Rollerball and The Blood of Heroes
I'll say one thing for the future, they don't have no WNBA. The UFC
is just whetting our appetites for bone crunching spectator sports if
either of these films is to be believed. 1975's Rollerball
seethes with anti-establishment anger while telling the story of the
only man (James Caan) with the stones to stand up to The Man (John Houseman).
Speaking of stones, those thrown against sheet metal keep time in
the brutal sport of Jugging in The
Blood of Heroes.
Never mind that "jugging" is a lame name for a sport, no one in the
post-apocalyptic future can remember why it's played with the skull
of a dog. Just savor that for a second: the skull of a dog.
Rollerball will be the way to start this double feature. Although this film rocks quite hard, it does have some ponderous slow spots that slip past a little easier in the first hour or so of this double feature rather than some time in the third.
Caan is Johnny E, the greatest player that the sport of rollerball has ever seen. The sport was created by big business in a "bread and circuses" gambit to lull the masses into some kind of blood-satiated contentment. The sport serves to convince the spectators that individual effort in life is futile. Kind of like grade school P.E.
Far from the overly clean five minutes into the future world of Rollerball, The Blood of Heroes has more caked-on dirt than your average drumming circle. Rutger Hauer takes the lead in this underdog team makes the big time flick. Check out this unappreciated actor line up: Delroy Lindo (Get Shorty), Vincent D'Onofrio (Full Metal Jacket), and Joan Chen (Twin Peaks).
The Blood of Heroes is written and directed by David Peoples
He's the man responsible for making you think, "Why didn't Rutger Hauer
go farther? He's so cool." With an outside possibility of Buffy
The Vampire Slayer, I'd wager the reason that you think Hauer
rocks is one of three Peoples scripts: The Blood of Heroes, Ladyhawke,
and, yep, Blade
Runner. So sack up, put on your protective gear and pray that
you don't get the ball . . . or the dog skull.
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