RIP Rutger Hauer
This is medieval soft-core way before Game of Thrones made medieval soft-core porn an essential ingredient for your TV viewing experience. That is, medieval setting with enough boobs and sex to draw more viewers. By the way, that above is Rutger Hauer and Jennifer Jason Leigh, the movie’s called Flesh & Blood and it’s from Paul Verhoeven, director of Showgirls and Basic Instinct. Robocop and Total Recall as well.
Oh, one thing though, Flesh and Blood doesn’t have the lavishly beautiful sets of Game of Thrones. In that regard, it’s more like Terry Gilliam’s Jabberwocky. And no fantasy elements either. It’s more like, grimy and muddy. And lots of blood, too. And mostly unlikable characters. Like there’s no real protagonists in this movie, no heroes to root for. And that’s the one most people complain about in this movie. It’s maybe a little too cynical for some people’s taste. Well, taking it as it is, it’s probably my favorite serious film set in medieval times. My other favorite movies set in the Middle Ages? Uhm, that would be Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Sam Raimi’s Army of Darkness.
Flesh & Blood is about a band of mercenaries, led by Martin (Rutger Hauer) who takes revenge on feudal lord Arnolfini after he betrayed them. Martin’s group of undesirables got their revenge and then kidnaps Agnes (Jennifer Jason Leigh) who’s engaged to Arnolfini’s son Steven (Tom Burlinson). The rest of the movie has Steven trying to rescue Agnes, while Agnes tries to have her way with Martin and the rebels.
Needless to say, Rutger Hauer is great in this one. As one reviewer puts it, “Hauer is the only guy who could have found a way to make you root for Martin even at his worst, and loathe him even at his best.” I think this movie made me check his other movies like Blind Fury, Soldier of Orange, and Turkish Fruit. And he’s also in Hobo with a Shotgun, which is a blast. Well, this movie, too.