Xangadix Lives!

Documentary about Dutch horror classic The Johnsons.

A serious art house director, a celebrated literary writer and Holland’s biggest movie star decide to make a horror film together. It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but that's what started Dutch horror movie The Johnsons. Now, 25 years later, we look back on the peculiar events that led to the making of this cult classic.

  • Bram Roza
    Director
  • Yfke van Berckelaer
    Director
    Zombie Love, All the Single Ladies!
  • Jan Doense
    Producer
    The Pool, Kristen, Nails, Cherry Tree
  • Herman Slagter
    Producer
    Fighting Fish, Arjuna, Nails, Cherry Tree
  • Monique van de Ven
    Key Cast
    Turkish Delight, Amsterdamned, The Johnsons
  • Roy Frumkes
    Key Cast
    Street Trash, The Substitute, Document of the Dead
  • Rocco Simonelli
    Key Cast
    The Substitute, The Substitute 2, The Substitute 3
  • Rudolf van den Bergh
    Key Cast
    Tirza, Süskind, A Real Vermeer
  • Project Type:
    Documentary
  • Genres:
    Horror, Documentary
  • Runtime:
    48 minutes 10 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 1, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    15,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
    Netherlands
  • Country of Filming:
    Netherlands, United States
  • Language:
    Dutch, English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Cinerama Rotterdam
    Rotterdam
    Netherlands
    November 4, 2017
    Dutch premiere
  • EYE Filmmuseum Amsterdam
    Amsterdam
    Netherlands
    December 4, 2017
Director Biography - Bram Roza, Yfke van Berckelaer

As an eight yer old child Bram watched The Johnsons (sneaky from behind the couch while his babysitter was checking the VHS) and after that... he was a big horror buff. Always fantasized about making his own horror movies and ‘till this day he is busy prepping for one. In the meantime he made a teaser trailer each year for the Imagine Film Festival’s Time Capsule contest. In 2015 he won the award and got a little more confidence in making film. So in 2016 when he noticed the movie that started it all was going to have it’s 25 anniversary, he planned to make a documentary about it. That he did: Xangadix Lives! And after this project, it’s finally time to start making that horror film.

Yfke grew up wanting to be a magical princess. Instead she became a writer/director, which is pretty much the same thing. A Dutch native, she moved to LA in 2003 where she pursued a second graduate degree in Film Directing at CalArts (MFA 2006). Her thesis film, Zombie Love, a zombie musical, played at countless film festivals and won over two dozen international awards. Since then she has directed the documentaries Navarro’s Promise and Pepe, as well as the documentary webseries The Burgerists, in which she profiles exciting hamburgers in the LA area. Yfke wrote and directed for the very successful web- and Comedy Central series De Meisjes van Thijs (Thijs and the Ladies) which ran for three seasons. She recently premiered her short rom-com All The Single Ladies! in Atlanta and is currently working on The Adventure of the Metal Snakes in Space! a sci-fi hair-metal kick-boxing musical, based on the award winning screenplay. Yfke still often wears sparkling pink dresses and waves a magical wand.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I was eight years old. Together with my younger brother we snuck
downstairs, hid behind the couch and secretly watched along with the movie our babysitter was watching. The movie was The Johnsons

It made a lifelong impression on me. It started an obsession with horror movies, particularly of course with The Johnsons. So much so that I now
own the world’s largest Johnsons’ collection (not that I have much competition ;)

When I realized the film’s 25th anniversary was coming up I knew I needed to do something to commemorate this. My original idea was to make a small 10-minute doc that would look back at the making of the film, but the more I learned about it, the more bizarre the story became and I realized this needed to become a much bigger thing.

That’s when filmmaker Yfke van Berckelaer came on board and we spent the next year diving into the story of The Johnsons. Not only were all who were involved with the original film eager to talk about it, we also realized how far the movie’s influences have reached. Even to the most unlikely places imaginable, like a youth theater school where once a year the students still bow to Xangadix.

Both Yfke and myself are big genre film fans and we wish more of them were made in The Netherlands. If the The Johnsons has shown us anything, it’s that it is possible to make a great horror film in our country. Yet projects like this hardly get the backing they need from the Dutch Film Fund, even though there is a lot of love for them from both audiences and makers. By making this documentary we also aim to create awareness for genre films in countries that, like ours, don’t get the respect, or the support, they deserve.