Where in the Horror are they Now? Rutger Hauer!


THEN: There are very few actors as incredibly badass as Rutger Hauer. Perhaps it’s his quiet intensity, or just the powerful presence he has on-screen, This guy has always made a huge impression on this here movie fan. When looking back on the career of a genre actor that I admire, it can be easy to pick a few highlights from their career and be done with it. This is not the case with Rutger, so in this weeks Where in the Horror are they Now, I will focus on a few of my personal favorite performances. So it’s likely that I’m going to miss one or two fine flicks that could be discussed, but please feel free to share some of your best-loved roles in the comments, because with about 161 acting credits to his name, just a few paragraphs isn’t enough.

With a career beginning in the late-Sixties, some of this fine actor’s work included his many  collaborations with Paul Verhoeven. This includes 1973’s TURKISH DELIGHT, 1975’s KATIE TIPPEL, 1977’s SOLDIER OF ORANGE and 1980’s SPETTERS. While not a single one of these awesome flicks fall in the horror genre, it is interesting how both the actor and director have done a ton of sci-fi, horror and fantasy throughout their careers. While some of you may not be familiar with a film called NIGHTHAWKS in 1981, you might want to check it out. Starring Sylvester Stallone, the thriller gave Hauer the chance to be one deadly villain and he was fantastic in it. The film also featured Billy Dee Williams and the Bionic Woman herself, Lindsay Wagner - and hey, it even had the MANIAC himself Joe Spinell.

In the Eighties, Mr. Hauer was featured in a ton of great flicks. Shall we start with the classic Ridley Scott sci-fi thriller BLADE RUNNER? Absolutely. This 1982 work of art offered up Harrison Ford in one of my personal favorites roles. And speaking of badassery, Rutger Hauer was absolutely brilliant at Roy Batty, a replicant with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. I’ve heard some people say that they didn’t love this flick, and that’s okay. Bur for me, the last act is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen on film. Hell, we recently took a look at this incredibly gorgeous film for JoBlo’s very own “Where It Was Made” - which you can check out here - and it was pretty damn cool to see all the places that director Scott used to achieve such a masterpiece of cinema! Can you tell I’m a fan?

As mentioned, the Eighties also offered a ton of cool flicks like THE OSTERMAN WEEKEND from 1983 - Rutger seemingly loves doing thrillers - and A BREED APART in 1984. And then there was LADYHAWKE in 1985. I loved this flick when I saw it as a kid! Not only was Hauer great as Navarre, but I’m not sure whether Michelle Pfeiffer ever looked more beautiful than she did here. What am I saying, she still looks incredible. That same year, Hauer was featured in FLESH+BLOOD opposite another lovely lady, the amazingly talented Jennifer Jason Leigh. And then in 1987 he stepped into serious action mode with WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE. He finished off the decade with THE BLOOD OF HEROES, BLOODHOUNDS OF BROADWAY and BLIND FURY, all in 1989.

You may be thinking, what a minute, I think you missed something! No, not at all, because THE HITCHER needs more than just a sentence or two. Starring C. Thomas Howell and Jennifer Jason Leigh - damn I adore that woman - this creepy flick featured Hauer as a really bad guy. And he was so damn terrifying in the role, that his performance still holds up as one of the coolest movie villains of all-time. With a script by friend to AITH, Eric Red, this white-knuckle thriller is brutal and intense and it was all the more amazing thanks to Rutger. I’ll never forget watching the dreadful remake to this and just feeling sorry for Sean Bean. While Bean did a fine job with what he was given - obviously not much - he couldn’t hold a candle to Hauer’s mysterious and deadly John Ryder. This was the stuff nightmares are made of.

The actor continued to work in action thrillers during the Nineties on a regular basis. There was WEDLOCK and PAST MIDNIGHT in 1991, SPLIT SECOND and BEYOND JUSTICE in 1992. And that same year the talented Dutchman enjoyed a little campy goodness in the film version of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER - years before the hit television series. While I prefer the full on Joss Whedon experience of the show - the movie was written by Whedon and directed by Fran Rubel Kuzui - it certainly featured a couple of fun performances. Kristy Swanson was delightful, and both Paul “Pee Wee Herman” Reubens and Hauer had a blast playing the film’s baddies. In fact, I preferred these two over the Season 1 vamp “The Master.” As much as I dug the series, I always return to the movie when I want to entertain in pure, unadulterated silliness.

Ever since then Hauer has worked very steadily, even if the movies weren’t of the same caliber as BLADE RUNNER. The Nineties gave us SURVIVING THE GAME (1994), NOSTRADAMUS (1994), CROSSWORLDS (1996), BLEEDERS (1997) BONE DADDY (1998) and the TV mini-series Merlin (1998). While he continued to work in low budget features, he found himself back in some major motion pictures in the following decade. There was another TV mini-series called “The 10th Kingdom” (2000), FLYING VIRUS and TURBULANCE 3: HEAVY METAL both in 2001. And then came appearances in CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND (2002), SIN CITY (2005), BATMAN BEGINS (2005), and THE RITE (2011). Ever since he began his illustrious career, whether it was a big or small film, he has always worked hard.

NOW: The same is true today. One of the coolest performances Hauer has given recently was the wicked little flick HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN in 2011. This year he is portraying Stolbakken in the 12 episode mini-series Mata Hari. And coming up he has several films according to his IMDb page. This includes EMPOROR, THE BROKEN KEY and VICTRIX. He also has a couple of films listed “in production” including CORBIN NASH and JOURNEY BOUND where he plays “The Hitchiiker” - and yes this put a smile on my face. One exciting upcoming film is VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS where he co-stars with Cara Delevingne, John Goodman, Ethan Hawke, Clive Owen and Dane DeHaan! Wait Rihanna is in this too! I seriously can’t wait!

Rutger Hauer has always been a favorite of mine. Even some of his lesser work strikes a chord with me, who can forget 2006’s MINOTAUR where he starred opposite Tony Todd and freaking Tom Hardy!?! Pure awesomeness!! And lucky for fans, the Dutch actor is still hard at work. Here is an idea, with the upcoming sequel to BLADE RUNNER, what fan wouldn’t be thrilled to see Hauer return in a cameo of some sort? If you aren’t familiar with this incredible talent… wait, I can’t imagine any horror fan not familiar with THE HITCHER. Either way, I think Rutger is a little too badass for social media, but you can always check out his general Facebook page or his "official" (?) website for more info. Rutger Hauer is, and will always be, one of the greats.

Extra Tidbit: Okay, spill some blood, which cool Rutger Hauer performances did I not mention - perhaps True Blood is one that you dig? And feel free to add more praise to BLADE RUNNER and THE HITCHER.
Source: AITH



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