"People love seeing violence and horrible things. The human being is bad and he can't stand more than five minutes of happiness. Put him in a dark theater and ask him to look at two hours of happiness and he'd walk out or fall asleep." ~Paul Verhoeven
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.
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Betrayed by power. Corrupted by love. Bound by honor.
A timeless adventure, a passion for wealth and power. Only the strongest will survive
In a savage time, torn between two rivals she fought for survival with the only weapon she had... herself.
This is director Paul Verhoeven's first American & English speaking film.
The script is partly based on unused material for the Dutch TV series Floris, which was the debut for Gerard Soeteman, Paul Verhoeven and Rutger Hauer.
Sites in Rumania, Hungary, Germany, Italy and Yugoslavia were considered, and rejected, before three locations in Spain – Belmonte, Cáceres and Avila – were chosen. The showcase was Belmonte Castle, which was used once before as a film set, in the making of “El Cid”. When the cast and crew arrived there, the fortress was in a state of real disrepair, and in order to make the castle safe for the actors, the construction team had to work under extremely hazardous conditions – floor were reinforced and laid with mosaic tiles, vast cathedral ceilings were repaired, whitewashed, then hung with blazing chandeliers, battlements were built above crumbling stone bastions, a moat was cut into the promontory surrounding the castle. The weather, dependable only in terms of freezing rain and gusting winds, complicated the process. At the end of ten weeks of filming in Belmonte, the sun finally emerged, the summer’s first heatwave set in and the cast and crew celebrated with a “Capae”, a traditional Spanish festival.
Flesh & Blood has been also aired on the Dutch T.V. in episodes, with some scenes that were not included in the theater version. The recent DVD version does have the extended international version of the film, though I am not certain if all the Dutch T.V. footage was included.
As a bonus here is the trailer for Paul Verhoeven's next movie Blackbook. It was released in Europe earlier this year with no U.S. release date at this time.
And as another bonus a truly strange commercial for Guinness featuring Rutger Hauer.