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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Medieval adventure
Flesh and Blood is a 1985 movie by Paul Verhoeven, the director who is most notable for his sci-fi films such as Robocop, Total Recall and Starship Troopers. In this film he turns his attention to the late Medieval/early Renaissance era with an adventure that follows a group of Landsknecht mercenaries.

It is 1501, and war is raging in Italy. Arnolfini, a rich...
Published on 2 Feb 2008 by F. Aetius

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flesh and Blood
It is a very strange movie. It 's not quite as I would have expected from a top line actor such as Rutger Hauer.
Published 23 months ago by Richard Browne


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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Medieval adventure, 2 Feb 2008
This review is from: Flesh And Blood [DVD] (DVD)
Flesh and Blood is a 1985 movie by Paul Verhoeven, the director who is most notable for his sci-fi films such as Robocop, Total Recall and Starship Troopers. In this film he turns his attention to the late Medieval/early Renaissance era with an adventure that follows a group of Landsknecht mercenaries.

It is 1501, and war is raging in Italy. Arnolfini, a rich and powerful warlord is besieging an enemy town. Assisting Arnolfini's army is Captain Martin and his band of mercenary thugs. When Martin's troops are victorious in taking the town, Arnolfini betrays them and confiscates all their loot for himself - booting Martin's men out of the town in the process.
Martin's soldiers find themselves wandering aimlessly through the countryside until they uncover a statue of St. Martin. A cardinal sees this as a sign that they have been favoured by God. Invigorated by this news, the band hatch a plot of revenge against Arnolfini by kidnapping Agnes, the bride to be for Arnolfini's son, Steven. This sets off a series of events that sees them fighting their way across the land, storming a castle, battling knights, and facing a terrible plague.

Despite being mostly ignored during its release, Flesh and Blood is an excellent film, and probably one of the best films about this much ignored time period.
The acting is usually brilliant, especially that by the reliable Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner) as the roguish Martin, and the wonderfully over acting Ronald Lacey (Raiders of the Lost Ark) as a mad, self-flagellating Cardinal.

Although it is not entirely accurate, the film does make an attempt at realism with the relatively correct costumes and authentic late medieval castles as sets.
The directing by Verhoeven is good, and the film contains many memorable scenes. The music is an epic orchestral score, and it's good but forgettable. The story moves along at a brisk pace, but it does slow down a bit after the gang find themselves trapped in a castle - although it never becomes boring or dull.

It should be noted that this film is filled with scenes of brutal violence and graphic nudity from the beginning, making no attempt at presenting an idyllic version of the past. Verhoeven wants to present an anti-medieval movie - there are no Knights in shining armour rescuing damsels in distress; instead it is a study of a cruel and savage world. Verhoeven makes sure the film's never too serious and never too silly, making a rather balanced movie.

This film is worth getting if you want to see an action packed medieval adventure movie. Just don't expect a too serious story and you might enjoy it.

The DVD - sadly there aren't any special features, and the menu is primitive - using only symbols instead of words, but there are still chapter selections. The film has a soundtrack in English, German, French, Italian and Spanish. There is also a hard of hearing option in English and German.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trumphantly rough and victoriously bloody and realistic, 30 Oct 2004
Flesh and blood" is not a new movie, but the DVD was released in 2004. The film was actually shot by nowadays well-established director, Paul Verhoeven, in 1985. The film is an epic adventure, set in medieval Europe, in 1510. In the hectic and morally bankrupt Europe of that time, Martin, a ruthless warrior, leads his band of soldiers into battle to reclaim a castle for a nobleman, Arnolfini. When they achieve their goal and Arnolfini betrays them by giving them nothing from what he has promised, Martin and his group become outlaws. They seek for revenge, causing misery and death on their path. They kidnap an innocent young maiden who is betrothed to Arnolfini's son, a fearless Renaissance man who must risk life to rescue the woman he loves.
The first time I saw the film was in the beginning of the 90's. I was just 11 years old and even though the film is rated ®, I loved it. That does not mean that any children of that age should be allowed to watch that film! I became addicted to it and kept watching it everyday for a week. I haven't seen it again until now, on DVD, and I wasn't disappointed. "Flesh and blood" is exactly what I remembered, the best epic film I have ever seen in my life! It is truly an undiscovered "diamond" of the 80's. The film depicts the corruption of the middle Ages; rapes, betrayal, immorality, distorted religion and the plague that was killing them all. The film is shot in real location, in medieval castles in Spain and one can feel that energy in the film. "Flesh and blood" is victoriously bloody and triumphantly rough and realistic; and as reality maybe tough for some people, this film is not for everyone but for those who are not shocked easily!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gloriously offensive!, 28 Aug 2003
This review is from: Flesh And Blood [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Paul Verhoeven's medievel epic certainly lives up to it's title!
Rape, murder, pillaging, brain damaged nuns, plague ridden dogs, and some disgusting table manners infest this offbeat tale of Rutger Hauers gang of vicious mercenaries. There's some excellent action sequences and some raunchy behaviour between Hauer and a young Jennifer Jason Leigh in a hot-tub! Splendidly bloody and gloriously offensive entertainment!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ahead of its Time, 6 July 2011
By 
Bob Salter "Captain Spindrift" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Flesh And Blood [DVD] (DVD)
Hooray, it has been a long time since I have watched a decent medieval period film. Thank you Paul Verhoeven for providing a good antidote to my last one which was the dire "Barbarossa Siege Lord". This one was made back in 1985, so it has taken me a while to get around to watching it, but better late than never. It is probably best to mention first that this film is not for the squeamish. It does not carry an 18 certificate for no reason and contains plenty of scenes that could cause offence to those of a sensitive nature. The film is set in 1501 Renaissance Italy, where a cutthroat band of mercenaries lead by Martin (Rutger Hauer) are betrayed by a noble Lord. They later take revenge by ambushing his baggage train and inadvertently kidnapping his sons bethrothed. The Lord and his son are none too pleased and set off in hot pusuit to exact medieval style justice. Meanwhile Martin enjoys the spoils of war, and the bethrothed does not seem to be an unhappy captive.

I was very impressed with the films treacly black religiously influenced humour, which seemed to capture the essence of those more barbaric times. I was reminded much of the Grail Quest series of books by Bernard Cornwall which also follows a tough talking group of hard living mercenaries. The coarse language of those books being very similar to that in "Flesh and Blood", a film that seems to be ahead of its time. Either that or authors like Cornwall and his many copycats have taken a lead from Verhoeven. The costumes in the film have an authentic look, as do the convincing Spanish locations. The films opening scenes took me by surprise and my initial thoughts were, 'this is going to be a right turkey', but that opinion changed quickly as I got into the spirit of the films anarchic humour. Hauer was excellent as the oddball Martin, bringing that haunting 'not of this planet' "Blade Runner" style quality to his performance. He was ably supported by his now sadly deceased "Blade Runner" colleague 'time to die' Brion James, who had one of cinemas great character faces and is well deserving of a special mention. The film is a hugely enjoyable romp, mixing a bawdy concoction of Shakepearian and Monty Python style humour. Throw in a dash of good old medeival torture to spice up the recipe and hey presto it somehow manages to work when it really has no right to. Verhoeven is a talented director and this film is a good example of his abilities. It is perhaps not quite as good as the Charlton Heston film "The War Lord" which set the bar very high for medeival films, but it is not far away. Many films from the early eighties have dated badly and it is testament to this film that it remains fresh today. A highly recommended watch. A comfortable four stars. Well worth a watch.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A love triangle you wouldn't want to be a part of, 7 April 2011
By 
The Truth "How it is" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Flesh And Blood [DVD] (DVD)
Flesh & Blood is a great film to watch if you want a fix of medieval knights & castles. Featuring Rutger Hauer, although great fun, it's quite gritty in places too.

The story revolves around a group of soldiers who are double crossed and turn rogue. Their leader (Rutger), guided by a relgious nut, takes a pretty girl hostage; the betrothed to the son of the nobleman who double crossed him and his men.

Young and naive, the young girl is taken in by Rutger's bad boy ways and so ensues a love triangle you certainly wouldn't want to be a part of - not when sieges, the plague and rape are a constant theme.

A good old fashioned Knights tale like only the 80s and Mr Hauer can produce - but being certificate 18 it offers slightly more for the adult audience than Lady Hawke and the like (although sadly Michelle Pfieffer doesn't make an appeareance).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blood, guts and nudity, 24 May 2010
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If you like all action, rather silly sword and battle epics, this is for you. Rutger Hauer always appears to have his tongue firmly in cheek in his movies. Jennifer Jason Leigh treats us all to plenty of views of her lovely naked body. It's a fun, over the top movie typical of Paul Verhoeven which I enjoyed very much.
Set in 1510, there are mercenaries, despots, noblemen, blood and guts and romance. Grab a beer and go for it. Perfect Saturday night entertainment.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unknown masterpiece, 13 April 2009
This review is from: Flesh And Blood [DVD] (DVD)
One of Vaerhoeven's pre-hollywood chef d'oeuvres, this medieval saga is an elegy beyond good and evil. Battles, social conflicts and religious superstitions in a hard, realistic struggle for survival. Verhoeven's heroes are the dark reflection of what any one of us could become, if we had to. Together with "The Third Man", this film is at the top of the director's creations.A "must-see" for hard nerves.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Flesh & Blood!, 18 May 2014
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This review is from: Flesh And Blood [DVD] (DVD)
Love this film, I had seen it before, when I saw that it was available, I couldn`t resist getting it. Good film about the Mercenary era, Clothing, costumes are good as is the acting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Flesh and Blood, 13 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Flesh And Blood [DVD] (DVD)
Received in Excellent condition and just what was required to keep the grown ups entertained an excellent film with good entertainment all around
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5.0 out of 5 stars Flesh And Blood, 3 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Flesh And Blood [DVD] (DVD)
What can one say. Another great film from this master of the mysterious. A very good film with the delightful Jennifer Jason Leigh
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Flesh And Blood [DVD]
Flesh And Blood [DVD] by Paul Verhoeven (DVD - 2005)
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