Monday, July 20, 2009

Strange Beginnings in the Middle Part I

These are just two of my favorite rather bizarre cult classic films in my collection, that I thought I would discuss today! They are rather strange departures for both the actors and directors, and just a prime example that just about any zany idea will be turned into a movie, if the right producer gets their hands on it.

The film "Flesh and Blood" is just a weird movie about disgruntled employees taking matters into their own hands, and the price they pay for their wild indulgences. Okay let me explain, it is vaguely about a band of brigands led by Rutger Hauer of Bladerunner and Lady Hawk fame. It takes place roughly in Western Europe around 1501. After campaigning, the war weary soldiers are promised booty and plunder and are denied this by the lord they were fighting for in the battle. Angered these mercenaries go on a tear to plunder the surrounding countryside.

The film is directed by Paul Verhoeven the man who brought you such classic films as RoboCop, Total Recall, Basic Instinct, Showgirls, and Starship Troopers. Granted it is one his first commercial films, but somehow he lures fellow Dutch countrymen Rutger Hauer, who was already a celebrated actor, to appear in this rather uniquely depraved tale of debauchery. Not saying it was Hauer's down fall, but not sure that it helped his career any either.

The film also stars Brion James who worked previously with Rutger in Bladerunner. James also has had a rather interesting career as a character actor in tons of tv shows and films. Stranger still is the appearance of Bruno Kirby of City Slickers, When Harry Met Sally and Good Morning Vietnam acclaim. Not sure how he ended up in it either, but never the less there he was playing a brigand in the film. I give this film merit for it's casting alone!

The real appeal to this epic lost gem, is Jennifer Jason Leigh of Fast Times at Ridgemont High acclaim. Who doesn't help her career any by breaking free of the morally loose characters she portrays. She puts herself, all of herself if you take my meaning, out there in this film. Walking about in the altogether, no strategic camera angles or props to cover her assets.

The film is just this hedonistic lust driven tale, that goes absolutely no where, has no point, and yet has some interesting scenes and performances by it's cast. Not that this film got any kind of props by the industry, but it gets an "A" for effort in my book for at least having the balls to be strange and daring. And that in itself can be entertaining. It is like if you tried to make Ladyhawk into a porno and threw in the plague for good measures! Silly but fun.

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