Saturday, 11 October 2008

The Eighties Part 1: Rutger Hauer

I'm forty next month, so I'm getting all nostalgic.
Over the next couple of months I'm going to do a few more fun Blog posts, which center on my love of films in the eighties. Action, sci-fi, horror, and comedy.

When I was in my early teens, home video had just taken off, and me and my Dad used to rent videos every week, sometimes even, every day.
We would use video magazines as our guide to what was good. But more often than not, if it promised ludicrous quantities of action and laser guns, I rented it.
It was a time of simply enjoying movies for kicks. Nothing cerebral, just the thrill of going to our little independent video store and looking for which new movies were out.

Blade Runner made a big impact on me. More than any other film, because it made me want to make films myself.
But primarily, one steely-eyed Dutch man called Rutger Hauer absolutely captivated me.
It's difficult to describe the effect he had on lads like me. I mean, for a while he was THE face of Guinness, in those gloriously over the top ads by Ridley Scott.

So, basically, anything Rutger appeared in, I rented it.
Now... this had it's pitfalls. Rutger, bless him, appeared in some absolutely awful films, as well as some really cool ones.

My own opinion is that the moment he stopped being a villain, and wanted to be the good guy, the rot set in.
I mean, Rutger is one evil dude right? That's what he does. Evil.

Anyway. Here are some Rutger picks from the eighties. (Excluding Blade Runner)

Truly terrified the B'Jesus out of me.
It had that relentless 'Duel/Terminator' quality to it of, where the bad guy simply never stops.
And Rutger does quiet menace like no other man.
Eighties staple C. Thomas Howell was the good guy, and was bland as you like, but that kinda helped. it's Rutgers movie.

It's got Rutger Hauer and Stallone in it.
What? You need more convincing?

It's a tense thriller about terrorism, also starring Billie Dee Williams and Lindsey
It was Rutger's first American film.

Still not sure?
Honestly. there's no pleasing some people...


Rutger plays the good guy. But luckily he does it well in this one.
Somehow, Gene Simmons is also in this violent, wisecracking
piece of nonsense, which is a remake of a Steve McQueen movie.
Rutger looks bloody cool, has a massive gun, and wins. Job done.

The Tag line for this film is "He may be blind, but he don't need no dog".
And that pretty much sums it up.
It's bonkers. Violent. Silly. And by turns, hilarious and terrible.
But wait... it's directed by Philip Noyce (Jack Ryan Movies), and also stars eighties legend Terry (The Stepfather) O'Quinn. It's also got that woman from the eighties with the weird eyes. Meg Foster.

"The story of a mysterious recluse who is fiercely dedicated to the protection of a pair of nesting eagles, believed to be the last of a dying breed, and the young lady with whom he has a liason"
So now, Rutger was getting 'unconventional' with his movie choices.
I enjoyed this film, despite the bits where he got all soppy with Kathleen Turner.
But, by now I was beginning to worry about whether Rutger's agent had a grudge against him.

So, that's my highlights of Rutger.
Also worth checking LadyHawk, Wedlock, Flesh and Blood, and The Osterman Weekend.

Up next, I'll be checking out straight-to-video action stars of the eighties.


Cheryl said...

Ahhh, Ladyhawke. That movie also spawned my affection for Matthew Broderick. Ladyhawke and Blade Runner had the most impact on me regarding Hauer. I think it was his acting style that hit me, more than the sweat-dewed bare chest and black leather and horse riding scenes, but I was an impressionable teenager, so...

Your post made me feel all nostalgic and 15 again so I wandered over to youtube and, surprise, the ending can still make me cry.

Dan Turner said...

Yeah. Ladyhawke gets forgotten about in the analysis of the fantasy genre. People always point to Princess Bride etc, but Ladyhawke is great fun and feels very authentic too.
This was also Richard Donner at his peak too.

It's a tough genre to crack, commercially, as Stardust demonstrated last year. A really nice movie that didn't really connect with the audience.