Okay, so this recommendation is a personal favorite of mine –
Mara: I don’t like brutality. I like heroics. I like the blood of heroes.
Yep, my choice is The Blood of Heroes.
Some of you are probably going, “Wha . . .? The blood of?”
It’s a sci-fi post-apocalyptical sport movie from 1989. Yes, you heard that right.
If I had to pitch this film, I’d say that it’s ROAD WARRIOR meets RUDY.
Yes, that’s what I said. Heh-heh.
If you liked either of those movies (and if you didn’t, you have something missing somewhere in the taste region of your brain) then you’ll love this one.
In a post-apocalyptical world, a wandering band of athletes wander poor towns looking for Jugger matches, something that’s a cross between jousting with chains and football. You do anything and everything to put a dog skull on the opponent’s stake.
Rutger Hauer stars as an experienced Jugger down on his luck, and Joan Chen as Kidda, a young women who wants the best in life and sees the brutal sport as her path out of extreme poverty.
Rutger Hauer, you say? Yes, I did indeed.
Did I mention that besides Joan Chen, it also stars Vincent D’Onofrio and . . . wait for it . . . wait for it . . . Delroy Lindo. Yes. Delroy Lindo, before anyone knew who the fuck he was, he was in this. And he’s good.
They’re all good.
You know what else is good? The script.
Written and directed by David Webb Peoples, who would later write a little Oscar script entitled Unforgiven, a true heralded classic.
The world of The Blood of Heroes is what works, totally. It’s not really explained, you’re just shown what it is, and words are sparse and spare and only when necessary.
Sallow: Play hard, you’ll forget the fear.
Why haven’t you heard about it?
I don’t know. I don’t think it even played in theaters, I first saw it on video. I think low-budget sci-fi scared distributors off.
It’s definitely not a big budget movie, shot in Australia (although it’s actually SET there, as opposed to most other movies shot in Australia) and it’s not without flaw . . . there’s this bad habit of, during action sequences, of going for close-up slo-mo, which doesn’t do the film or the script justice.
Sallow: This is stupid. We should be fucking and drinking by now.
But the story and the talent are top notch. And if you’re like me and prone to certain emotional responses during certain type of athletic moments in film (for example, if the end of Hoosiers leaves you in a puddle) then the end of this one will rock your world.
Overall, the story and the characters and what they fight for, it’s all gold, my friends, pure film-geek gold. It’s crude and violent and yet, emotional and powerful and in its own way, real. Fucking real.
Gonzo: Lord Vile, I’ve broken Juggers in half, smashed their bones, left the ground behind me wet with brains. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do to win. But I never hurt anyone for any reason other than sticking a dog’s skull on a stake and I never will.
Watch it today.