Blind Fury

Blind FuryMany years ago, when I was in grad school, I saw what I thought was a hell of a fun movie, Blind Fury. It stars Rutger Hauer — an actor I have very mixed feelings about because his work is so uneven. But there are times when you just can’t help but love him, and Blind Fury is one of those times. It’s Death Wish for the thinking man who really can’t stand to look at Charles Bronson’s face anymore.

Anyway, I was over at our only remaining video store. I didn’t imagine that they would have it. But I asked and they did! So I brought it home and watched it. Was it as good as I remembered? Well… I’m not quite the same man that I was 25 years ago. For one thing, I’m well aware of the Zatoichi films — about a blind masseur and sword expert. Between 1962 and 1989, there were 26 films made about the character. I haven’t seen any of them. In the 1970s, it was turned into a television series and 100 episodes were made. I own 5 of them on DVD.

Now, of course, watching Blind Fury is kind of like watching The Magnificent Seven after you’ve fallen in love with Seven Samurai. But what I’ve seen of Zotoichi is not exactly great. It’s fun. And so is Blind Fury. In fact, the film seems more like a television show. The ending even sets up a sequel. Too bad the film wasn’t a success.

Blind Fury Should Have Been a TV Show

It should have been like another film that Rutger Hauer was (unfortunately terrible) in that became a television series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It should have become Blind Fury: The Television Series, with Rutger Hauer walking away at the end of every episode scored with solo piano, like The Incredible Hulk.

The story is awesomely silly. Hauer is blinded during the Vietnam War. He is capture by some good Vietnamese — the kind who train blind men how to be total badasses with a sword. And I mean it. I mean like “chopping a mango into quarters as it flies through the air” badass. But now it is 20 years later and he has come to see his old army buddy to forgive him for letting him get all blind. But it turns out that his old army buddy is being held captive by a casino owner who is making him create designer drugs.

Good Clean Fun

Much kicking of ass follows. Unfortunately, much annoying 13 year old boy that badass with a sword must protect also follows. But it’s okay. Most people don’t hate child actors quite as much as I do. He’s not Quinn Cummings. (Note: if you are reading this Ms Cummings, Don DiPietro isn’t good enough for you. Call me! We’ll move to Ghana together!) And it doesn’t really matter. The film doesn’t take itself seriously. Remember: the mango.

Should you watch this film? I think so. It’s so much better than most action films. Even if you don’t like action films (and I don’t), how can you not love a film where a blind guy walks about kicking ass? It’s just good fun. Now if he were a masseur, well, that’s the stuff the greatness.

5 thoughts on “Blind Fury

  1. “Book Of Eli” was also about a blind super-warrior. I know it came from a comic; I wonder if the comic came from the same Japanese cinema source. Might be worth looking at. It’s very well-made, if quite disappointing.

    Rutger Hauer, I feel about the same way I do Peter Weller. They’re both far better at acting than I am at anything. However, they’re not at the level of a Rickman or Thompson, where I’ll just watch ’em in fucking anything. So my emotions about them tend to be based, quite unfairly, on how much I like the role they’re in.

    I love Hauer in “Blind Fury,” and enjoy his scenery-chewing in “Blade Runner.” I’ll never not be grateful to Weller for his delivery of the “Banzai” line — wherever you go, there you are. And while “RoboCop” is problematic on about a zillion different levels, Weller as the guy brought back from death involuntarily and turned into a robot is hugely affecting. (The film’s misogynistic, vigilante shit is awful, and that seems to be the stuff Weller is proudest of today, but I don’t expect actors to be super-bright. That’s what Bob Ross is for.)

  2. I read the middle of the plot explanation as “But it turns out that his old army buddy is being held captive by a casino owner who is making him create designer rugs.” And I thought this sounds an awesome film – either it has a great sense of humour, or it’s Plan 9 from Outer Space bad! But then you didn’t comment further on that, so I read it again. Oh well.

  3. “Robocop” misogynistic? Wha? C’mon, Nancy Allen’s character in that was one of the great kick-ass heroines of the ’80s. And not in the current tired vein of “girls can do anything the boys can do and I don’t need any help from them either”.

    • That’s true, she was really great. And the other female cops are no-nonsense. I was thinking more of the depiction of call girls in the yuppie’s apartment. But he is a scumball. And the “dollar” comedian is clearly a coarser Benny Hill type. Maybe it’s fairer to say the movie is more nihilistic; there’s not a lot of hope for humanity. Dick Jones would make a fine Trump Cabinet member.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *