the first chapter would be filmed, and what do we get? DOOGIE HOWSER! The only thing I can't figure out... How does that asshole still get work?!?!?!?!

  • Special effects and a weak attempt at morality.

  • May 20, 2000, 4:02 p.m. CST

    A.M.E.R.I.C.A.N. H.Y.P.O.C.R.I.T.Z.!

    by tetsuoii

    yOU THE PEOPLE cheering when REAL HUMANS receive NAPALM DEATH on CNN, and outrage at a fictive rape on celluloid! Peace...