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No other filmmaker regardless of whether or not they are from the United States or overseas has treated material given to him (both artistic and commercial) in such an over-the-top way other than Holland native Paul Verhoeven. Whenever audiences watch both his work in Holland (Black Book, The Fourth Man etc.) or his commercial work in the U.S. (Robocop, Starship Troopers etc.), their is no denying that he offers an outlandish yet interesting take when it comes to excess. All of his films are filled with either graphic violence (Total Recall), graphic sex (Basic Instinct and Showgirls) or sometimes both (Flesh+Blood), but that is what makes him so interesting as a filmmaker. This kind of excess can be viewed in his Holland works as unflinching (Turkish Delight, Soldier of Orange and Spetters) and when he applies this to his commercial films in America beginning in 1987 with Robocop, it can almost be looked upon as something satirical and highly entertaining. Initially, I  was with everybody else on Showgirls when I first saw it, but six or seven years ago, I started to look upon it as a camp classic (reportedly John Waters is a fan of this movie) and it can also be looked upon as a social commentary on fame and even Las Vegas itself. When he returned to the Science-Fiction genre in 1997 with Starship Troopers (based on Robert Heinlein’s novel of the same name), he delivered a delicious blend of graphic sex and violence with sharp satire. His last American film, a Science-Fiction horror film entitled Hollow Man (which I am no fan of) in 2000 seemed to incite him to move back to the Netherlands to direct one of his most expensive films there (the other being Soldier of Orange) titled Black Book. Anyway, here are my favorite Paul Verhoeven films.

* * * * (Out of * * * *)

1.   Black Book (2006)

2.   Robocop (1987)

* * * 1/2 (Out of * * * *)

1.   The Fourth Man (1983)

2.   Starship Troopers (1997)

3.   Showgirls (1995)

4.   Total Recall (1990)

5.   Basic Instinct (1992)

6.   Flesh+Blood (1985)

7.   Soldier of Orange (1977)

8.   Turkish Delight (1973)

9.   Spetters (1980)

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