Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Rutger with a Shotgun

Rutger Hauer is an actor of some distinction, like Michael Biehn who I have already written about, Rutgar has appeared in two of my favourite films from the 1980s, namely "BladeRunner" (1982) and "The Hitcher" (1986) and he seemed to specialise in playing mesmerising but disturbed or damaged characters.

Rutger is originally from Holland and appeared in the early Dutch films of the film maker Paul Verhoeven, films such as "Soldier of Orange (1977). Of course Verhoeven later moved to Hollywood and became well known for big budget films such as "Robocop", "Total Recall" and "Basic Instinct". In the cult hit "The Hitcher", Hauer played the sinister highhiker who gets offered a lift by a young man and then proceeds to terrorise him as he embarks on a killing spree. There was a forgettable remake a few years back but it simplly could not compete with Hauer's complex, edgey and unsettling performance in the original.

Hauer appeared in many other films throughout the 1990s and 00s taking smaller or cameo roles in large films such as "Sin City" (2005) or leading roles in disappointing low budget films such as "Omega Doom" (1996). However, now aged 67, Rutger has gone and surprised everyone by delivering another stunning performance in this year's cult hit "Hobo With A Shotgun". The film is one of the most outrageous films I have seen in recent years with extreme over the top violence and cruelty and with a reverence to the exploitation and grindhouse movies of the 1970s. Shot in a grungey style with garish colours and stylised acting, the world presented on screen is like a nightmarish version of 1980s America where crime is rampant and the only ones in charge are the most violent criminals. Rutger is a homeless man who is tortured and scarred by a pair of criminals. After being dumped and left for dead, he takes revenge and embarks on a bloody vigilante campaign to clean up the streets. The film's comic strip violence reminded my of Verhoeven's original "RoboCop" and playing the hobo seemed to be the perfect part for a well aged Rutger Hauer. After all these years, Rutger still has it.

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