When Promo Films Go Bad

Words: Ian Cleverly

You may, like us, be considering a visit to Hoogerheide for the cyclo-cross Worlds in February. In which case, I warn you now, probably best not to watch the official promo film.

Mention of the Spanish Inquisition early on over a stirring slice of Prokofiev, by a voiceover artist clearly resting between Hollywood horror gigs, sets the tone. It goes rapidly downhill from there.

Petrified priests, retreating Spaniards, cowering Germans – all crop up in this incredible four minutes of filmic nonsense. You have to feel sympathy for Adri van der Poel and Marianne Vos, who were obviously conned into making guest appearances. Bet they’re regretting it now.

By the time dreadful, hairy, flute-wielding Dutch rockers Focus are assaulting your ears to images of local industry and assurances that the “living is easy” in the vicinity of the Wall of Brabant, you may well have vouched never to visit Hoogerheide or its environs. Entirely reasonable.

The Spanish Inquisition is too good for the makers of this film. Come to think of it, never mind Truth and Reconciliation committees on drug use. Brian Cookson should be asking questions about this nonsense. If UCI money was involved in its making, demand a refund.

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8 Responses to “When Promo Films Go Bad”

  1. Beth Thomson Says:

    Hypnotically so bad it’s good! Wonder if there’s a subliminal message using the Prokofiev Montagues and Capulets music to suggest combative action? Honestly, I haven’t a clue!

  2. James Oaten Says:

    I have a horrible feeling the production team thought they’d struck gold with this one – there’s no way anyone could consciously create something so bad and let it see the light of day, surely…?

  3. Ric Says:

    If only they’d hired Steve Coogan to do the voice-over, we’d be saying it’s work of knowing genius. But, they didn’t.

  4. Larry T. Says:

    Dunno, you guys who gave us Monty Python should have a bigger tongue-in-cheek? As Beth wrote, it’s so bad it’s good. Way better than that screwball opening ceremony for the London Olympics, no?

  5. Johnny f Says:

    Amazing I’m off there to drink beer and watch battle commence

  6. cyril Says:

    it makes my tremble in my dutchness… please accept our apologies…

  7. keith Says:

    i quite like focus,sad, but true. not as good as Jethro Tull though

  8. peter Says:

    Good effort to try to put it into an historical context. Missed the target, though. And today’s warriors definitely do not ride horses of steel, even if they used to. I am just now looking up travel to Hoogerheide, so it’s not all in vain, is it?

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