The 4th Man (1983, Paul Verhoeven)

Cool movie by Unsubtle Paul, opening with a spider on a crucifix. Writer Jeroen Krabbé (in a couple Soderberghs before going hollywood) is an absolute mess and an asshole to everybody. He’s haunted by his imagination, scenes tripping in and out of fantasies. He meets Spetters star Renée Soutendijk at a speaking engagement, and things get obsessive and weird. She brings home hunky new fella Thom Hoffman (who starred in Paul’s Black Book a couple decades later) and Jeroen suspects they’re both trapped in a murderous plot.

The writer is a religious nut hooking up with a killer widow, this is the Paul Career Template Film, following standard procedure of making you go “wowowowow” every ten minutes. Shot by Jan “Speed” de Bont. I am amused to realize that this week I also watched The 4th Man’s rhyming film The Northman. A letterboxd reviewer notes this “doesn’t work as a sequel to The Third Man.”