I think Rutger Hauer’s best performance is Roy in BLADE RUNNER, but his most terrifying performance comes in THE HITCHER. Roger Ebert’s review of the film said “This movie is diseased and corrupt. I would have admired it more if it had found the courage to acknowledge the real relationship it was portraying between Howell and Rutger, but no: It prefers to disguise itself as a violent thriller, and on that level it is reprehensible.” I couldn’t disagree more, it doesn’t disguise itself as a violent thriller, it is a violent thriller. The film lets the audience put together the relationship.
This is a really effective exercise in terror in part because of Hauer’s ability to act civilized and soft spoken when needed but at the flip of a switch turn into a monster. This film started out even more violent, it was to feature an entire family being slaughtered. I think pairing it down makes it more real and thus more horrific. Writer Eric Reed got the idea for the film from The Door’s Rider on the Storm, only something twisted and evil can come from that. BLADE RUNNER is my favorite Hauer performance, THE HITCHER is my favorite Hauer film.
See you on forty deuce,
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