The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

RUTGER HAUER-PALOOZA

A BREED APART (1984) ** ½

Rutger Hauer, Powers Boothe, Kathleen Turner, Brion James, and Donald Pleasence in one movie? Count me in. Oh wait, it’s directed by The Howling 2 and 3’s Philippe Mora? Umm… does it at least have Sybil Danning in a werewolf three-way? No? Damn!

Rutger plays this twitchy Nam vet who lives on an island full of rare birds and spends his time shooting poachers with his trusty crossbow. Egg collector Pleasence hires mountain climber Boothe to steal some endangered bald eagle eggs for him. Boothe and Hauer both vie for the affections of Kathleen Turner and eventually earn one another’s respect. This of course puts Powers in a moral dilemma when he goes to snatch the priceless eggs.

Basically, the flick boils down to a love triangle, yet the fact that a bunch of rare eggs are at stake makes the flick different than most. The offbeat subject matter makes for an interesting watch, but the performances and Mora’s direction are curiously aloof. Hauer fares best as the Vietnam vet with the wild-eyed stare. However, he’s just coasting on his usual persona and fails to make the most of his role. Boothe is cool, but detached, so he likewise doesn’t bring the spark necessary to make the triangle work. And Turner is saddled with an annoying country accent, which robs her of some of her sexiness.

Knowing the track records of the three leads, I’m inclined to place the blame on Mora’s direction. He also should shoulder the blame for the choppy narrative and uneven pacing. But despite its faults, A Breed Apart is still worth a look. The film has some powerful stretches, the character dynamics are interesting, and the music by Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees is pretty good too. Plus, Turner has a pretty hot nude scene, so I can’t complain too much.

THE BLOOD OF HEROES (1990) *

Hey, you got post-apocalypse movie in my sports movie! Hey, you got sports movie in my post-apocalypse movie! Wait, it’s two great things that… suck when you put them together.

David Webb Peoples wrote and directed this movie. He also wrote Blade Runner, Unforgiven, and Twelve Monkeys. As a writer, he may be pretty great, but as a director… he ain’t so hot.

Rutger Hauer stars as the captain of a post-apocalypse sports team. The game they play is kinda like football (or maybe rugby), but played with dog skulls. The team wanders around the wasteland around squaring off against other teams. After he loses his eye in a game, Rutger decides to enter the team in an underground tournament. (In this instance, the tournament is literally underground.)

There are a lot of post-nuke movies out there, but this is one of the grimiest, dingiest, dirtiest ones I’ve ever seen. Heck, I’d even go as far as to say that it’s one of the ugliest looking films of all time. Man, I thought Alien from L.A. looked bad, but The Blood of Heroes takes the cake. It also doesn’t help that Peoples stages the games poorly and they aren’t exciting in the least.

But the film has a good cast. They’re not good in this movie, but I know they’ve been good in the past. I mean what's the idea of putting guys like Rutger Hauer, Joan Chen, Vincent D’Onofrio, Delroy Lindo, and Richard Norton in a movie, and then not giving them anything to do?

Game Over.

AKA: The Salute of the Jugger.

SPLIT SECOND (1992) ***

In the year 2008 (our old future) London is plagued by global warming and is mostly submerged in water. Rutger Hauer plays a burned out cop tracking down what he thinks is a serial killer. It turns out to be a monster who likes to rip out human hearts and eat them. Hauer also has a psychic link with the creature which helps him track the beast. Of course, when it goes after Rutger’s hot girlfriend (Kim Cattrall), Hauer steps in to kick it’s ass.

Hauer looks badass in his black leather trench coat, sunglasses, cigar, and big ass gun. He also drinks coffee like it’s going out of style and gets lots of funny quips along the way. (“The only thing we know for sure is that he isn’t a vegetarian!”) I guess what I’m getting at here is that this is one of the all-time great Hauer performances. And for that and that alone, Split Second comes highly recommended.

Directed by Tony Maylam, the man who gave us the immortal The Burning, Split Second is a bit slow in the beginning, but it gets better as it goes along and by the end, it’s pretty kick ass. The plot is similar to Predator 2 in some ways and it would probably make a great double feature with that flick. The Giger-inspired monster is also rather boss and looks cooler than most Giger-inspired monsters you’d see in this sort of thing. Plus, it’s got Kim Cattrall naked in the shower, so overall Split Second is a definite winner.

Tags: action, b, donald pleasence, drama, rutger hauer, s, sci-fi
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