Rutger Hauer's mean career -- Check out the ''Blind Fury'' actor in other villainous roles

By Terry Catchpole
Updated February 22, 1991 at 05:00 AM EST

Mixed among the box office hits and the classic cartoons on the top-20 video charts, there’s a recent movie that was virtually unseen in theaters. It’s called Blind Fury, and its star is one of those actors who seem to have been born for the video age: Rutger Hauer. With his shimmery blond hair, steely blue eyes, and blitzkrieg slash of a face, Hauer is the master of mean. Here’s the proof:

After a brief film career in his native Holland (notably in director Paul Verhoeven’s critically acclaimed Soldier of Orange), Hauer hit the ground snarling in his American debut, playing a villainous international terrorist who hijacks a tram loaded with United Nations delegates and holds them hostage high above New York’s East River. This underrated thriller also stars a pre-Rambo Sylvester Stallone as a Vietnam-vet cop who abhors violence. B+

Blade Runner
As Roy Batty, the replicant with an artificial evil soul, Hauer gives Ridley Scott’s futurist parable its snap, poking out his creator’s eyeballs, breaking Harrison Ford’s fingers, and purposely impaling his own palm on a spike. The indelible climax of the movie is Hauer’s atavistic pursuit of Ford, a hunt through a blasted high-rise slum that evokes our most fatalistic nightmares of the future. A

The Osterman Weekend
Director Sam Peckinpah’s last film, this adaptation of the Robert Ludlum novel features Hauer as a Ted Koppel-like TV journalist caught among the CIA, the KGB, and some weekending friends who may or may not be traitorous spies. Hauer seems to be a good guy but does his fair share of slaughtering and takes more than his share of pleasure from doing it. B-

Few contemporary actors have had a personal medieval period, as Hauer did in the mid-1980s when he participated in both this Richard Donner fantasy and Flesh + Blood, in which he went warring and whoring around 16th-century Europe. Hauer plays a knight separated from his lover, Michelle Pfeiffer, by a curse (she becomes a hawk during the day and he a wolf at night). As for meanness, he saves the worst for last, hurling a sword at a wicked bishop and impaling the fallen vicar on his holy throne. A-

Blind Fury
In Hauer’s latest, he’s Nick Parker, a contemporary Americanized version of Japanese B-movie hero Zatoichi, a sightless samurai. Blinded in Vietnam and trained as a master swordsman by friendly villagers, Hauer returns Stateside 20 years later and takes his saber-sheathing white cane to Reno, where he rescues war buddy Terrance O’Quinn from a drug gang. In a typically gruesome confrontation, Hauer slices off one of the bad guy’s eyebrows. B-

Blade Runner

  • Movie
  • R
  • 117 minutes
  • Ridley Scott