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Flesh and Blood (1985)

Cast: Juan Majan, Rutger Hauer, Jennifer Jason Leigh, more...
Director: Paul Verhoeven
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: MGM
Genre: Adventure
Running Time: 128 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    see additional details...

When an attempted political coup in Northern Italy fails, most of the mercenaries hired by the coup leaders disperse. Not so Martin (Rutger Hauer), who intends to rob his duplicitous former employer Arnolfini (Fernando Hillbeck). Martin is able to raise his own army by using a stolen religious artifact as a talisman. He later kidnaps Arnolfini's prospective daughter-in-law Agnes (Jennifer Jason Leigh),who saves herself from gang rape by feigning eternal devotion to her captor. Weeks of plunder and destruction follow, with a deadly plague thrown into the stew. Flesh and Blood has also been released under the title The Rose and the Sword. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

  • Extended International Version
  • Director's Commentary
  • "Composing Flesh + Blood" Featurette
  • Theatrical Trailer

GreenCine Member Reviews

An odd transition by EAinsworth February 26, 2004 - 3:37 PM PST
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
Paul Verhoven would reach great heights with his second English language feature "Robo Cop." But few have seen, much less heard of, this obscure medieval flick which was his first step into American cinema.

Already established as an accomplished filmmaker in Europe, "Flesh+Blood" doesn't show a lot of promise beyond it's daring amorality. The production is ripe with the type of sleaziness Verhoven would be notorious for through out his career. We have an abundance of rape, murder and gore on hand, but no compelling story to make us want to go along with it. A group of pillagers-for-hire are betrayed by their lord and robbed of their spoils of war. They set off to rob the lord and reclaim the wealth unrightly snatched. The problem is that most characters on both sides of the conflict are equally foul. There's not much in the way of a redeemable protagonist. We're supposed to root for a young prince to reclaim his bride to be, kidnapped by Rutger Hauer and company, but Verhoven's sexual politics surrounding her abduction are bizarre. A very young looking Jennifer Jason Leigh playing the kidnapped fiance is subjected to a graphic rape scene, but the effect on her character seems to be ultimately minor. She is quickly giving herself freely and repeatedly to Rutger Hauer, her rapist and captor.

Verhoven doesn't draw out, or really allow, any compelling performance to seep through the film's ickiness. It's flare for the creatively disgusting can't exactly be called an accomplishment to admire. In the end it's a minor footnote to the weird career that Verhoven has had, and probably better left forgotten as it was.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.85)
59 Votes
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