Danny Holla started a VVV-Venlo revival which saw them fire four second-half goals past De Graafschap to move closer to safety.
De Graafschap, the team at the foot of the Eredivisie, went ahead when Rydell Poepon scored after 13 minutes, and they held their lead until early in the second half.
Once the equaliser went in, VVV ran roughshod over their hosts with goals from Holla, Maya Yoshida and Steven Berghuis, plus an own goal by Ted van de Pavert.
De Graafschap, with 13 points from their previous 20 games, knew that with home advantage against a team only three points better off this was an opportunity to make up the ground.
They started well, Poepon setting up Nenad Sreckovic in the fourth minute but a trickling shot from 10 yards was not the required finish.
Poepon showed how it should be done nine minutes later when he met a fine through-ball from Yuri Rose and produced a superb finish into the bottom right corner.
VVV had a fortunate escape two minutes later when Ziguy Badibanga unleashed a terrific 25-yard drive which crashed off the inside of the left post and bounced along the goalline before hitting the opposite upright. The ball was then cleared by a relieved defence.
Uche Nwofor and Berghuis threatened to level the score before the break but neither could find a clinical shot.
However Holla beat Yves de Winter in the 50th minute, taking advantage of a defensive slip to go clear and drill the ball beyond the home goalkeeper.
Two minutes later and VVV led, De Graafschap defender Jan-Paul Saeijs completely missing a cross which he might have cleared and Yoshida headed into the goal.
It was 3-1 after 65 minutes when Nwofor's shot was deflected decisively into his own net by Van de Pavert.
De Graafschap, absent as an attacking force for so long, almost cut into VVV's lead when Poepon's cross was headed by Michael de Leeuw straight at goalkeeper Dennis Gentenaar.
The hosts were finished off though with nine minutes remaining when Michael Uchebo's shot was saved but the ball ran to Berghuis who converted an easy chance.
VVV, who beat Groningen last week, remain in the relegation zone but are now just three points behind the first teams outside the bottom three, NAC Breda and Utrecht.