There’s a certain shiver down the spine moment in a good book one reads, a poem, or even a film one watches. Not just that sense of deja-vu, but a recognition that shakes you to the core, because it is part of a universal truth that resonates with you.
I don’t scare easily when watching films (books are another experience altogether) and thoroughly enjoy being creeped out by the imaginations of the filmmakers. Whether it is the grinning clown with a red balloon, projectile vomit from the little girl possessed by evil, the boy with the number in his head or even evil nuns. So am happy to recommend scary, gory shows and movies to you. And I was watching just one such show when the wires were ablaze with the news…
Rutger Hauer had died after a brief illness in the village Beetsterzwaag in the Netherlands. The cursor on the screen just froze. The actor who made me gawp at the screen with his sword (hidden in his stick) skills, the leader of the replicants who rebelled in the famous Philip K. Dick book turned film Blade Runner, was no more. How does that explain the coincidence that at the moment the news flashed on the screen, I was immersed in the scary, scary world of a show written so well, you would be forced to look at people with a growing pit of despair and slow shock drill down deeper in your stomach. I was watching Rutger Hauer in
Channel Zero: Butcher’s Block VIDEO
I hope you are like me when your birthday is on the horizon: you hope people will forget you exist, but you secretly wish that those who love you will present you with a Hattori Hanzo sword, or something equally impossible to hold. Needless to say, I make do with watching action flicks on Netflix or Prime Video. Happy to report that Samuel L. Jackson’s Afro Samurai is now a click away on Netflix.
A brilliant tale of revenge,
Afro Samurai is also great story telling in animation. The villains and the glint in their beady eyes, compete with the slashes from swords and blood spilling out of the screen. Of course, the series (2 seasons) is more famous for the last lines villains get to say before Afro Samurai finishes them, but every time you will step into a conference room for some soul crushing work, you will find yourself saying (in the voice of Samuel L Jackson of course), ‘All right. Let’s do this.’
And when you emerge victorious from that meeting, you will hear that same raspy voice again. This time it’s saying, ‘It’s just revenge. Nothing personal.’
But the way of the warrior will also show you how to bring that perfection in making award winning noodles. Food so good, the baddies will try to kill the chef for it. The fun film
Cook Up A Storm has also been recently added on Netflix. VIDEO
If you have watched the legendary film Gymkata, then you will be happy to know that the same writer has written a superb action film with Rutger Hauer called
Blind Fury. Based loosely on the Japanese series called Zatoichi Challenge, Blind Fury finds a war veteran return home to help a friend whose family has been kidnapped. Never again will you look at the blind as helpless. VIDEO
They tried to make a killer blind man film - with Sanjeev Kumar, no less - in a Bollywood thriller called
Quatl, with Saeed Jaffrey, Shatrughan Sinha and Sarika (her dance with two oiled body-builders in cages will be imprinted indelibly on your brain, alas!). Have never seen Sanjeev Kumar so fit in some scenes and happily large in others…
Rutger Hauer is fantastic in
Split Second as well as in The Rite. And in the fun Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind. You have seen him in Sin City and Hobo With A Shotgun. He also plays the Dracula in Dracula III The Legacy. And you can see a similarly creepy The Wolfman on Netflix: VIDEO
If you like scary movies like this one, then you will like the twin horror flick called
The Unborn, also on Netflix: VIDEO
But what if you are not born, but created? An android? And if you are so perfect how is one to tell the difference? Philip K Dick wrote a fabulous novel called Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, which was made into a film
Blade Runner not once but twice. VIDEO
Although fans will say the film belongs to Harrison Ford who plays Rick Deckard who has been assigned the task of finding and eliminating androids who are uncannily human. Rutger Hauer, who plays the rebellious replicant and in my opinion, the tragic hero of the film, gives us one of the finest speeches every written in any cinema. It will take you a mouse click to find that last speech in the rain. But those 50 seconds will leave you moved in ways you did not think existed.
‘I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe,” Roy says. “Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.’
Today, Rutger Hauer is no longer with us, but his films will always be. Respect.
Manisha Lakhe is a poet, film critic, traveller, founder of Caferati — an online writer’s forum, hosts Mumbai’s oldest open mic, and teaches advertising, films and communication. Read all her columns